As some of you may know, on Saturdays I work at a library. I thought I’d create a quick guide to managing library books and making the most of the resources libraries can provide. All posts in the How-To series are available here!
Before I start, usual short disclaimer: I’m basing this on my knowledge of libraries in the UK (specifically, London). I don’t know how much of this transfers over to other countries: you can let me know in the comments!
How To: Library Books
- Know the charges and full rules of your library. You don’t want to get caught out: good libraries should make these clear and tell you what will cost and what is absolutely free – if you have questions, check the website or ask!
- Refusing to pay charges will likely get your barred. In most cases by agreeing to join/use the library you acknowledge the rules, even if you don’t sign a physical document. Know the rules and stick to them.
- The book is your responsibility from the moment you take it out to the moment you return it. If you’re returning a book via machine or even by person, check your card before you leave – if there has been a mistake and the book hasn’t been returned correctly, it’s far easier to fix before you leave the building. Claiming to have returned a book two weeks later will likely end up costing you the price of the book.
- Have a dedicated library book shelf or place. It could be next to your normal bookcase, on the top shelf of a bookcase or on a seperate table/room: just make it clear which books are yours and which books are borrowed.
- If you’re worried about misplacing books, regularly print a list of all the books on your card. Most libraries should have an online website you can use to check your reservations, loans and overdue’s.
- Create limits. If you know you can only remember and keep track of four books a month, only borrow four books a month.
- Check online resources. The libraries I work for also loan ebooks to apps such as Overdrive – I believe this is common practice certainly in the US. These usually expire after a set amount of time therefore you don’t need to remember to return them (also, they’re available offline!).
- Pay off fines as soon as possible. Library dependent, sometimes you don’t have to pay them immediately but in this case the library will have a cut-off amount which blocks your library use. Don’t let it get to that stage!
Do you guys use the library regularly? How do libraries work where you live? What strategies do you use to manage your library books? Let me know in the comments!
Want to keep up to date with what I’m reading?
Want to keep updated on Twitter?