A long way to the library

I reckon it’s about six or seven miles as the crow flies. But I didn’t give birth to a crow, so it had to be a journey by train instead. And yes I know I’m being petty. And grumpy. But how hard can it be to ‘make’ a library card? When you’re a library.

We live near(ish) a large university. Six or seven miles as the crow flies. As I said. Daughter’s sixth form college somehow arranged for sixformers to apply to have library cards at the renowned university library. Goodness, even the Resident IT Consultant has one. They’re not that special.

With EPQs (don’t ask) on the horizon it was deemed quite a useful thing to have. College library isn’t so well stocked with specialist books. I’m not sure how many weeks ago the application was made from college. But quite a while.

(Btw, did I mention Daughter will kill me for this? Goodbye people, it’s been nice knowing you.)

Anyway, EPQ crawling ever closer, Daughter phoned renowned library on Saturday to find out about her card. They had received the application. But they didn’t know where it is. But if she came in Monday they’d sort it. Mondays happen to be the only day of the week Daughter has anything like spare time for travelling six or seven miles. So despite feeling rough, she caught the train, walked the 15 minutes to the library, found they had no idea where the application is, but they’d look for it and she could come back at a later date. She walked back to the station, got on her three trains and came home again.

That was a mere two hours and twenty minutes out of her life. Plus the train fare. Not much. But she could have used both time and money better.

They were very nice, though. She could have looked at the books when she was there. Not take them out, obviously.

Maybe you can only apply once, and even a lost application means there is nothing that can be done. Otherwise I feel, simple soul that I am, that they could have done a new one while she was there. She was there (necessary for photo, apparently), she had about six different types of ID, so why not do it there and then? Could there be some special ‘hotline’ direct from Daughter’s college to renowned library that somehow guarantees her status, and which can’t be arranged any other way?

Now that Daughter is actually – yes! – of age, I don’t feel I can write and complain on her behalf. So I’m resorting to the kind of writing I can do. It really is not a big deal. But it does seem very lame, that a library in this day and age can’t fix something like a card on the spot. At least when it’s they who have lost it, and not the customer.

Meanwhile I’d be awfully grateful if someone could fix photographs of Jupiter’s moons, taken at regular intervals by some fancy telescope on Gran Canaria. It’d make the lack of library card more bearable.

7 responses to “A long way to the library

  1. I also get around by public transportation, so I very much sympathize. I’ve done the walk to the bus, to the train to the bus thing all too recently. It does make you question whether there is really anything so important that you actually have to get to it.

    The library cards on the other hand are pretty easily replaceable here, though I have to admit its been a long while since I applied for one at that local university.

  2. Poor daughter. Please give her my sympathy- exactly the same thing happened to me a month ago. (And my nearest slightly decent library is 7-8 miles away too). And no form of id that I happened to be carrying (including British library card and S of A membership) would suffice. ‘Driving license or passport’ they said sternly.

    What is this about Jupiter’s moons? Very beautiful- I saw four of them in a line once. Is it homework? Have you googled- yes, you must have done. Shall I consult the resident astronomer when he comes home tonight?

  3. Yes, please! It’s the blasted EPQ, which requires pictures to do something like calculate something and something else…

  4. Post you comments on the univeristy/library website, this is a wonderful example of how not to run a library. There should also be a library development plan and send in a letter to ask for a copy of it. Their customer care standards are far too low and will deter many bright students from making the best use of resources, that we as citizens have already paid for.

  5. *Gasp*
    No library card!!!!!!!!
    How can she survive????

  6. Relax, Me!!!!, it’s just for the uni library. She does have an ordinary one, but funnily enough she doesn’t seem to need to borrow fiction. Could have something to do with the mountains of books all over the house.

  7. If Daughter feels she can’t object to this idiocy, that means she is being treated as a child, which means in turn that Mom gets to do the whole parent thing, preferably with Daughter in tow, so she can learn how it is done. This is what in the US in called (by educators!) a “teachable moment” :).

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