fidesquaerens (marta_bee) wrote,

procedures: you’re doing it wrong

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

My university has two campuses, one in Manhattan and the other in the Bronx. That means two separate libraries, with the university’s books split between the two locations. The Bronx collection is bigger becaue our campus is the main one. Since my program is based almost exclusively in the Bronx, almost all of the philosophy books are housed here in the Bronx.

Now, I live within walking distance of the latter but the library is on the opposite end of campus from where I usually go. I’m also not usually on campus, so going to the library typically means a special trip. Add to that, when I go into Manhattan for counseling, I pass by the library of the former. This means it’s usually much more convenient to pick up a book from the Manhattan library. And my school will deliver between the two libraries. So if I know I’m going to need a book from the Bronx and can wait a day or so, it makes sense to try to get them to send the book over to Manhattan. It’s just easier to get in and out there, for some reason.

Here’s the catch, though: to request a book be sent over you need to fill out a short form. In person – no phone requests, nothing online, or anything like that. So to get a book sent you have to go to a library not once but twice (or hang around 4-6 hours to wait for the book to get to you). This works great if you live out of the library, but not so great if you’re one of the students of my generation who prefer to access remotely and just go in every now and then to pick up books.

So they have a system that with a minor tweak (accepting remote requests, by phone or online or even by fax) could work *so well.* But it doesn’t. This would be a minor irritation for me if I wasn’t depressed so getting to campus was a challenge. But even without that the vast majority of grad students and even upper-level undergrads are scattered throughout NYC – often not so close to one campus or the other. I’m calling fail on this procedure.

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