We recently talked separately to two individuals in the library with distinctly different points of view. The first, Roy, felt like our policy of circulating DVDs for three weeks, as for all other library material, was too long. “No one needs a DVD longer than a week.”
The other, Bob, living on the northern boundaries of the Red Feather Mountain Library District, towards Cherokee Park, spoke of living remotely, with few neighbors, and a trip to Red Feather Village (let alone the library) taking some time at some distance. Especially in the winter; it’s not unheard of at their location to be snowed in for two or three weeks.
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So, who carries the day, Roy or Bob? Both. Who must compromise on access to library materials? Both. All of us. Library service is a grand compromise between access to materials that one would not necessarily want to purchase or store, and reasonable time of access. Roy has a valid point in that if an item is finished and returned within a week, that allows someone else to then use and enjoy the item.
On the other hand, we’re not suggesting that Bob, in mid-December, risk life, limb or property in promptly returning items by the end of the week. Or necessarily in mid-July. There are several library users living at the other end of the geographic scale– Hewlett Gulch—at which more frequent than three week trips to the library would be a considerable inconvenience.
Restrictive library policies restrict and diminish use. Here at Red Feather Lakes Community Library, we’re not so much in the business of being an area monument or community fixture—not that these concepts are unimportant (we’ll look at this in a future discussion)—but rather that we’re here specifically to provide services: educational programming; children’s activities; community forums; and pertinent materials lending that is comfortable for both the immediate user and the next individual in line. In a phrase, we’re here to provide logical, convenient opportunities for use.
That means that we encourage Roy to return his DVD (or book) within that week as he’s finished with it and is ready to move on. That also means that we’re comfortable with Bob coming in every three weeks (or four or five if the drifts are deep) to return items and select others. If this comes to a serious bottleneck—and, infrequently, it does—then, doggone it, we’ll buy another copy. Happy to oblige.
We need to mention, before closing, that Colorado author Laura Pritchett will be at the Library August 11 and 12 for a book discussion and workshop. And our 2017 Summer Reading Program closed with a bang August 5 with a presentation by the Butterfly Pavilion. Another bang is the return of Thomas Jefferson (aka Jack Van Ens) to discuss the nastiest US presidential election of 2016 … scratch that … 1800, a don’t-miss event August 19.