Littleton Public Library "Policies"

Posted in the Littleton Forum

Alienated Patron

Nassau, NY

#1 Nov 23, 2009
Last week my relative asked me to pick up a book being held at the library because they could not make it in themselves before the library closed during the week and they were going to be gone all weekend and wanted the book before they left. I called the library to ask that they have the book ready and was told "Well the person that wants the book has to call and let us know you're picking it up because of privacy reasons." People don't normally ask other people to pick up books if they're concerned the person is going to be judgmental of what they're reading. That would be pretty much the only privacy issue at stake considering its only a library. So I had to wait around to get through to my relative again to make them call the library and give "permission" which they did. I get down there to get it and then was told "Well that person's card is expired and they owe money so we can't let you take it." Could they not have told the person this? They had just gotten off the phone with them and they never mentioned it! I saw the book and it looked like something I'd want to read too, so I then said "Well, if the person its being held for cancels their request for the book can I sign it out? I don't have any fines on my account." I was then told "No, we have policies and I can't let you have the book." I asked if there was anyone else waiting for the book and was told "No." I have to assume she was in part getting revenge by saying I couldn't have the book because she knew I was annoyed to get all the way down there and then have to leave empty handed for a trip that could have been avoided by mentioning the expired card and fines to begin with. This library is public and in part public funded due to fines people pay for overdue books. God knows I've paid in enough on that to float a battleship. I've been going there since I could cross the street by myself! I can honestly say that there are other employees of the library that do NOT treat patrons this way.(They know who they are :)) As for the so-called "privacy" issue, about 2.5 weeks ago an entirely different relative (male) went there and signed out a book for another female relative against the female's account. That account was expired too as it happens. Not only did he take the book out against her account, he renewed her card to boot! That relative never called the library and expressly gave permission for that and was never told she had to. My point is that the library should not be telling patrons this if it is not correct. In all the years I've gone there I've NEVER seen any such policy posted in any very obvious place for patrons to read it. I've seen references on the hall bulletin board about not harrassing other patrons and loitering and smoking. I've seen stuff at the front desk about X weeks that books can be out before they have to be renewed, renewing X amount of times and that sort of thing, movie guidelines but nothing about account privacy or permissions to sign out books against someone else's account. I think ALL of the policies should be posted on a sign by BOTH doors where they are easily visible. Otherwise patrons would be left to assume you are simply 1. Pulling the policy out of the sky to suit your needs at that particular point in time 2. Don't actually have the policy or 3. Might have a policy but the person you're talking to may not know what it is and may be giving you incorrect information depending on who you're dealing with on any given day. At any rate it was extremely irritating and un-necessary for her to treat me that way, considering its not posted information. I feel very alienated and upset now.

Nassau, NY

#2 Nov 23, 2009
Sounds like she was just trying to tell you that you couldn't sign the book out cuz she
was afraid you were going to give it to your relative. If that's why she did it, then she didn't have a good enough reason to tell you you couldn't take the book out if the relative canceled the request and nobody was waiting for it. That would make me mad too.

Nassau, NY

#3 Nov 23, 2009
You totally have a right to be upset! They should post all their policies where they are easily visible. Like you said, why wouldn't they just post it by the doors? It's a no-brainer and beats making people feel like they can't take out books and\or are unwelcome to go there.

There are pretty good alternatives though if you ever want to quit going and quit paying fines. One of them is , a book swapping site. Also there are a few book drops. I get books at work too. People are always bringing them in and leaving them. We just trade around. I haven't been to the library in forever cause I haven't needed to.


#4 Nov 23, 2009
The librarian should apologize to you for speaking that way and not having the rules posted clearly. She was out of line. If I were you, I would not go back there.


#7 Nov 24, 2009
Have you ever checked out and Barnes and Noble ( )? They have really cheap used books in good condition on there. I think I spend half my paycheck there since I figured it out. LOL But everyone else is right, they should apologize to you.

Portland, ME

#8 Nov 24, 2009
That was just wrong. If you're waiting for an apology though, don't hold your breath. Depending on who you actually spoke to you may not ever get one.

Scranton, PA

#9 Nov 24, 2009
I've been in there before and I dont see any of their rules posted anywhere. The only thing I saw was about taking out videos and not putting them in the drop box. I would be pissed if some librarian talked to me that way after not bothering to post any rules and regulations! Screw that sh*t! I will NOT put up with that if they ever do it to me....
a customer

Nassau, NY

#12 Dec 5, 2009
I've given books to them before and they don't even bother to put in them who donated them. I think it would be a nice gesture for them to do that. Every single one of the 11 books I donated does not have any reference in it. Or even if I was dropping them off for someone else and said 'Oh, my grandmother wanted to give these books to you, she thought you could use them since you don't have them in your collection." it might please the person that gave them to see their name mentioned if they weren't aware that the library did that. Its just a caring touch to let your patrons know what you think of them and that you appreciate the donation, etc. The only reason I noticed it was because I wondered if they ever did put any of the books I donated on the shelf and was curious to see if they had been very popular.

Nassau, NY

#13 Dec 9, 2009
The information should be posted. I don't know how much the over due book fines are, and I was not aware that they did inter-library loans either. They would probably get more business if people were aware that they offered that.

Nassau, NY

#14 Dec 30, 2009
Alienated Patron:

I believe you'd be referring to Jean? Sadly she's the head librarian. She definitely strikes me as a person who if she did not think of the idea herself then it would be grounds to disagree with it and not allow it. Of course she'd never come right out and admit that is the reason WHY she didn't want to do it. After Katherine left I was always hoping Ellen would be the next head librarian. There wouldn't be a better person for the job, that's for sure.:-)

Chicago, IL

#15 Jan 3, 2010
Jean needs to figure out what a "real" public librarian is. It's NOT someone who just has an MLS degree to work in a library, get all the public funding etc and then turn around and act like the library belongs to soley them and that they're the only one who can ever make any decisions about what goes on there. If that's the way she wants to act and come across to the public that's fine, but she will NOT treat me like crap if I want to check out a book, ask a question or make any suggestions. I live in Littleton, I like the library, but if she ever pulls on me what she pulled on Alienated Patron she will wish she never knew my name! I'm not the only one rooting for Ellen (or Stefaney) if Jean ever quits!
library mouse

Portland, ME

#16 Jan 5, 2010
There is a reason why there's a "public" in Public Library and its because the library doesn't just belong to one person.
book worm

Nassau, NY

#17 Jan 9, 2010
Jean is aloof and un-personable.

Portland, ME

#18 Jan 14, 2010
Why beat around the bush? Jean is a flat-out b***c if you question her like Alientated Patron did. Alienated Patron was correct in what he\she said and the points that were made. I wish Ellen had been the librarian and I dont mind telling anyone that asks me.

Nassau, NY

#19 Jan 15, 2010
I hate when people think that they own public places. Why do people have to be so stuck on themselves?

Nassau, NY

#20 Jan 15, 2010
B***H? She needs to be b***h-slapped.
hungry for books

Nassau, NY

#21 Jan 17, 2010
I don't like Jean at all. She has the personality of a stone. Margaret is not as bad, but she could horn in on other people's conversations a little less.

Nassau, NY

#22 Jan 27, 2010
Why doesn't the library have its own website? Every other library has one, just not Littleton. How stupid.

Nassau, NY

#23 May 3, 2010
Bethlehem offers downloadable books from the state library. Littleton should do this too.

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