Welcome to the first week of the Summer Library Challenge! Check out the Summer Library Challenge page for all details of this awesome event.

Library Survey

1. What’s the name of your library and how close is it to where you live?

I go to the Akron-Summit County Library. I pass a branch in order to go to the main library about 4 miles away.

2. How frequently do you go to the library?

At least once a week

3. What is the first section you normally go to when you get to the library?

New adult fiction

4. Share a link to your library’s webpage. How often do you use it and what for?

I use this website all the time. Whenever I hear about an interesting book I check to see if they have it. I reserve books through here too.

5. Does your library have a summer reading program for your age group? Do you participate and why or why not?

They have Mind, Body, and Sole. You need to read 26 books and walk 26 miles during the summer. It ends the weekend of the local marathon. I’ve done it for the free shirt since it is something I would be doing anyway.

6. What is one thing you can think of that would make your library better?

Rant ahead – The first time I came here I was so confused. I couldn’t figure out where the books were. They don’t use library or book terminology. It is a three story library. I enter on floor two from the parking garage. Floor two is labeled Popular Culture. That’s code for fiction.

Non-fiction is split between floors one and three. It is entirely illogical and near to impossible to find anything. You look up a book on the catalog and get the Dewey Decimal number. (By the way, you need to look that up on the website on your phone. There are gazillions of computers in this library but only one on each floor accesses the library catalog and a lot of times that one’s not working.) Now you need to guess what floor it is on. There is no diagram of what is where. Roughly, business and science are on floor one and everything else is on three. In Terry Pratchett’s books, the library at Unseen University has flying books and this library does too. If you track down where the number should be it is not unusual to find a small card that says that those numbers have been moved. Then you go to the other floor whilst cussing under your breath. To add variety, biographies and travel books are on the fiction floor which I think is some kind of social commentary.

I’m not the only one confused. To save time I’ve been asking library employees to find nonfiction books with me. This always involves a group discussion of where the book might be, an educated guess being made, and then a hike to see if we were right.

Fiction, excuse me, Popular Culture, isn’t easy either. It is shelved not by the last name of the author only but is broken out into all kinds of genres. Inspirational, scifi, black fiction, mystery,etc with anything left over being in general fiction. If you look a book up in the catalog to see if they have it it doesn’t list what section it might be in. You need to think like the person who shelved it.

7. Does your library have a self checkout station and do you use it more than the circulation clerks?

Nope, this library doesn’t even have a drop box for returns inside the library. You need to hand your books to a clerk.

8. What programs have you attended or thought of attending at your library?

I don’t go to any programs because they are always when I’m working.

9. Do you have family that utilizes the library with you? Who is your library buddy?

Just me. My husband has me get him books sometimes.

10. What is the best thing about your library?

For all my frustration with their insane organizing, I love this library. They have a huge collection so I can get about 95% of the books I see on blogs that I want to read. I read too much to be able buy all the books I want and free is always better than buying!