Monday, August 30, 2010

Inner and Inter Library Loan Difference

Here is the letter that I am sending to the City Council. So much misinformation swirling around about this issue.

August 30, 2010

Dear Council Members:

Please take a few minutes to education yourself on the difference between an Inner-Library loan and an Inter-Library loan. It was clear that during the Public Hearing on August 24, 2010 it appeared that Darren Hernandez was grossly misinformed about the difference and therefore misinformed you.

General Definitions:
1) Inner-Library loans are loans between one branch library and another. Since the items are owned by a single library system, use one catalog and have the same borrowing policies procedures requesting and delivery are generally streamlined. An example here would be a book in the Canyon Country Library is wanted by a patron in the Valencia Library. Patrons are usually able to request items been branches seamlessly and on their own.
2) Inter-Library loans are loans between two different library systems. The items are not owned by the lending library and must be acquired from a other system. The catalogs are not shared between the libraries; the two systems my have different lending policies; requests are usually handled by library staff; and delivery is generally handled by the US mail. An example here would be the new Santa Clarita System wants an item owned by the County of Los Angeles System which is part of the South State Cooperative.

Lending Periods:
1) Inner-Library loans are governed by the policies of the unified system. Patrons usually have renewals if no one is waiting for the item, a standard loan period for the type of item, and a standard overdue fee rate set by the system.
2) Inter-Library loans are governed by the agreement between the two individual systems. Usually there are no renewal of items, the overdue fees may be different and the lending periods may be different for items obtained from different systems because the agreements are different.

What Gets Lent:
1) Inner-Library loans are generally comprehensive. What is owned by the system as a whole is available to all the card holders in that system no matter which branch owns the items. There may be a formula for priority on branch-owned items for branch vs. non-branch users for items in high demand. Video, Audio, best-sellers, and other items will be sent out within the system.
2) Inter-Library loans are highly depended on the system that owns the items and their own policies for lending items to other outside systems. Generally best-sellers and newly published items are not sent out on Inter-library loan. Always the owning system will give priority to their own patrons before sending an item out to an outside system. Some systems do not lend out audio or video.

Right to Refusal:
1) For inner-library loans a branch usually does not have the right to refuse to send an item requested by a patron of another branch. For example if someone at the Canyon Country Library wants an item from Valencia Library and it is available, the patron can be assured that the item will arrive shortly at the Canyon Country Library.
2) For inner-library loans a system has the right to refuse to send a requested item out to the patron at an outside system library. For example, if a Valencia patron in the newly formed Santa Clarita Library system wants an item owned by the County of Los Angeles System, the County has the right to refuse sending the item, therefore the patron cannot be assured that the item will arrive in a timely manner or at all. The Inter-Library Loan Personnel may have to approach several libraries for the requested item before finding a library willing or able to loan the item out.

Lending, Requesting Limits and Fees
1) Inner-library loans are governed by the internal policies of the library system. A system may or may not charge fees for picking up requested items or they may be levied fees for not picking up requested items. However, the system is uniform.
2) Intra-library loans are governed by the policies of the owning library and not requesting library. The requesting system may choose to subsidize fees so that they are uniform on the surface for the customer. However, library systems generally do charge the customer some fees and/or set strict limits due to the volume of paperwork involved, tracking required, and submitting the information to the state for reimbursement from the Public Library Fund to defer costs. The Public Library Fund by the way has been hacked away and hacked away by the State and has rarely been fully funded.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or need more information on the difference between Inner-Library loans and Inter-Library loans. That one small letter actually makes a pretty big difference.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Santa Clarita, CA City Council Are Complete Fools

On Tuesday, August 24, 2010 after 4 hours of residents speaking out decided to ignore their pleas to slow down, think and let us have a voice in the decision and voted 4 to 1 to withdraw from the County Public Library System and hire a for-profit contractor to run the three Santa Clarita Libraries.
I am appalled and astounded that the democratic system failed so miserably on Tuesday night. Below is the speech I gave as part of public comments on Tuesday night. Never have I spoken truer words than that this was a Done Deal. After the meeting I saw the LSSI Rep give a Good-Ole Boy Slap on the Back to Darren Hernandez telling him what a good job he had done. Yes, a good job in mis-informing but I guess since the City awarded the contract to LSSI, a good job was indeed done by Darren Hernandez in his point of view.

Good evening Mayor Weste and members of the City Council,

I have been a resident of Santa Clarita for two years. During this time I have had occasion to attend city council meetings and I have often been impressed with the work the Council does and the well balanced decisions that you often make with the best interests of both the city and citizen.

However, tonight, I have come before you because I believe that you may make a decision that is neither well balanced, carefully thought-out, nor in the best interests of the citizens of Santa Clarita. The decision to withdraw from the county and for the city to run its own library system or contract it out to a for-profit group is simply put a politically motivated maneuver

I hear rumors that this is a Done Deal; you plan to contract with LSSI (Library Systems and Services Incorporated). And that anything my fellow citizens or I may say about the matter tonight is meaningless. However, I have to speak. I have to hope that you will listen to the voices from your community.

The most important thing in a library is not the books, the videos, or the magazines. The most important thing in a library is the Human Resources. The people, who work in the library, organize the materials so that they can be found but more importantly these people are in touch with the community, know what the community needs and provides quality programs and services to that end. With the County you have that. The people who staff the Santa Clarita libraries are dedicated professionals that have for decades served the community through understanding its past, current and changing needs.

You are seeking to break the backbone of the Santa Clarita Libraries by removing the most vital piece of Library Services. You propose to replace the backbone with contracted employees that most likely will not have a stake in the community and who are also most likely going to be looking for a better gig with benefits because your cost saving proposal hinges in undercutting the libraries’ human resources.

If you leave the County system you will be losing hundreds of years of dedicated cumulative service from the dedicated library professionals that staff the Santa Clarita. I urge you to reconsider your positions. And as citizen after citizen that I have spoken to have suggested—If it isn’t broken don’t try to fix it. Do not sell us a bill of goods that we do not want.

If you do chose to leave the County I can guarantee you that you will get what you deserve. However, this is not what my fellow citizens and I deserve. We deserve the quality library services with a strong tradition in serving us that we are currently receiving.

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day Light Savings Time

The days are getting shorter. Last night I walked out of the library in the evening to a rapidly darkening sky. I love long days with short nights. I feel more alive and energetic. I hate to see Standard Time come in the winter but know that it is a has to be, because as much as I love long days, I hate dark mornings. I often run into people who tell me that they would prefer that we not have a time change. But I have lived in a country and a state that does not change the time. And I don't mind because the benefits are greater than the first couple of days of adjustment.
Hawaii doesn't change time and in a sense it doesn't need to. It is at the perfect location where winter days are longer than on the mainland and summer nights are only slightly shorter. Oh, but I would have loved to have daylight until 10:00 in Hawaii. But the rhythms are different there and I moved around much earlier in the morning than I do on the mainland. I often was up and and had my 6 mile morning run in well before 7:30, back home and ready for a shower and a cup of coffee. But then even if I wanted to sleep in the trash truck was banging around bright and early at 7:00 on Saturday mornings. Grrr!!!
Japan which is much more similar to the US mainland in latitude desperately needed Daylight Savings Time. And appearantly they got it shortly after I left the country. But I longed for longer summer days and for sunlight not to invade my sleep at 4:00 in the morning. I understand that if you don't have a time change, it isn't going to be year long Daylight Savings Time but rather a year of shorter summer summer days and longer summer mornings.
But then again as my friend pointed out, I have never had a baby and babies don't know nothing about Daylight Savings Time