Library Guilt?

I like to get the most out of my tax dollars by using the hell out of the library. The library has a great system if you know what you want to read. You can reserve any book in the library system from their web site and have it sent to the branch closest to you. I've had a library card since I moved to Nashville ten years ago and I've never known the limit of items you can have out at a time. Until I moved to a house two blocks from a branch library. (It's twenty-five in case you were wondering.)

Lately there have been a few books on my want list that Nashville doesn't have. Apparently Nashvillians are hard on graphic novels. So instead of paying my hard earned money I used the inter library loan feature. It's quite nice, but it takes a little while to get your book sometimes. The first books came from Memphis and I enjoyed them. The next two took awhile to get. So that brings me to the question for today.

Should I feel guilty that rather than spend $20 to buy the book myself the library had it sent all the way from Salt Lake City? I don't really feel bad, but it seems like I should since it probably takes as many resources to get it here than it would for me to just buy it myself.


Anonymous Rachel said...

It depends on what kind of arrangement the library has. I don't know how the Nashville public libraries do this, but at my medical library we have an agreement with a set of other libraries - if we're able to get the ILL item out of one of those, no actual money changes hands. It's a share and share alike system. We can't get everything that way, and we encourage people to only ILL what they need, because it takes staff time money to process no matter where it comes from. ILL is there precisely to get you things to read that aren't in the local library, though. I would say if you're really worried about it, talk to someone in the library system who knows about it.

4:58 AM, July 30, 2007  
Blogger John said...

There have been a few times I've requested a book here in Shelbyville, expecting them to get it through ILL, and they just went ahead and bought one, figuring it was a general enouh title that someone else besides me might be interested. I really felt guilty about those ... :)

6:12 AM, July 30, 2007  

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