For some reason, I have this bad habit of mostly writing blog posts, never finishing them, and then ignoring them for months. This one, I started writing the better part of a year ago, and I’ve only just stumbled across it again. I am hereby finishing it:
Chip GrawOzburn and I were having a conversation in my office a few days ago [read: months ago], when some student library worker came to my office and handed me 3 books that I had requested via the Carolina BLU campus book delivery service. I expressed surprise at the delivery to my office, and this poor student said that he didn’t know where the SILS main office was. I told him, for future reference, but honestly I was thrilled by the personal delivery. And let me just say: I totally love Carolina BLU. I have put in many many requests since it was started. I tell my students about it. I tell every librarian who will hold still for long enough how much I love it. I love it.
Anyway, Chip and I then got to talking about the service, and I said something along the lines of, please don’t tell your colleagues, but I’d be perfectly happy if I never had to set foot in the library, I’d love it if I could get everything electronically or delivered. And Chip said, don’t worry, that’s pretty much common knowledge. I suppose Chip was referring to my little can’t-find-the-books-I-want electronic-or-bust snit, embarrassingly documented in living color here on this very blog, parts one and two.
Anyway, I found Chip’s comment a bit embarrassing. I don’t want our excellent librarians to think that I’m not giving them the love. It’s not personal. It’s that I’m busy and lazy, a bad combination. If I don’t have to spend 20 minutes walking to Davis, getting items off the shelves, checking out, and walking back to Manning, I won’t. Not to mention that I might — gasp — actually run into someone I want to talk to, which on one hand is great, but on the other hand just takes all that much more time.
Now: new content. I’ve been using the Carolina BLU book delivery service for a year or more now… I’ve forgotten exactly when it was rolled out. I still love it. I have one further thing to say about it: it has increased my use of library materials. I’ve opted into the library’s Reading History service, so I suppose I could do some actual data analysis of my circulation volume, but I haven’t done that. So, anecdotally: it seems to me that my use of library materials has increased, and increased dramatically. Prior to the BLU service, I would jot lists of call numbers on post-its and other slips of paper, & walk to Davis once a week or less to, essentially, run a checkout batch job. Now, any time I have even the slightest interest in a book, I put in a request for it via BLU. This has led to the unfortunate side effect of my having more library books in my office and at home than I can really read, probably ever. It’s just a good thing that the checkout period for faculty is roughly forever: six months, with, as far as I can tell, unlimited renewals. But my point is, my method for acquiring print materials from the library has changed: it has become more convenient for me to acquire said materials, so I do it more often. I imagine I personally must cost the libraries a fair bit: after all, someone has to pull those materials off shelves, process them, & deliver them, and those someones are getting paid something. But I am filled with love for the Carolina BLU service, and I tell everyone about its existence at even the slightest provocation. I am a satisfied user. I experience customer delight. I hope that makes up for my temper tantrum.