Missing books more than ‘floating’ library collection

Several well-loved books no longer available at Greater Victoria Public Library's Central branch, says reader

Re: Where have all the good books gone? (News, May 30)

While I appreciate that Mr. Palmer called me and interviewed me for 20 minutes, the article does not reflect or even mention the detailed concerns I expressed and so I find it somewhat disappointing. It just gives the library’s pat and not really accurate answers.

The books that are gone are not floating. They no longer appear in the catalogue. I know how to use the catalogue and how to place a hold. That is not the issue. The books are gone.

And with the paperback section removed, and replaced with largely empty tables, the paperbacks are now in amongst the hardback fiction.  And so the fact that those shelves are half to one-third empty means that there are a lot of fiction books gone.

I do not understand why the goal of the librarians, the custodians of our literature, our culture, would be to manage empty shelves, but that seems to be the case. I was told in the interview with Mr. Palmer that the librarian said that some books are disposed of if they are worn or have not been checked out for two years. For me a two-year standard is simply short-sighted.

I am a browser. I walk by the shelves and look at the books. One day a few years ago, I went in looking for Jessamine West’s The Friendly Persuasion.

It tells the story of a Quaker family during the U.S. civil war and shows an alternative way of life. It is thin. At this point you could fit hundreds of copies on the shelves. The library did not have it. I was told that it was probably worn and tossed out. So I bought one and gave it to the library. Today – it is not there nor in the catalogue.

Again, we no longer have this fine book available to readers here. (If you would like to read it, you can borrow my personal copy.) Many years ago while browsing, I found a series called Strangers and Brothers by C.P. Snow.

I found it a wonderful work of fiction about a life in politics in Great Britian throughout the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s.

I recently wanted to revisit the series, but it is gone and out of print. I was invited to do an interlibrary loan and that is a nice thing. But if I were browsing today, I would never find it to even know I might want to read it.

And interlibrary loans, it turns out, are complicated and not convenient in any way.

Meanwhile, our shelves sit empty not because books are “floating” but because they are gone.

Barbara Pedrick Blied,

Victoria

 

Just Posted

Police are looking for witnesses and video footage after a crash on June 18. (Photo courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP looking for videos related to Corvette crash

Driver believed to have fled the scene of View Royal crash

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for Greater Victoria with unusually high temperatures expected Monday and this coming weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria’s first week of summer will be a scorcher

Special weather statement issued Monday by Environment Canada

A rendering shows what the Doral Forest Park development would look like from the southwest. (Rendering via D’AMBROSIO Architecture & Urbanism)
Beaver Lake area project passes next hurdle in Saanich

Council approval for 242-unit parks edge development hinges on meeting of conditions

Victoria police are looking for the owner of a pink and white bike they recovered in North Park. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police searching for owner of child’s bike

Officers recovered the pink and white bike in North Park

A report on food security in Sooke reveals that nearly 15 per cent of people in Sooke have trouble getting food on the table. (The Canadian Press)
Food security a growing challenge in Sooke

‘This isn’t going to get any better if we don’t do anything about it’

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead in Crofton

Pair discovered dead in their Crofton home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

By the end of life, the average North American has eaten the weight of a family sedan in sugar. (Pixabay.com)
FITNESS: Living the sweet life without too much sugar

Simple choices can have a major impact on your health

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Most Read