August 26th, 2002

Fishy Circumstances

Catalog woes

It's another bad day for me to be using the card catalog. This time they're running a large batch process which is reprocessing headings. As a result, I can see the title of the book I'm after in a list, but can't get to the actual entry on said book, i.e. the sort of information which would give me its call number. Happily, the librarian's suggestion that I look the book up in another university's catalog and try the same call number in this system worked - but only because I knew in advance that the book existed, and at this particular part of the system. I can't count on such luck for other books today
Fishy Circumstances

Library woes (and some good things)

I already posted about the online catalog conspiring against me today. The batch job is due to be done by tomorrow according to the catalog splash screen, and books will once again be consistently findable. I'm quite impressed by the librarian's suggestion I look the book up in another university's catalog and check the same catalog in this library. But it only works if you know you're in the right library and the university has 30 or 40 of them running around.

Another source of catalog irritation today: since the terminals are no longer usable, there are not nearly enough computers around for doing something simply such as, say, looking up the call number for a book. The 12th and 13th floors between them currently share 7 computers. There was no line and I had to wait 10 minutes for one of them to finish reading their email or browsing the web or whatever they were doing. Nearly every other library on campus except the main one has computers specifically marked for express card catalog use. Robarts does not. Consequently I am sorely tempted to consider investing in an Airport card and just tap into the wireless network there. Silly to think that the easiest way to look through the online card catalog should be by bringing one's own computer to school. It shouldn't be that way! It's hard to tell from the maps, but it looks like the network extends everywhere except the carrels. Hopefully that's not so as I just applied for a carrel.