Monday, December 1, 2008

Disappointing

Bad news today from the Southern Pines Public Library. They're rejecting our request and saying we had a library card in the first place only because a staff member made a mistake.

Their reasoning: According to a town ordinance, only individuals may have library cards, and the property we are "seeking to rely on ... is owned not by an individual, but by a limited liability company. A limited liability company is not an individual, and therefore does not qualify for a card, and the individuals who own an interest in the entity that owns the property are not themselves the owners of the property."

The letter had the definite tone of a dead-end road, so now I'm going to make my case to the town, starting with the town manager. I moved dirt with him back in September so maybe he'll at least give me a hearing. I don't know how easy it is to have a town ordinance changed, though.

Meanwhile we're using the county library system, which is OK, if that. None of the branches are that close to us and all of them are about the size of our living room, but it's better than nothing. It's free, anyway.

12 comments:

Amanda said...

Is Pinebluff one of the county libraries? (It's so bad that I don't know that.) If so, you guys should check out books, then come over and eat cheesecake by the fire while we all read our free or really cheap books.

jennifer said...

Yes, and that is a very appealing suggestion, possibly the best thing to come from SPPL's rejection of us as cardholders.

Ally said...

So you want it to be re-written to say that members of an LLC that holds property within the city should be allowed to obtain a library card? Hmm. I hate that it has to be so complicated. It makes sense to have a library card for the city in which you work since that is where you are before and after work as well as on your lunch break. Good luck!

p.s. I wish you could just use someone else's account/card....they don't check IDs most places, so if a friend has two cards you could do that....

Gail said...

Most libraries consider supporting "Life-long learning" as one of theira= major goals. I cannot imagine a librarian and/or representative of that institution not wanting to encourage and support anyone willing to better themselves. Education is not limited to a zip code nor address. You have proven yourself as good library patrons therefore I would think you would be encouraged to use their resources, not refused entry to the hallowed halls of knowledge.

r8chel said...

Your library should take its cues from a credit union here in town, where you can be a member if you live, work, worship, or attend school here. And you can retain that membership for life.

I don't know anything about the libraries in your area, but is there a chance that the libraries would benefit from being a regional library system with a number of branches? Then people could share the resources more broadly, and you could still check out books for free. :) This is probably about as easy as getting a town ordinance changed...

jennifer said...

Ally - Yes, that's how I think it should be rewritten. Unfortunately, most of the library staff members know us so we probably couldn't get away with someone else's card even if one were available.

Gail - That's what I'm saying!

Rachel - Credit unions are awesome like that. There are about five branches of our county library system (which is part of a regional system), but the two biggest towns in our county (the one where I live, and the one where I work) each have their own separate library, for whatever reason. I have no idea why they don't all merge -- probably because the town libraries seem much better funded than the county ones.

jennifer said...

Good-news update: After posting this Matt and I thought to check into our local community college library and found that, according to the website, anyone who lives or works in the county can have a card. (Note the straightforward language -- refreshing.)

This could be simpler than trying to change a town ordinance. It's almost on our way home from work, and I'd guess it has the best selection of all (plus the best hours).

Gail said...

I am a librarian at a Community College. It is a Community College so anyone from the community can use the library. We just require a picture id to check out material.

Ken Loyd said...

I thought of the community college route, and I hope you haven't overlooked Given in Pinehurst, which although it is not part of the county system, was always very kind to us. Hopefully they wouldn't say you have to live in the Village. You sure have found a hot-button topic!

jennifer said...

I haven't overlooked Given -- I actually have a card there -- but it has a tiny selection, limited hours (we're never in Pinehurst when it's open) and no website. I'm happy to go and browse, but Matt's usually looking for a specific book, so lack of an online catalog is a big negative.

Gail said...

You can access Sandhills online catalog. If you need help let me know.

Amanda said...

Usually the colleges have better movies too, if you like to rent from there!