Adventures in Interlibary Loan

First off, I should say that I’m a big fan of libraries (or libaries as I like to tease college libarians who visit my classroom to instruct in MLA citation techniques). I actually worked as a minion at the Erie Public Library one year.*

And I’m also a fan of the Phoenix Public Library, despite the sprinkler system disaster a couple years ago

Recently I placed an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request for a book on hypnosis.

Now, I’ve been an amateur student of the subject since my Psychology days in college and this particular book was cited in another text I’d been reading so I thought I’d take a look at it for free.

Success! It turns out the Phoenix Library could get it through the ILL. A couple weeks after the request, I got an email, dated 29 January, that the book was obtained, was being “processed” and should be at my neighborhood branch (Acacia) in “3 to 7 days.”**

I really like my local branch. It’s an easy 15-minute bike ride and the folks there are always helpful. And when my Internet goes down, the branch is a handy place to work.

So on 11 Feb., thirteen days later, I biked on over to pick the book up. Alas, the desk librarian could find nothing there. He hunted around and checked his computer and hunted around some more. No book. I found a couple DVDs to make the trip worthwhile and headed home.

But I was curious. Was the book still being “processed”? Did it get lost in transit from the main library to Acacia branch? I called the number listed in the email for such things and got a very nice man who admitted that he had no idea. I said (politely, as I’m well known for) something like, “Don’t you folks have very big computers that track such things?” He suggested I talk to the Acacia branch and transferred me over. Over at Acacia they looked around and said “Oh, yes, the book is here.”

Hmmm…I wondered again.

Phone call:

Me: “Why couldn’t the desk person find it when I made a special trip a few days ago”?

Acacia: “Oh, he’s new and didn’t realize it was in interlibrary loan.”

So I biked on over again yesterday and asked about it.

Here’s how it went down.


Acacia: “Sorry, we don’t have it.”

Me: “Could you keep looking? See, here’s the email…”

Acacia: (hunting around for 2 or 3 minutes). “No, we don’t seem to have it.”

Three minutes later…

Acacia: “Oh wait, is this it?”

Me: “Yep.”

It actually took a minute to make a positive ID on the book because, interestingly (and I hate to be picky since I’m well known for my non-pickiness), the Kansas library where the book apparently originated had decided to paste their ILL sticker in the one place on the entire cover that would manage to hide the title and graphic.

It took me about an hour and a half to skim through the book to check on some ideas so all-in-all it was a pretty good deal after all. I get some bicycle exercise, borrow some DVDs for free, get a book I’m curious about for free, get some more bike exercise and satisfy my curiosity (well-known) as to why my dad couldn’t hypnotize me when I was a lad.

*As I recall, I was also going to grad school and working for Equifax as a part-time private investigator at the time. I’m not sure which of the three occupations was most exciting.
**The Inner Source : Exploring Hypnosis has been processed at the Interlibrary Loan office and will be sent
to the Acacia Library located at 750 E. Townley Ave..
Your item will be available for pick up at the customer service desk at
Acacia Library three to seven days from the date of this

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