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Old 05-16-2018, 02:24 PM   #1
Sydney's Mom
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Do libraries expect you are hacking books?

I was just adding some holds to my library account, waiting for the notice that I had reached my limit. I do that every month or so, and that gets me books to read for the following month. But I realized that my library had recently increased holds and check outs to 20 books. That seems crazy. Unless you are reading a book a day, that is difficult. I usually get holds every other day.

Is removing DRM from library books widespread, and the libraries are just on board with it? Or do people check out a lot of books they don't finish (Gasp!) I certainly like the ability to have a lot of books on hold-I put them on hold as soon as I hear about them, and when they are finally available, it is a pleasant surprise.

Does your library have a 20 book limit?
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:33 PM   #2
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Still at 5 checkouts and 5 holds here. 5 holds is sometimes limiting when wait times are long.
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:13 PM   #3
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Some holds on recent books can have a wait of months, even well over a year. I'm quite sure the increase in holds is to accommodate users who want such books and not to facilitate theft. As for the checkout increase, romance readers in particular can be good for more than one a day.

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Old 05-16-2018, 03:15 PM   #4
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I get 5 checkouts and 6 holds. I wish my library had more hold spots.

I don't personally need a large number of checkouts because I can read only so many books at a time. If I finish a book before the checkout period expires I can return it to open up a checkout spot for a new book.

It has occurred to me that a large number of checkouts could be useful for a family checking out children's books on the parents' card. Several people per card, plus several children's picture books can easily be read in a day.
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 4691mls View Post
It has occurred to me that a large number of checkouts could be useful for a family checking out children's books on the parents' card. Several people per card, plus several children's picture books can easily be read in a day.
This is a good point. While my kids mostly get paperbacks, they almost always go on my card.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:17 PM   #6
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I can borrow 10 at a time, and have 15 holds.

I usually have a few books going at the same time, and many times return a book quickly if I don’t finish it. One genre I like is generally shorter and quick reads, 220 pages, and can be read in a few hours. I can easily read one of those per day.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SleepyBob View Post
This is a good point. While my kids mostly get paperbacks, they almost always go on my card.
That's the exact opposite in my house growing up. My brother and I each had our own library card and we'd checkout our books on our own card. I'm not sure my parents ever had library cards, they never seemed to read anything other than the newspaper. But I remember how nice it felt to have my own library card and not be dependent on anyone else to get books for me.

My library is still the same, 10 loans, 5 holds (they did increase it several years ago from I think 6 loans and 3 holds, which was insane). I wish it were swapped to 10 holds, as it's a major city library and wait times can be months. If it gets into over a year, which it can, I just buy the book. Plus I only read one book at a time, so even 3 loans would be more than enough for me, if they would just up the holds.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:34 PM   #8
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My home library allows 50 checkouts and 50 holds for Overdrive. And another 50/50 at Axis360.

I tend to put anything of even marginal interest on hold when there are new additions; I eventually cancel many of those holds, either because I change my mind or because I get them from another library with a shorter wait list.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sydney's Mom View Post
I was just adding some holds to my library account, waiting for the notice that I had reached my limit. I do that every month or so, and that gets me books to read for the following month. But I realized that my library had recently increased holds and check outs to 20 books. That seems crazy. Unless you are reading a book a day, that is difficult. I usually get holds every other day.
That depends on book length and complexity doesn't it? Romance novels (really more novellas), I can easily go through 6-8 titles in one weekend (no chores).

Been reading lotsa comics via Marvel Unlimited and comiXology Unlimited so haven't been borrowing from the library in a long while.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:32 PM   #10
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Does your library have a 20 book limit?
I currently use 4 libraries:
  1. 30 borrows | 20 holds
  2. 25 borrows | 25 holds
  3. 25 borrows | 25 holds
  4. 12 borrows | 8 holds
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:25 PM   #11
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My home library allows 50 checkouts and 50 holds for Overdrive. And another 50/50 at Axis360.

I tend to put anything of even marginal interest on hold when there are new additions; I eventually cancel many of those holds, either because I change my mind or because I get them from another library with a shorter wait list.
Maybe this is what libraries with smaller hold numbers are trying to avoid? Since I get only 6 holds, if the library gets in a popular new book that instantly racks up a huge number of holds I don't put it on hold at that point. If I wait a few months the number of holds will shrink, and in the meantime I can use the holds for something else that has a shorter waiting list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripplinger View Post
That's the exact opposite in my house growing up. My brother and I each had our own library card and we'd checkout our books on our own card. I'm not sure my parents ever had library cards, they never seemed to read anything other than the newspaper. But I remember how nice it felt to have my own library card and not be dependent on anyone else to get books for me.
I was thinking of families with very young children - toddler to early elementary - who wouldn't have their own cards yet. I wonder what age libraries start giving out cards these days. I think I was able to get my own library card when I was around 10. Before that my mother would check out books for the whole family on her card. Of course that was long before the Internet even existed, and I didn't have access to the library unless someone drove me.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:34 PM   #12
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Mine allows 10 borrows, 10 holds. When they first started, it was 5, but within the year, they changed it to 10. I don't really see any point in it being larger than that. You just return what you read and you have another slot. Children get their own cards - even toddlers - at my library as they are all attached to the adult's card.

I didn't have a library card until I was in my mid-20s when Hennepin County went to electronic checkouts.

Last edited by Tarana; 05-16-2018 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:40 PM   #13
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Out of curiosity, I checked my county's library website and it says "Children ages birth through 18 can get a library card with a parent or guardian who has a local photo ID. Teens ages 14 through 17 do not need a parent or guardian to get a library card — they can be issued a library card with their school ID." Of course other libraries may have different policies.
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:15 AM   #14
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My library's rules: "Children under 14 are eligible for a juvenile card. A parent or guarantor needs to sign the child’s library card application and show one piece of ID with home address."

I remember using my library card as early as 5. My grandmother used to take me to the library until I was old enough to make it there on my own, which I continued to do.

I think the fun and certain amount of responsibility of handling my own library card at so early an age helped somewhat to turn me onto reading more and more. I often wonder how I ended up being such an avid reader growing up in a home with parents who never read books.
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Old 05-17-2018, 03:02 AM   #15
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I use 7 local libraries (Denver, CO metro area). They all let "anybody in Colorado" join. Usually you can get a temporary member number online that you can use immediately, but it only lasts for maybe a month. Then you have to drive over to the library to pick up your physical card. It took me a day of driving around the metro area to collect all my cards (which I never physically use, I just do the eBook thing via Overdrive).

Limits:
---
20 borrows / 30 holds
10 borrows / 40 holds
10 borrows / 10 holds
12 borrows / 20 holds
10 borrows / 12 holds
6 borrows / 5 holds
5 borrows / 5 holds

I have so many because I've found that with me being a slow reader, often times I don't finish a book before it is due. And if it is a popular book, there is a waiting list so I can't re-check it out. So I try to coordinate by placing an extra hold or two at other libraries so that when my current borrow comes due, and I'm not finished, and no re-check-out is available ... I borrow one of the "extra" holds from a different library. The way holds work, is you can "suspend" your hold and you'll keep moving up on the list until you're #1. Then you stick there at the top of the list until you "resume" your hold and you are first in line. So for the no-re-check-out case, with carefully managed suspends/resumes, you usually only have to wait a few days to get back to the book you were reading.

Also, each library has a different selection of books. Many popular ones are available at all libraries, but sometimes only one out of these 7 libraries has a particular book that I want. Of maybe one library has two out of the five books in a series and I have to use other libraries to find the other books from the series.

Also, popular books and new releases typically have a long waiting list. Sometimes it can take months. By putting a hold on the desired book at multiple libraries, I can get a copy sooner. As soon as a copy becomes available, I immediately cancel or suspend my holds at other libraries so I don't get multiple copies. And it doesn't work to simply pick the book from a library with the shortest waiting list. I have seen things like I'm "7 on the list for 3 copies" (position 7/3 = 2.3) at one library, but I actually get the book faster from a different library where I am "22 on the list for 5 copies" (position 22/5 = 4.4). I guess people must read faster at some libraries than at others.

So there are lots of benefits to subscribing to multiple libraries and utilizing the hold feature. It does require a bit of active management though. As far as multiple concurrent borrows, probably only 2 or 3 at a time would be sufficient for me (but I don't know about avid readers though - some people read REALLY fast!) Also, some people may check out multiple books not intending to read each one in depth. Maybe they're just borrowing books they've already read in the past and looking to re-read a few choice passages, not the entire book. Or maybe they're doing some kind of research, or just trying to get a taste for a particular authors style - kind of like browsing book jackets in a physical book store trying to figure out what they want to read next. Some folks may read book A very fast, then move on to book B, but want to go back and re-visit a few things in book A before turning it back in. Some folks may have a family of avid readers, and borrow multiple books on one "family" library card and divide them up among family members. My point is, just because one of us does our reading in a particular way does not mean that everybody else reads in the exact same manner.

I always return an eBook as soon as I finish it, so other people don't have to wait. That's all part of my "active management". I get emails every time a book on hold gets automatically checked out, and that triggers me to go do my "active management" of other holds for the same book at other libraries. I can only recall one instance where I was a little slow in maintenance and ended up with two copies of the same book coming from different libraries. I just immediately checked one back in that time. I sent back the first one and kept the second, because that extended my total loan time by a day or two.

Last edited by haertig; 05-17-2018 at 03:20 AM.
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