Chicago Libraries

When I moved to Chicago from Columbus, I knew that I’d be essentially downgrading my library experiences. In Columbus, if you put a book on hold, you go to the shelf, get the book and you can check yourself out using their self-check out. Very simple and quick. In Columbus, new books are in the library usually on release day, or within a couple of weeks. You can have a bunch of books on hold, and while you wait for them, it doesn’t count toward actual media you have checked out. You can renew books online. There is a max for overdue fines. I think it’s about $5.

In Chicago, there is no self-check out. You have to wait in a long line to check your books out with a person and then your bags are searched on the way out, even though you go through one of those alarm thingies as well. They just recently made it so you grab your own reserve books, but you used to have to wait in a line for those as well. They don’t get new books in for at least six months, unless it’s something that is SUPER popular. Your list of hold requests (not actual filled holds) counts toward your 30 item limit. So, say you have two Sarah Dessen books waiting to come in. That means you can only take out 28 items. They only recently allowed online renewals. And overdue fines can go into hundreds of dollars, from what I understand. (The most I’ve ever had to pay was 20¢.)

Today was the ULTIMATE in WTFbaggery. I went up to the 7th floor at the main library downtown to check out some YA novels. Because that’s what I like reading most. YA novels. That section is now World Languages. When I asked where the teen books were, I was told they are in this space called YouMedia. YouMedia is this new “trendy” teen space where teens can hang out and be teens, I suppose. It’s locked down. Basically, if you are not a teen, you cannot take out teen books at this particular library. In addition, it’s only open certain hours. I was at the library at 11 this morning. YouMedia doesn’t open until 1pm. Some days it’s open until 9pm, some days it’s only open until 5pm. Really? Four hours?

I am in shock that they’d lock down an entire genre of books like that! Are they going to restrict teens from checking out books from the adult section? I don’t think so. I can understand a place for teens to hang, but to lock the books in there is just beyond any measure of reason I can think of. They really did not think this through, but given how that library typically runs, I’m not surprised.

ETA: I just went to the YouMedia website. It says that adults are allowed in ONLY to check out books. That’s a relief… except the whole NOT BEING OPEN THE WHOLE TIME THE REST OF THE LIBRARY IS OPEN issue.

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Oh Hell No

I don’t appreciate a survey wasting 20 minutes of my time, collecting all sorts of info from me, then tell me at the end that I don’t qualify because I’m black. If they were that concerned about race, they should have asked that question at the beginning. Now they have all my other data, but I get no compensation. My time is WAY more precious than that crap. >:(

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June 15th, American Airlines will be charging $15 for the first checked bag. Here is what is on their Web site:

June 15, 2008
Customers who purchase domestic economy class tickets on or after June 15, 2008, will be charged $15 each way for the first checked bag and $25 each way for the second checked bag.

Exceptions to this policy include customers who purchase First or Business Class tickets, AAdvantage Executive Platinum®, AAdvantage Platinum® and AAdvantage Gold® members as well as customers who purchase full-fare tickets in Economy Class.

OK, anyone else think it’s shady that the people who can afford the baggage allowance (First, Business Class, etc.) are the ones who DON’T have to pay the extra? Seems like it should be the other way around to me.

And another thing. Everyone is going to start bringing those roller bags on board. I have been on many flights where they started wailing that there wasn’t room in the overhead compartments and forcing people to check their roller bags. So, not only are the economical people going to have to pay extra to check a bag, they might be FORCED into it by the flight crew at the last minute because EVERYONE will be switching to carry on. I, for one, don’t want to have to carry around an extra $15 just in case my roller bag doesn’t fit on the plane.

Please note that one carry-on personal item does not count toward the checked bag guidelines. You may bring up to one bag onboard the aircraft with you, provided it meets Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The FAA mandates that all carry-on items must fit under a seat or in an enclosed storage compartment. Our gate or flight personnel may need to further limit the amount of carry-on baggage for a particular flight depending on the cabin storage capacity of the aircraft type and the expected number of passengers.

They have every right to change their policies, but I have every right not to follow them. Anyway, I’m jaded by American, United, and all those other airlines that give all that special treatment to certain passengers and not to others. I mean, come on. Do they REALLY need a red carpet at the boarding gate? Give me Southwest any day, where everyone is treated the same and the flight attendants make jokes.

I don’t plan to ever fly American again.

(Originally published at Anywhere Is…)

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