Tompkins County Public Library

Monday, December 31, 2007

Patron Comments - December 2007

Comment: Let patron update their own addresses on line, thus avoiding the dreaded “address check block” which prevents us from using the self check machines
Review: We are currently reviewing the Patron Address Check Block and hoping to make changes within the parameters allowed by the software.

Comment: Thank you for fixing the men’s hand dryer
Review: You are welcome.

Comment: Thank you for the renovations of the front doors
Review: You are welcome!

Comment: Complaint about a patron who hoards the daily New York Times
Review: We are following up with this individual

Comment: Complaint about having to pay for holds
Review: A hold fee was originally established to offset the cost of mailing hold notices and to limit the number of holds that patrons could place on items. It is now used to offset the staff handing holds. If the item is in the library, we will place it on the pick up shelf at no cost; just call the reference department at 272-4556.

Comment: Love the library!
Review: Thank you!

Comment: I am grateful for the library!
Review: Thank you!

Comment: I love the world language collection—I find materials I can’t find elsewhere.
Review: We are proud of our work in developing this collection.

Comment: Children’s books displays are really great!
Review: Thank you!

Comment: Complaint about overflowing book drops during the holidays
Review: We agree that this should not have happened. We are now keeping all book drops open at all times to prevent this problem from occurring in the future.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Patron Comments - Summer through Fall 2007

Comment: I really miss the wall clock in the Reading Room
Response: It is back!

Comment: Larry was excellent when I needed an image projector for a youth community program
Response: We’re glad that he could help!

Comment: Books should be held longer than one week, and it should include a Saturday—often when I come to get a book it is no longer being held for me.
Response: Books on hold are kept for one week before they are pulled for use by another patron. We can e-mail you when your hold is ready; surface mail notifications will take a day or two to arrive. There is often a grace period over the weekend, but just in case, you can call the library and ask for an extension.

Comment: The clerks here are awesome! Good job!
Response: Thanks!

Comment: Will you be getting the Playaways? No tapes or cds to worry about!
Response: Yes, we do offer Playaways through the Finger Lakes Library System.

Comment: Thanks for getting more CDs from the Teaching Company—Keep it up!
Response: Thank you! These are expensive items and we are glad that you like them.

Comment: Please make the covered area outside of the door a non-smoking area—we don’t want to walk through a wall of smoke to enter the library.
Response: That area IS a no smoking zone; our security guard regularly patrols this and enforces the rules. Let us know when you see it happening and we will respond.

Comment: Stop telling us to get out of the library a half hour before you close
Response: Well, actually we start our announcements twenty minutes before closing, to give people enough notice to wrap up their research, or book selection, and check out in a timely manner.

Comment: It’s great to come in here and see so many of you smiling!
Response: Thank you! We are proud of our customer service attitude.

Comment: I appreciate your children’s book recommendations
Response: Thanks!

Comment: Please bring back the easy reading display in children’s services , we found it very helpful
Response: The display table has been temporarily moved. We’ll see if we can find a way to bring back the easy reading display table.

Comment: Internet time should be unlimited
Response: In a perfect world we would not need to limit your time because there would be enough computers for everyone. However, we live in a time when resources are in short supply and thus, we have to limit your time to one hour per day.

Comment: I love what has been updated in the teen area with video and audio set apart, thanks!
Response: You are welcome!

Comment: I think the library should be open every day from 9 a.m. and stay open until 11 p.m.
Response: We appreciate your comments; unfortunately, we do not have the resources to be able to more than 59 hours per week (and that includes Sundays).

Comment: Every time I come here the self check machine is not working—I think you should use tax dollars to buy books, not gadgets which lessen interaction with a human being.
Response: Our self check machines are quite reliable, and if they are in need of service, 3M arrives within 24 hours. Many people prefer the privacy and speed of the self-check workstations, but we continue to offer personalized service at the Circulation Desk.

Comment: What a joy! This has been a delightful experience at the adult reference desk!
Response: Thank you!

Comment: What does it mean “Other Library” in the computer catalog? Very confusing!
Response: Our library’s holdings are joined together with those libraries in the Finger Lakes Library System in the Polaris computer catalog. You can then see not only what we own, but what other libraries own. If we own the item, the call number is included on the result list. If the item is only owned by other libraries in the FLLS, it is necessary to select the “call number and availability” button and then select other libraries to see which libraries own that item,

Comment: Press release on Playaways was misleading—why can’t you have a collection at TCPL instead of having to place a hold on them from FLLS?
Response: All of the Playaways are at other FLLS libraries and can be requested by our patrons. At this point, we do not have funding to purchase our own collection.

Comment: Some of the In Flight Language CDs are missing the pamphlets that go with them.
Response: We do try to ensure that all of the pieces are present before we check these out. We will follow up and see if we can replace these.

Comment: I like your smile
Response: This comment was for a Circulation Clerk—thank you!

Comment: Wonderful Library
Response: Thank you!

Comment: I like getting the e-mail notices
Response: Thank you, we like this feature, too!

Comment: Bookdrops were overflowing and free standing book drops were locked on August 16
Response: We apologize; we’ll be more diligent in the future.

Comment: Thank you for your help
Response: You are welcome!

Comment: Great library! Since moving here, I use the library a lot!
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Great cookbooks and cooking magazine collection
Response: Thanks!

Comment: Fiction area too hard to use with the Mart Cart
Response: Even though the aisles meet ADA requirements, it can be tricky to maneuver through this space. If you would like help, please ask at the Reference Desk.

Comment: Fifty cents for a library hold? I won’t use this library again!
Response: A hold fee was originally established to offset the cost of mailing hold notices and to limit the number of holds that patrons could place on items. It is now used to offset the staff handling holds. If the item is in the library, we will place it on the pick-up shelf at no cost; just call the reference department at 272-4556.

Comment: Patron loved MasterFile Select for detailed paper on the history of race-prefers us over the college library
Response: We are happy to help the many college students who use the library.

Comment: It’s hard to find call number in Power Pac—not very user friendly
Response: That has been fixed in a recent upgrade.

Comment: Powerpac is too complicated and takes too much time
Response: Polaris takes user comments very seriously and continuously strives to provide us with upgrades that make it easier to use. Please ask our reference librarians for help—they can show you to make your searching faster and easier. We offer one-on-one tutorials on using Powerpac. Please call or stop at the reference desk to make an appointment. 272-4556

Comment: Request to re-evaluate limit on Internet computers during slow times
Response: There really are no “slow times”. Allowing everyone the same amount of time every day is the most fair way to allocate limited resources.

Comment: I learned something new by stopping at the reference desk—thank you
Response: You are welcome

Comment: Thank you so much for making the extra effort to get the microfilm we first thought couldn’t be found
Response: You are welcome!

Comment: Internet Training—very cool that we offer this service
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Glad I asked for help with Powerpac
Response: We are glad to help.

Comment: You’re awesome, you were able to confirm a telephone number for police investigation
Response: Thank you!

Comment: You have been wonderful with local history information
Response: Thank you!

Comment: I’m visiting and I think you have a fabulous library
Response: Thank you!

Comment: I’m psyched—the e-Bay workshop was a wonderful program
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Rosetta Stone for English—it was wonderful!
Response: Thank you

Comment: This is a magnificent library!
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Great library!
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Fantastic doll exhibit
Response: We liked it, too!

Comment: Patron was ecstatic that we offer Rosetta Stone
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Library has been a solace many days
Response: Yes, that is a good description of what some people need from a library.

Comment: You made my day—you found a book I was looking for
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Very appreciative of having Internet time extended so she wouldn’t lose her project
Response: We are glad to help.

Comment: Using Novelist and checking our holdings—why doesn’t the library own these titles?
Response: Novelist is a huge database and it would be impossible for a library of our size to own every title listed. However, if you want something that we don’t own, please ask our reference librarians—they will find a way to get the title you want.

Comment: HVAC sound is deafening
Response: The HVAC system does indeed have a hum, due to the fact that is moving air in and out of the building. After occupying this building for seven years, we have not noticed any increase in the volume of the “hum” so we are not sure what you are referring to.

Comment: Upset patron because there is no parking unless you can afford to park in the parking lot
Response: Parking in the garage is free for the first hour during business hours, free evenings and weekends.

Comment: “You guys are great!”
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Patron happy that we are holding copies of The Great Courses series on CD
Response: Thank you!

Comment: You are always so good-natured
Response: Another circulation desk compliment—thank you!

Comment: Great Service
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Great shirt (UAW logos)
Response: Thank you!

Comment: It’s really nice to be able to call the reference desk and have a book placed on the pick-up shelf
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Called circulation and left a message and never got a reply
Response: That should not have happened. We apologize.

Comment: Patron not happy about short loan period for interlibrary loan item
Response: The interlibrary loan period is controlled by the lending library. We are unable to adjust it.

Comment: Youth Services always helpful and knowledgeable about books
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Wonderful collection of Youth Services books
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Young Adult shelving is too close to juvenile books—needs more separation
Response: Good idea, but we don’t have the space at this time to do that

Comment: More areas for unruly toddlers
Response: We would prefer that unruly toddlers be taken care of by their parents and helped to understand how to act in the library

Comment: Concern about the water cascading down the outside of the west fa├žade
Response: Tompkins County, which owns the building, is aware of this problem.

Comment: Wonderful library (from a NYC visitor)
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Your Youth Services collection that spans kindergarten through young adult is impressive
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Librarian from NYC complimented our remote access set up to databases, “very nicely arranged”.
Response: Thank you!

Comment: This library is amazing!
Response: Thanks!

Comment: You got the book I wanted—Chi Walking
Response: We are glad to have filled your request.

Comment: Patron likes the children’s room
Response: We like it, too!

Comment: Patron upset about having to re-register—“it’s supposed to be lifetime membership”
Response: If you do not use your library card in a three year period, it is purged from our system. This is national library standard and helps us keep our database up to date.

Comment: Patron doesn’t like the feel of the library—spatially not comfortable and books too far away.
Response: We are sorry that you are disappointed. It is big library with lots of books—and practically speaking, some of them are going to be “far away”.

Comment: Staff grumpy
Response: We are sorry. We do try not to be.

Comment: Too long of a wait to get new books
Response: We are working on this.

Comment: Likes having the Rosetta Stone workstation in rear of library, more private
Response: Thank you.

Comment: Thank you for your help, you’re an angel
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Wonderful system of getting Interlibrary loans
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Would like a regional cookbook section
Response: Could you be more specific about what you had in mind? Do you want cookbooks reflecting a Finger Lakes cuisine? Or those which are locally published by service organizations, etc.

Comment: Very pleased with the new microfilm scanner—can burn to cds
Response: Thank you!

Comment: I could have never found this book without you!
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Great ambiance in the library—love the Internet and can always get on, no lines/
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Please update the bus schedules
Response: We are working with TCAT to get updated bus schedules on a regular basis

* Some of these comments date from earlier months and were recovered during a file re-organization project.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Patron Comments - April - July 2007

Comment: Would like another chance to vote on a library tax—we need more $$$
Response: The library is working with the county legislature to seek sufficient funding

Comment: Looking forward to Sunday hours again
Response: Thank you, we will re-open on Sunday, September 9

Comment: Date through which reserves are held for me is not obvious on patron account information
Response: Will review

Comment: Library needs a free parking lot—I am disgusted and disappointed that I have to pay for both gas and parking to use the library
Response: One hour free parking is available in the parking garage behind the library. After six p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday, garage and street parking downtown is free. Since you live in Trumansburg, you may enjoy using the Ulysses Philomathic Library during times when there is a parking fee in downtown Ithaca

Comment: You should go back to having people sign up to use the computers—some people don’t understand the concept of waiting their turn
Response: Sign up sheets require personnel to monitor, so we are relying on users to read the sign which states “Line Forms Here”. If someone fails to see the sign, we hope that those who have been waiting longer will explain the system.

Comment: Patrons who don’t rewind their videos should be fined
Response: We agree that it is discourteous, but it is a costly proposition to check each video to see if it rewound, purchase a machine that would rewind tapes, look up the patron who did not rewind and add a fine to their account. We simply don’t have the space or the staff to do this.

Comment: I tried to borrow 4 books that were reviewed three months ago in the New York Times but none were available yet—I think this is long enough for the library to get recommended books
Response: We agree and we are working to shorten this time lag.

Comment: You should make laptop connection cords available for patron use
Response: Laptop users need to bring their own power cord, wireless card, mouse, etc.

Comment: Recommend that the Peach Girl series be moved to the adult section, not kept in the young adult section
Response: Will refer to the Head of Youth Services

Comment: I’m a lifelong supporter of unions and I think the library should negotiate in good faith and settle
Response: Will pass your comments on to the library negotiators

Comment: Pre-overdue notices are a great feature
Response: We agree

Comment: Great library, enjoyed using it
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Wonderful staff and library
Response: Thanks you!

Comment: Libraries and librarians are the apex of civilization
Response: Yes!

Comment: Library staff is friendly—think I’ll skip using the self check workstation next time
Response: Thanks!

Comment: Thanks for letting me use the phone when my car had a flat tire
Response: You are welcome!

Comment: CDs won’t check out on self-check
Response: Will follow up on this problem

Comment: New Finger Lakes bar codes re difficult to scan
Response: Will follow up on this problem

Comment: Never received e-mail for my hold
Response: We suggest that you reconfirm your e-mail address with the circulation staff. On your end, you may also want to designate TCPL as a “safe sender” so our mail is not accidentally sent to your junk mail or caught by a spam filter.

Comment: Thank you for your help this morning
Response: You are welcome

Comment: I like your sense of humor (addressed to a circulation clerk)
Response: Thanks!

Comment: This is a nice place!
Response: We agree!

Comment: I love this library!
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Thank you for the Shakespeare DVDs!
Response: You are welcome!

Comment: There is always something wrong with the Self Check workstations
Response: We are working to remove barriers to the successful use of the self check machines.

Comment: Library has been “very useful” over the years It sharpens my self interest in many subjects
Response: Thank you

Comment: I don’t mind paying fines—it’s for a good cause
Response: Fine revenue is used for general library operating expenses.

Comment: This five part DVD was in perfect shape
Response: That’s good news

Comment: Complimented clerk who handled a difficult patron
Response: Thanks for noticing

Comment: We love coming to the library—it’s a huge treat for our family
Response: We’re glad you are here!

Comment: Library is great—what a bargain!
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Patron appreciates receiving overdue notices
Response: These are generated automatically—library technology has provided users with better service

Comment: Twenty books is not enough for teachers—it’s so hard to use this facility
Response: We assume that teachers have access to the library materials in their school library and that our library offers supplemental material only

Comment: Sign regarding DVD limits is too small
Response: We’ll review this

Comment: I love the two day grace period
Response: Thank you

Comment: Thank you, we’ve had a great year at the library
Response: Thanks!

Comment: Somebody is doing a great job in relation to the availability of titles
Response: Thank you

Comment: Loan period should be four weeks, not three
Response: Our three week loan period seems reasonable and is comparable to loan periods at other Tompkins County public libraries

Comment: Patron concerned that there may be surveillance cameras in restrooms
Response: We do not have surveillance cameras in the library

Comment: Patron couldn’t find a list of newly released DVDs
Response: A reference librarian can show how to find this list on Polaris. (it’s at the lower left of the catalog screen)

Comment: Lower shelves too difficult to access
Response: Unfortunately, the footprint of the library and available shelving will require some of our books to be shelved on the lower shelves.

Comment: Holiday closings should be on the telephone recording by Monday prior to the holiday weekend
Response: We will try to do this

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Patron Comments - May and June 2007

Comment: There should be a water fountain in children’s section.
Response: We think so too. However, the cost is prohibitive to add one at this time.

Comment: You have a great library, but the entrance is quite unattractive and dirty
Response: Thank you. Front entrance has been power washed and is due to be repainted this year.

Comment: It seems awful to close the library on Sundays before the end of the school year. Please reconsider
Response: We would love to be open longer, but only have funding through May.

Comment: You should be allowed to check out 4 DVDs at once
Response: Policy currently under review

Comment: I love the “Absolute Boyfriend: the series” I hope you purchase more. However it might work best in the Young adult paperback section
Response: Thank you for the suggestion

Comment: Would you consider allowing patrons either one very long checkout or one renewal. Response: I don’t think that would disrupt circulation that much and it would allow patrons to check out over very long book and finish reading it. Most items may be renewed for an additional check out period. New books and those with holds may not be renewed.
Additionally, the system does not allow for this option.

Comment: Handicapped bathroom toilets are too low for anyone with leg, knee or spine problems. An easy fix is a toilet riser.
Response: Will investigate

Comment: Audio books on CD by Anna Quindlen skipping
Response: Will inform the audio visual department for cleaning

Comment: Love books read on CD and want to listen to story and follow along in the book. We want the CD to tell us when to turn the pages.
Response: Your request has been submitted to the Youth Services Department

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Patron Comments - February through April 2007

Comment: Copiers provide poor quality.
Response: Copier Service company was called to fix the problem.

Comment: Please consider adding Adobe PDF into system.
Response: Adobe Acrobat Reader is available on all public computers.

Comment: Comic book section on a turn table (display rack?)
Response: We do not currently offer comic books due to our tight budget but thanks for your suggestion.

Comment: Objects to sign in public washrooms regarding surveillance.
Response: Continued vandalism in our public restrooms is costly and unsanitary. We are hoping that signage would reduce this problem

Comment: Thanks for listening to my concerns.
Response: You are welcome!

Comment: Woman’s washroom need soap and also has ants on the floor.
Response: Thank you. Facilities has been notified and is taking care of it.

Comment: Please keep the self check units open later
Response: The self-check units are closed down 5 – 10 minutes before closing; however the circulation counter is fully staffed at closing so you should have no problem checking out in a timely manner.

Comment: Three books on the NYTimes Bestseller list are available at other libraries but not at TCPL!
Response: The chronic backlog of unprocessed new books is due to a lack of sufficient staff.

Comment: Could you get a prayerwheel for the entry and exit?
Response: Probably not at this time.

Comment: Front Doors do not open on time.
Response: We have reviewed the software which sets the time for the automatic door opening and we believe we now have it set correctly.

Comment: How about drop off points for library material around the community, like, for example, at Wegmans
Response: Great idea, but a costly service which we cannot currently afford.

Comment: Better signage for magazine racks.
Response: Will investigate.

Comment: Teen programming and the teen area are really exciting and are one of the library’s strengths!
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Would like clear concise and easy to follow directions for using the library’s catalog system.
Response: Our reference librarians are able to help you with your specific questions, either in person, by phone, or by e-mail.

Comment: How about being able to volunteer to work off fines?
Response: Will be referred to the Circulation Coordinator and the Volunteer Services Coordinator.

Comment: Security guard accused me of harassment.
Response: This incident was investigated by the library director.