Tompkins County Public Library

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Patron Comments - October 2008

Comment: Always having trouble with computers and library card.
Response: Please ask the Librarian at the reference desk. They can help you with your questions and help to resolve any problems.

Comment: Could not get through to circulation by phone to change address. Played phone tag and finally came in person.
Response: We have revised our phone tree and hope that it will resolve this issue. Also you may leave a message on the circulation extension and library staff will return your call.

Comment: I noticed there is always a line to use computers. In other states there is a sign-in sheet and customer is assigned to open computers as they become available.
Response: We tried that method and found it to be very labor intensive. Librarians became internet monitors instead of providing reference services. It is rare for someone to wait more than 10 or 15 minutes for the next computer and everyone has equal access to this resource.

Comment: Like the email notifications
Response: I, too, like the email notifications. It lets me know that I have a few days to finish the book.

Comment: Paper jams every time I use the self checkout machine
Response: We are following-up.

Comment: Patron suggests that the library post a list of book reviews on One can click on the schedule and see what books will be featured.
Response: You may view titles and publishers comments on by going to our webpage and selecting “For Readers”, “RSS feed” from the sidebar, and then selecting book TV.

Comment: A man commented that his middle child never liked to read until he met Gary, who inspired in him a love of books.
Response: Thank you, Gary. This is what we all aspire to do.

Comment: I really like “the little room” sign.
Response: Thank you. The “Little Room” and the sign were designed by Jane Dennis, who consulted with many children regarding the room design.

Comment: Please purchase a globe for youth services.
Response: Will pass your request on to the Youth Services Department for consideration.

Comment: Overheard in Youth Services stacks: A little girl said “Mama this is a nice library.” It was very touching and heartfelt.
Response: Thank you.

Comment: New photocopier would be appreciated. Every time I use these they malfunction completely or poorly copied images – usually unreadable
Response: Please inform the staff at the reference desk or circulation desk of your problems. The photocopiers are not owned by the library and will be serviced when problems occur. We will be reviewing a replacement contract with our vendor.

Comment: It has been truly frustrating to return books to the library given parking etc. What about putting those deposit boxes on the circle at Boynton Middle School for a car drop off?
Response: We are working on getting our short term parking restored. In addition, we do not have the staff or the means to retrieve the materials from a drop-off box at school.

Comment: Internet stations – group at the computer or friends, use cell phones, loud, foul language, and don’t put chairs in upright position.
Response: Please inform the staff at the reference desk when this occurs, so that we may enforce library rules of behavior.

Comment: No progress on my previous suggestion to keep people from chaining their bikes to trees. It is still going on.
Response: The City Forester has noted that this is a city wide problem and has plans for an educational campaign. This is a violation of the city code. The trees are on city property, not library property, and we do not have the ability to enforce city regulations.

Comment: DVDs … I would estimate that 40% of the feature DVDs that I borrow are unwatchable due to skips. Why spend money on items that borrowers don’t take care of. Feature movies are available at commercial stores and Netflix. Continue with blue tag information DVDs but discontinue movie DVDs
Response: The feature DVDs are extremely popular and receive heavy use. They can be cleaned to remove the skips. Frequently just putting them under running water, or gently washing with dishwashing soap, and patting dry will greatly improve the problem. We would also encourage you to put a note on the DVD when you encounter a problem.

Comment: Complaint that we have too many copies of new bestsellers.
Response: One of our most frequent requests is for more best sellers. Our patrons want to come to the library and leave with their choice. They do not want to wait or place holds for new books.

Comment: You don’t have a fax machine?
Response: There is no public fax machine in the library.

Comment: You’re my helping hands. Thank you so much.
Response: We are always happy to help.

Comment: Why do we have such a strange entrance to the library? As a city planner for another city, I thought it should have a more grand entrance. (Pillars)
Response: The entrance to the library is located on a very busy street corner. There was a great deal of concern of children running out of the library into traffic. The curved entrance was designed to deter this from happening.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Patron Comments - September 2008

Comment: Library needs more bike racks. Existing racks are often full, as well as the benches and the street sign posts.
Response: We are working with the City and the County to provide more bike racks in front of the library.

Comment: Love the art shows and exhibits here. Thanks for having them.
Response: You're welcome. We enjoy them too.

Comment: Please fix the daily lockers.
Response: The lockers have been removed. They have been a constant problem and not really useable.

Comment: An adult summer reading program would be wonderful. The whole family could be included in summer reading programs.
Response: Thank you for your comment. Your suggestion will be shared with the programming team.

Comment: No overdues, no fines, just like blockbuster video. How many books are people actually waiting to be returned so that they can read them.
Response: It is important to our patrons to find current and popular books on our shelves. It is necessary for those materials to be returned in a timely manner so the next person may check them out.

Comment: Put in a direct exhaust vent in the men’s room.
Response: We will contact facilities to make sure the fan is working properly.

Comment: Neil at the Reference Desk is the nicest most friendly guy in the library.
Response: Thank you.

Comment: Thank you so much for taking the trouble to correct my miss-return of a Hollywood video.
Response: You're welcome.

Comment: Frustrated with DVDs that freeze up and make viewing impossible. This does not happen with videos.
Response: A gentle rinse with water and a pat dry will frequently correct the problem. Please put a note on those DVDs with problems so that we can do a thorough cleaning or replacement if too damaged.

Comment: Love the watercolor painting behind the circulation desk by Barbara Mink.
Response: Thank you. We like it too.

Comment: We love the library. Would like to suggest easier methods to return books now that parking is unavailable in front of the library.
Response: We have investigated numerous locations for the drive up bookdrops and all are problematic. The parking in front of the library should be reinstated very soon as the construction in that area is completed.

Comment: I am becoming a big fan of digital audio books and thank TCPL for offering this media and hope the collection will grow.
Response: This is a growing collection and we are pleased that you find this a useful format.

Comment: Stop closing the restrooms early.
Response: The restrooms in the adult area are closed for cleaning 10 minutes before closing. During this time Youth Services restrooms may be used.

Comment: What would we do without libraries? You’re terrific.
Response: Thank you.

Comment: The self check unit did not check out books, or CDs.
Response: Please consult with the circulation staff to identify the problem, so that we can correct the situation.

Comment: New patron asked for key tag with new library card.
Response: Library cards have been ordered for this year, but key tags are under consideration for future orders.

Comment: Do you have a scanner for public use?
Response: Will direct your request to Adult Services for consideration.

Comment: Thank you for telling me about the teen summer reading program because I won a prize.
Response: You’re welcome, and congratulations!

Comment: I like the little display of books by the fiction stacks.
Response: Thank you. We like it too.

Comment: Patron upset that videos will be eliminated
Response: The video collection is gradually being eliminated as the titles wear out and as they become available on DVD. All new titles are unavailable on video cassette.

Comment: Patron upset that old (2000) NY Times best seller title not on the shelves.
Response: Holds may be placed on titles that are currently checked out or the title may be requested from other libraries if unavailable within the Finger Lakes Library System. Patrons may also call the reference desk to see if an item has been returned. An item currently checked in may be placed on the pick up shelf behind the circulation desk for pick up the next day.

Patron Comments - August 2008

Comment: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, for the globe.
Response: Your welcome!

Comment: I’m really glad to see those interactive kinetic games attached to the wall next to the circulation desk, they’re a boon to (those of us) with a couple of rambunctious kids.
Response: Thank you! We like them too.

Comment: 2 Bicyclists love the library! Or maybe it’s that library patrons like to bike. Either way the bike racks are always full and it makes me sad to have to chain my bike to a bench or sign. Any chance we can get more bike racks?
Response: The new TCAT building is slated to include additional bike racks. There are also bike racks located behind the TCAT bus shelter.

Comment: As one who has over the years, been overdue… At times I have been long overdue. If you want to get the many thousands of dollars owed to you, restrict internet access until fines are paid. Internet access at the public library is a privilege that is bestowed upon us. It is not an obligation owed to us.
Response: Thank you for your comments. Fines are directly associated with borrowing privileges and not related to other services provided in the library.

Comment: This is most unwelcoming library I have visited –met with unkindness – spoiled the visit to your community.
Response: Truly sorry you feel this way. I wish I had more information on your experience.

Comment: 2 patrons want key tags for library cards.
Response: This is under consideration for next year. Unfortunately we have just ordered library cards for this year.

Comment: The graphic novel, Stuck in the Middle, is a truly inappropriate book for any age especially young people.
Response: This title received a starred review in library literature and fits into our collection policy.

Comment: More large print books especially non-fiction
Response: Will refer your request to Adult Services

Comment: A simple machine to buff DVDs and extend their life and viewing pleasure. Often DVDs are so scratched that they will not play.
Response: Please place a note on DVDs that will not play or that skips. We do have a cleaning machine that will fix most of these problems.

Comment: Thank you for finding Ithaca Journal obit from 1904 in under 15 minutes.
Response: Thank you.

Comment: You’re wonderful (finding IJ article in a database)
Response: Thank you.

Comment: Need a color printer
Response: Under consideration

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Patron Comments - July 2008

Comment: I like the new monitor at the reference desk.
Response: Good!

Comment: Telephone system frustrates me.
Response: Please give more details so we can help.

Comment: I profoundly object to the changes that you have made to the parking on Green Street. It is extremely disrespectful and inconvenient.
Response: The parking situation is out of our control; it is a temporary situation due to the completion of the Cayuga Green project. Please be patient.

Comment: How about a large plastic model of a human skeleton for educational purposes?
Response: Sounds intriguing but probably more appropriate in a museum than in a library. We have many sources, print and digital, that would be excellent for learning about the human body.

Comment: I am happy that the you have finally added a globe!
Response: Thank you!

Comment: You guys are the best—I love that you embrace new technology, especially the downloadable books.
Response: Thanks!

Comment: You deserve a raise—you gave me location information for three series.
Response: O.K. we’ll take the raise!

Comment: How about a donation box in the library to collect books for the Friend of the Library booksale?
Response: The Friends have considered this and are not able to commit to picking up materials on a regular basis.

Comment: Youth website is fabulous! I’m a librarian in Alabama and I’m finding your site to be a great example—love the way its organized.
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Patron very happy to see more poetry books.
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Patron very complimentary toward Tamara for her selection of DVDs.
Response: Thank you!

Comment: Please enforce your rules about noise in the library, especially cell phone usage.
Response: We will remind Security Services to be more vigilant. Thank you.

Comment: Unhappy about security guard enforcing rules
Response: We expect our patrons to follow our rules; the security guard is there to ensure that the rules are being followed.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Patron Comments - June 2008

Comment: Patron upset that Glen Gould videos have been weeded
Review: Will review with the selector

Comment: There should not be a fee for holds and ILLs.
Review: The 50 cent fee only partially offsets the handling of these items.

Comment: Parents with young children would like Internet access in Youth Services
Review: Will review

Comment: Meeting room in the rear of the library is being used as cell phone booth.
Review: Will review with Security

Comment: Cell phone rules are not be enforced.
Review: Will review with Security

Comment: New entrance makes it difficult for people with strollers—have complained about this before
Review: This complaint has been forward to Tompkins County Facilities which owns and maintains the building and is working with the door contractor to adjust the railing.

Comment: Your front entrance needs to be cleaned up and spruced up—perhaps flowers?
Review: We agree and have forwarded this request to Tompkins County Facilities.

Comment: My poster on the community bulletin board has remained up for several days—a good thing!
Review: We’re happy, too!

Comment: Would like to be able to add more than $20 on my print card
Review: In our experience, many users either lose or leave print cards behind, with money encoded on them. It is an easy task to encode more money so we keep the amount that is to be encoded low to reduce the risk of loss.

Comment: Parents of an IC student here for graduation used microfilm of Ithaca Journal and saved to a flashdrive—very pleased!
Review: Good!

Comment: 93 year old made an appointment to learn how to e-mail and reports that she is really looking forward to learning how to do it!
Review: Great!

Comment: Wanted to check out but did not have my library card and was prevented from doing so. Isn’t there a way to look me up by name?
Review: Requiring a picture ID or a library card protects both you and the library from unauthorized use of your library account.

Comment: Where is the globe that I keep requesting?
Review: Globe is here.

Comment: The Circulation clerks should just check out people, they do not need to chat up patrons.
Review: Some people need special attention. We do try to balance your need for speedy check-out with our goal of delivering pleasant customer service.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Patron Comments - May 2008

Comment: Can you send a mass e-mail out to all patrons when there will be an unusual change, such as a change in hours etc?
Review: We are investigating ways to communicate public information via e-mail messages to those who want them.

Comment: TCPL is the best thing about Tompkins County.
Review: Thank you!

Comment: How well do you protect the personal information that you collect about us?
Review: Please see our Policy on Patron Privacy on our website .

Comment: The fliers that I posted on the community bulletin board have disappeared.
Review: Unfortunately there is no way to monitor or control our community bulletin board.

Comment: Beautiful library!
Review: Thank you!

Comment: We have a really great library.
Review: Thank you!

Comment: Thank you again, you made my life so much easier!
Review: Thank you!

Comment: It is always such a joy to come in here remembering this as Woolworths; now it is great place to be!
Review: Thank you!

Comment: Self check machine couldn’t read the FLLS barcode.
Review: We know that there was a shipment of bar codes which are too small to be read at the self-check; we may need to replace them.

Comment: Self check isn’t recognizing my library card.
Review: Our staff was able to give you a new card at no charge, which should work.

Comment: This library always has what I need!
Review: Thank you!

Comment: Good detective work—book was mishelved but you found it!
Review: We’re glad we could find it

Comment: Thank you for such helpfulness and good customer service.
Review: You are welcome!

Comment: The non-fiction shelves look great—very orderly.
Review: Our pages do a great job.

Comment: The new door configuration to come in the library are very difficult for my four wheel scooter and I will most likely stop using the library.
Review: We are working with Tompkins County Facilities to remedy this problem.

Comment: This is the best library I have ever had the pleasure of frequenting—keep up the good work!
Review: Thank you!

Comment: Dislike patrons who sit together at the computer.
Review: As long as patrons are quiet, we do allow them to sit together at a computer station.

Comment: Compliments for Cassie who did an outstanding job at helping a customer find what he wanted.
Review: Cassie will be pleased to know that you appreciated her service.

Comment: Compliments on website—well put together, especially for magazine databases.
Review: Thank you!

Comment: Librarian from Long Island said that our collection is really up to date.
Review: Thank you!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Patron Comments - April 2008

Comment: Tibetan monk gave librarian a bead bracelet for helping him many times over the past few months.
Review: What a lovely gesture! Thank you!

Comment: Self Check wouldn’t work with FLLS bar code.
Review: We are aware of this problem.

Comment: CD’s don’t scan very well on the self check unit (bar codes too small? Too much plastic glare?
Review: We are aware of this problem and are working toward a solution.

Comment: Why have self checks out if it won’t check out a certain type of item?
Review: The self check should be capable of checking out every type of material that we own. However, there are limits to this type of technology. Our goal is to try to reduce all barriers to using the self check.

Comment: Study rooms shouldn’t be used for storage.
Review: We are temporarily using one study room as a staging area for new computer installations. It will be back in service as soon as we complete this job. Unfortunately there is no other space in the library for a job of this size to take place.

Comment: Love the geodesic dome
Review: Thanks!

Comment: Love the playaways!
Review: Thanks!

Comment: Automatic front doors are opening and closing when no one is near them. Very weird!
Review: Tompkins County Facilities has reported the problem and it will be corrected.

Comment: Renewal periods should take into account the length of the item.
Review: Ideally yes, but practically speaking, the software can only control the number of renewals and which items can be renewed.

Comment: Complaint received about the limited time for Internet access
Review: A one hour limit allows us to balance the supply of computers with the public demand for them. Users are limited to one hour per day for public Internet Access, which means that most people have a very short wait before a computer is available.

Comment: Patron happy about finding what they need in the Youth Services Department
Review: We are glad that you found what you wanted.

Comment: Patron thankful for good customer service in the Youth Services Department
Review: Thank you!