We have a policy at our library that a patron cannot check out a book (or anything else) without their card - no exceptions, ever. No, we will not look up your card. No ,we will not do it just this one time. NO! The circ people adhere to this policy like it's the Holy Grail. Naturally, I have an opinion on this policy, and even suggestions about how it could be handled a tad differently (and perhaps maybe with a smile - but that's just me), but I do not work circ, and my opinion means nada.
OK, so, as you can imagine, patrons are constantly upset about this policy, and many have asked that we use cards that attach to their keys, like the ones you routinely get at the supermarket for your discounts and such. Most places give you three cards - two keychain type, and one credit card type. People want these keychain cards.
Our consortium recently adopted a new name (thank God), and with this new name comes new cards. I asked one of the staff people (SP) tonight if we were getting keychain cards:
Me - "Are we going to get keychain cards in addition to regular cards?"
SP - "No."
Me - "Because I have had several patrons ask for those...."
SP - "No. Those are gross. I don't want to handle people's keys."
Me - "Well, yeah, but, patrons seem to really want them."
SP - "We're not getting them."
Allllllriiighty then. Business as usual.
First, let me state that I am a germ-o-phobe of the highest order, and the "yuck" factor is not lost on me. But, um, folks, we handle books all day. Books that have had God-knows-what done with/to them. Books that have been in the hands of many many many people, in the course of one day alone. So, uh, the yuck factor is a non-argument, as far as I'm concerned.
What drives me crazy is that this kind of thinking is standard operating procedure around here. What the patrons want is rarely given much weight - it's always what's easiest for staff - and worse yet - what is easiest for one or two particular staff members. I did not hear that anyone had any input into this decision to not get kaychain cards. I can bet that none of the professional staff had any input. And in fact, I can bet that this decision was made by one person (maybe two). I'll eat crow if I'm wrong on this, but I bet I'm not.
Stuff like this drives me crazy.