the_islander: (magritte)
And majorly so.

Why? Several reasons.

First of all, the amount of books you can borrow is limited, to 15 if you're an Undergraduate Student, like I am (Yeah, technically not, I know, but all Erasmus people are...). Should not be a big deal since I tend to borrow too many books anyway. HAH. Well. 

It turns into a problem when

~ there are almost no non-circular books (only very few, and mostly dictionaries or very old or very heavy ones) and
~ you basically have to borrow any book you need, for when a book's gone, it's gone, and there's no chance of laying a hand on it except for placing a hold (it takes about one week for the book to arrive, mostly too late for the seminar)
~ there's often only one copy of a book in the library; there's five copies of Darwin's "Origin of Species" in the whole library (for a seminar of 20 people); and I'm not gonna buy all those books!
~ there's no subject-specific libraries
~ there's almost no copying allowed, due to copyright laws (one article for a magazine, approx. 1/3 of a book), and the copy machines are terribly slow
~ the sorting is awful... books are somehow sorted by floor (three of them, should resemble topics, but I doubt this), and zones (orange, blue, red, yellow), but I already had books that were in a different zone than where they were supposed to be - library staff apparently also don't know where to put the books, seen the number of books that were not on shelf when they should have been
~ once a book is on loan, the opac/library catalogue does no longer give you the book's full place on the shelve. Which means, you've got to look that up time and again whenever you need that book again. What a waste of time.
~ if there's a hold on a book, you can only borrow it for one week
~ you can take out books at the self-issue machines (no staff needed here), and you can return them the same way, that's good. You can even renew your loans via internet, but you can not print out a new reciepe stating the new due date. Hä? 
~ you can also not print out your holds, which means that you have to note down the number of the book (not the floor and zone) to pick that up at the short-loan area... books there are sorted by number, not by user... And the system doesn't tell you the book number when it tells you that the book you placed a hold on has arrived. Weird...

Ah, well, there's these few express-loan books, that you can borrow for four hours, four. Can you read a book in four hours? You have to, because you're not allowed to copy it ;-)


And now imagine having only three weeks (one of which you're ill) for writing an essay and being supposed to use secondary literature too... Not to mention the reading for the other seminars....

Who the hell thought of this? When am I supposed to actually read these books?


[EDIT] Oh, I forgot something important, yet weird and complicated.... Told you about the way books are "sorted" in the library, remember? 
What I didn't tell you, is this: When you look up a book in the library catalogue, you - if you're lucky and the book's not on loan - get a floor, a zone and a number and letter-code that looks approx. like this: 
Floor 3/Orange Zone 821.042 MAR (or something similar).
The numbers tell you which shelve the book's supposed to be on (which bookcase, not which individual shelve, obviously), and MAR is short for the author; in my case I was searching for Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto, for my history class. This number and abbreviation, however, is by no means individual! There are about four or five shelves of books, all indicated 821.042 MAR, apparently in no special order at all. If you don't know the title of the book you're searching for, you're f***ed, and even if you do, it takes quite some time till you actually find that book. Again: What a waste of time! [EDIT]

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April 2011

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