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Hold it! The Struggle with Long Library Holds

Katherine Marciniak

Staff Writer

Katherine is an over-caffeinated avid reader, writer and college student. She was featured in the anthology Once Upon an Apocalypse, and loves to beta read and edit when she has the opportunity. She’ll do more impressive things after she’s finished her tea…and this next chapter.

I’m relatively new to the e-library/Overdrive game, but I’m totally here for it. First, it’s incredibly useful. I’m a student, so I don’t always have access to my home library for physical books. I do, however, have access to the e-library. What a godsend. I’ve yet to find the contemporary fiction section in my college library, so it’s nice to have access to newer fiction from the internet.

Here’s the problem, at least with the e-library I use: the good stuff has quite the wait time. That’s cool, I mean, there are a lot of books and there’s only so many I can read before I confuse them all (I think my limit is three or four), so I don’t mind waiting occasionally.

I put my first book on hold in February, and I got it the other day.

Heck, I forgot that I had it on hold. During all that time, I forgot who recommended it to me and why. I’m totally fine with reading it now, but I’d had other things I was starting to think about reading next, and this was oddly unexpected. Of course, I knew it was coming, but I had forgotten. It might be obvious, but I haven’t put that many books on hold. (Although maybe I should, and kind of leave myself random presents in the future).

To be fair, I think it’s great that people are utilizing these resources in order to read. But there’s the rub: you find something new and awesome and you want everyone to use it – and then new traffic gunks it up. The best part about the newest and awesomest thing is sometimes that no one else is using it.

I don’t know how much I’ll use the hold system at the e-library. On the one hand, I’ll definitely read some books that aren’t the newest ones out there, which is good. On the other hand, I’m finally at a point where I want to read some of the newest and coolest books out there. It’s a struggle.

How do you combat library holds?