Entries in the Category "libraries"
My Epic Journey
The other day I wrote about the difficulties I’ve encountered trying to obtain Lawrence of Arabia. By some miracle, I got my hands on a copy yesterday, checked out of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights library system.
Another problem had already taken its place: the Lord of the Rings problem.
Jeremy and I have been planning an Epic Sunday in which we watch all three Lord of the Rings movies back to back. (In case you’re curious, the first LOTR movie appears on the AFI redux list from 2007; the complete trilogy appears on the EW list--in one slot, cheat much EW?)
Unlike most nerds of his caliber, Jeremy does not have the LOTR movies on DVD. We've been trying not to pay for any of our rentals if possible (libraries are free, and my Netflix account is a standard expenditure) so I set about trying to obtain the movies that make up the trilogy. In the following story, I will identify the three films as LOTR1, 2 and 3 respectively.
Earlier in the week, in preparation for Epic Sunday, I checked Case’s library. LOTR1 and LOTR2 are in the system, but not LOTR3. No problem; I’ll get #3 via Netflix. I put what I think is the right movie in my queue. It'll be here in time for the weekend.
I go to Case’s library Tuesday of this week and discover that, while LOTR2 is on the shelves, LOTR1 is “missing.” Code for “someone took it out and then they disappeared off the face of the earth,” usually. Jeremy says no problem, we will download LOTR1 from one of the many nefarious web outlets that he knows about. We check; only the extended edition is available for download. I would prefer not to add 30 minutes of probably unnecessary extra scenes to a 9 hour+ movie viewing. We will return to that only if necessary.
Friday, we get the Netflix disc in the mail. I open it and discover that it is LOTR2, not 3. Let’s recap: two days to go, and I have two copies of LOTR2, and zero copies of the other two movies. The mix-up is my fault; I got confused between my queue and Jeremy’s (both of which are filled with my movies right now, incidentally).
I know I’ve already checked the Cleveland Heights library system; on Friday, I try Cuyahoga County. The closest branch, South Euclid-Lyndhurst, has LOTR3 in DVD and LOTR1, in video only. Good enough; I still have a working VCR. I go to that branch and find LOTR3 easily enough; the video wall is a bit of a mess and I’m unable to find LOTR1. Anybody I ask for help just tells me to request it from another library. Easy enough; wish I’d thought of that four days earlier when it would have mattered.
I go back to Cleveland Heights library because a book I wanted (unrelated to this story; but also a book I’ve been attempting to track down for weeks which was “missing” from two different libraries, story of my life). I wander into the audiovisual section just to see. What do I find? Lawrence of Arabia! Also, LOTR2, because apparently that’s the wallflower of the trilogy--the one who never has a date on Saturday night and is thus always available. LOTR1, needless to say, is currently checked out.
I go home and check the online catalogs again. I’ve only been looking at libraries I know; is it possible I can find it at a library that’s not familiar? I checked Clevenet—a consortium of a huge number of libraries in the Greater Cleveland area. I filed away the names of a few branches that were relatively close to me. Then I searched on the first movie again, and lo and behold, the DVD of LOTR1 was available at the Rice branch of the Cleveland Public library, less than 4 miles away. The only drawback? They don’t deliver, because at this point I am so done with driving to and searching around libraries.
I head out anyway. The library is easy enough to find, but I sail right past it in my car because the parking lot is closed due to construction. No problem; I U-turn around a fast food parking lot and park in the street. I wander around the library for a few minutes, find the DVD section, and scan over the L's. Nothing. I try the F's, in case it's filed under the subtitle, "Fellowship of the Ring." It's not. Increasingly desperate, I begin asking strangers standing nearby who have DVD cases in their hands if they have Lord of the Rings. I'm too frantic to even be embarrassed.
And then, there it is. Its alphabetic identifier sticker missing, filed amongst the K's. Somewhat breathlessly, I check out the disc and bring it home.
And so, tomorrow is Epic Sunday: Lord of the Rings edition. Jeremy is excited, I am dubious.
But that's tomorrow; today is the remainder of the 4th of July. In honor of our nation's birthday, here's a clip of Homer Simpson buying fireworks. Enjoy.
Ohio: Save Our Libraries
The following is the text of an e-mail I sent to Ohio governor Ted Strickland regarding this proposed budget cut.
I am writing to voice my displeasure about the proposed budget cut for Ohio’s public libraries. I am not a native Ohioan—I moved here in 2008 to begin graduate school at Case Western Reserve University—but I live and work here now, pay my taxes, and would like to be heard on this issue.
I have been endlessly impressed by the quality of the public libraries I have seen here. I am a regular visitor of several branches of the Cuyahoga County Public Library system, as well as, more recently, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library system. You should know that, in a state and city so desperately in need of new blood, excellent libraries such as these vastly improve the quality of their communities. Fine libraries attract students, professionals, and young families—earners and spenders who can keep local businesses afloat. I will not live in a city that’s forced to board up an underfunded library; nor will I work in that city. I expect that I am not alone in that sentiment.
I implore you to reconsider the cuts which will devastate our public library systems, and, consequently, the communities in which we live.
Case Western Reserve University
Resident of Cleveland Heights
For more information: the official website of the Save Ohio library movement.