I’m a huge fan of the DeKalb County Library’s online book request system–it’s like Amazon, but free. I recently reserved some books at a very small branch (like smaller in size than our house, but with lots of folks smoking freakin’ right outside the front door) instead of at the main Decatur branch I normally visit. I got a notification that the books were ready for me to pickup in just a few days. In fact, one of these books, When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris, currently has 144 requests–yet I got it suspiciously quickly (and when I finished I did my civic duty to pass it under the table to a friend who was in line before me and still didn’t have it). So, to solve this great mystery, today is day one of my great experiment to become a line-jumper at the DeKalb library book queue.
Question: Can you get books more quickly at a small DeKalb library branch than at the main Decatur library?
Hypothesis: Yes, you can get books more quickly by choosing a different branch, if you can survive the second-hand smoke entering the library. My theory is that each library branch has a list of the books requested for pickup at its location, they request those books to be brought to their library, and when they get there, the queue for a certain book is shorter at the smaller branches.
Materials Needed: DeKalb library card. Another DeKalb library card.
Procedure: I put 5 books on hold under my account with pickup at my secret test branch (I’ll call it the Covington Branch near Memorial and Covington Drive as an anonymous name for the experiment). Then, I put the same 5 books on hold using PL’s account and chose the Decatur main library branch as the pickup location.
Recording Data and Testing Hypothesis: I will wait for notifications to come in to the two different accounts and report my results.