Frustrated with recalls

You wrote:

Dear Concordia University Libraries,

I would like to issue a complaint with your department about your request policy for books that have been checked out. Earlier this month I checked out a few books to conduct research for a seminar class. I ensured that I arrived early to get the best books possible for my essay. Two weeks later, after starting the research, handing in a bibliography including the books that I had taken out from the library, and starting to write the first draft of my essay I was surprised to receive a email from your library stating that I had to return one of the books before the due date as it was requested by another student. I was taken aback, that in the middle of working on a paper a book could be taken from me because another student was too occupied by other things to get there ahead of me to get the book. I proceeded to go to talk to a librarian about how to keep the book, as I was in the middle of reading it and needed it for my paper. They informed me that as I had had it for two weeks any student could request and take the book from me. The librarian then proceeded to tell me to photocopy the parts that were needed. To this I would like to say that 1) I am student who lacks time to sit and photocopy and entire book page by page and 2) I am a student who lacks the funds to photocopy an entire book. To my dismay, I was forced to forfeit the book to the librarian to give to the other student. I was then told to request the book from that student so in two weeks I could receive the book again for my use. I feel that this system is very flawed. You are not only taking books prior to the due date, but prohibiting students from completing assignments that could affect their final grades. My suggestion would be that you are allowed to keep the book for the entire first period of check out but would not be able to renew it.

Thank you for you time, and I will wait for your response to this issue.

Thank you for your message.  This issue has been raised before.  Nobody likes to get those recall notices. It must be especially frustrating when you are in the middle of a project. The system is set up to balance convenience with fairness. Until a few years ago, undergraduate students only had a two-week loan period. Then, for added convenience,the loan was increased to three weeks, with the possibility to have it shortened to two-weeks for high-demand items. Thanks to your email, we will be adding a short note to the date-due slip that you receive each time you borrow an item. The note will reminds users that all items are subject to recall.

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