My favorite thing about going back to school has been the interlibrary loan system. My public library’s system isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just not beefy enough–12 free requests a year. One a month isn’t too shabby–especially when you consider that the Santa Clara Library system, with an endowment of over $30 MILLION, wants you to pay $4 for each and every ILL request whether it’s fulfilled or not (how the hell did it get into the “star libraries” list? they didn’t have a single one of the seven books I searched for in their catalog…does all that money go to pay Bay Area rent or something?). However, one a month is also not enough when most of the books I want to read are not available at my underfunded local public library.
The main collection at my school definitely opens things up, and is an especial step up for nonfiction books, but the real excitement is the ILL program–you can request five books a day. Every day. Indefinitely. I wasn’t quite sure how willing they would be to order me books. Could I order any old book, or would it need to be related to my studies? My first requests were things a sociology student might want or need for school work–an illustrated biography of Marx (we were studying him in class, after all); a memoir of a young bipolar Native woman–but then I started branching out, asking for fiction, albeit of the “intellectual” and “multicultural” variety. But Dinovember was coming up, and my library had lost its copy of Jurassic Park. Although I checked out The Lost World, I really wanted to do it right. I wanted to read Battlesaurus: Rampage at Waterloo. With it being unavailable at my local public library, I thought this would be a good test of my school’s ILL system. Would they really get me any book?
I placed my request. And I’m pleased to report they pulled out all the stops to get it to me. Most of the ILL books have come from neighboring schools; I was impressed when they sent one from Idaho. However, Battlesaurus came over twice that distance, from nearly 2,000 miles away. The lending library was in Texas (I mean, of course, right? Battlesaurus seems like a Texas kind of book).
Of the two dino books I’ve read this month, Battlesaurus is, I think, my preference. True I’m only 50 pages into a 350 page book, but I had some issues with The Lost World. And even though there may be issues yet to come with this one, the first 50 pages have been pretty exciting. Yeah, the dialogue is pretty bad, and yeah, the writing is not the best. But I’m happy to report that things on the dinosaur front are fantastic. I was worried because one review said there wasn’t enough dinosaur action, but so far there have been: dinosaurs for pets; a dinosaur mauling/death; a whole continent full of dinosaurs (they killed Christopher Columbus!! 😀 yay alternate history); a raptor chase; and dinosaur eggs. So yeah. I’m pretty pleased with it. Great Dinovember book so far.