"why?" I hear you ask.
I'll tell you.
I have a 5k word essay due in on Friday at 12pm. I looked for the books in the library (of which there is generally one copy of each text for a class of 15 all of whom will be writing the essay) at the end of last term and found they were all out on four week loan and not due back until this Wednesday. I found the books I could and put reservations on the others and sent an email to my tutor
for this subject explaining the situation and asking if he had any of these texts that I could borrow for the holidays, mentioning that I could collect them from anywhere in the Canterbury area.
The email bounced because his email box was full.
Today I found him to ask
- Why the texts weren't in the short loans collection when there are so few of them and would clearly be in short supply
- Why a certain text wasn't in the library at all
- If I could have an extention in light of the fact that I could not get hold of a majority of the texts I needed to write the essay
He agreed at once to item 3 in light of the circumstances. In response to question 2 he said it was the History Librarian's fault and he had requested the book in 2003 and it still hadn't been purchased. This goes against everything I know of the History Librarian who when asked by my other history tutor
always makes appropriate provision for the books of that module. To item 1 he said to me that I should have
- started work on my essay when I got the title and book list in the middle of last term
- appraised him on the situation of availability of books because he is "a very busy man who has to keep track of a great many things"
- put a reserve on the items I wanted
Number 3 I did, but when the items aren't due back until two days before the essay is due in there is not a lot putting a reserve on an item can do. Number 1 is a fair point and I know I should have started sooner. However, I didn't and given the number of people who needed the books and the amount of time the chances are that without them being put into short loans not everyone would have had access to them anyway.*1
I believe point number 2 is him trying to excuse himself. It is not the task of the student to make sure that the texts they need are properly available from the library. Before he issued the book list he should have made sure that all items on it were easily available for the number of students who would need access to them. He is the lecturer and he should liase with library staff to ensure each book on that list has the relevant amount of loan time attached.
When I told him that I had emailed him during the holidays about it and the email had bounced he said "sweetheart, you need to be realistic about these things. Firstly I was in Suffolk*2
and secondly it's unreasonable for you to expect me to check my email on boxing day. Noone checks their email then".*3
After this I was far too pissed to speak any more so I thanked him for the extention after telling him once more that it was unacceptable and walked out.
I'm still livid. I know I probably overreacted, but I'm still rather angry. Just
On top of this he was being all flappy all lesson about how the ten week term this term (usually 12 weeks - two weeks are carried over to the next term this year owing to an early easter). He told us he had cut some material because the shorter term meant he couldn't fit everything in. This is not true. The general understanding is that in this event the first two weeks are to be treated as the last two of the previous term. He explained that nothing like this had happened before. Bollocks had it - I know that at the University of Kent we used to run by a three terms of 10 weeks instead of the 12 12 6 system that we have at present, and this was not so long ago (though before my time ;)). Certainly during his. He's been here for years.
I give up with History Professors. I really do >.<*sigh**grrrr**1
ordinary loan is 4 weeks. There are options available to tutors for soon to become high demand books to have them put to 1 week loan, short loan collection (a loan of overnight [from whenever the books is withdrawn until 10am the next day]) or even short loan four hour collection where the book is restricted to the library and only allowed to be used for a stretch of four hours at a time.*2
may not have been Suffolk. I was a rather pissed at the time from him calling me "sweetheart". Was also very pissed for being patronised. I'm 21. There is no need to treat me as if I'm 6.*3
I checked mine every day of the holidays including christmas day :o I wasn't asking him to check it then, or on boxing day, but at some point during the holidays was not too much to ask I feel.