The - national - library - is - driving - me - nuts!
Today the mystery was solved by a kindly librarian - apparently these books have *never been ordered*!!! Why, then, were they in the system? Because any book that is "acquire-able" is listed in the system. I was so shellshocked I just stood there staring at the librarian. I couldn't really think of anything to say, the illogic was just so dumbfounding.
So (1) why is it that there are books that aren't even listed in the library catalogue? Are they not even order-able? (My, what a lot of productive morphology I'm using today.) And (2) does it make any sense to list these books in the library catalogue? Surely the catalogue should include just books you can actually get your hands on. It's really, really annoying to think "aha! They have the book!" and then have your hopes dashed. And what's with the "not yet available" thing, anyway? I'm sure that's violating some implicature somewhere...doesn't *yet* indicate that it's almost certainly going to happen? But it's not if you haven't ordered the book!!!
In other rantings regarding the library, I was tinkering around with the library's Carlweb OPAC the other day and to my delight I found an alternative URL syntax (using +'s) that seemed like it might be more flexible than the current one I know of (using underscores) since the former might be able to handle other Boolean operators. But alas, after spending a week away that alternative syntax no longer worked. No clue what happened. Maybe some administrator got spooked by me trying to find all the ways of searching the catalogue without actually going through the catalogue's search page.