Circulation

That Mighty Sorting Machine is One for the Books

Story from the NYTimes about a $2.3 million dollar sorting machine that does the work that nobody wanted to do previously...sorting books to send from one branch to another.

Salvatore Magaddino, who oversees the library system’s distribution of materials did not know that such a machine existed until a colleague pointed out one that was featured in a YouTube video.

Article features photos and a video of the machine at work.

For Library Week, A Blind Date With A Book

Fun! To celebrate National Library Week this week, the West Caldwell NJPublic Library, 30 Clinton Road, will are invited to have a blind date with a book (no long term commitment necessary).

Just choose a wrapped book from the special display area, take it home and read it. You won’t know what the book is until you unwrap it! This book is the Library’s National Library Week gift to you.

After reading the book, write a brief review of it using the review form you will find with the book. Submit your completed book review by Friday, May 21 and you will be automatically entered in a drawing to win an iPod Shuffle.

Recorder Newspapers.

Policy Change at Austin TX Public Library Effective Today

What’s happening?
The number of items that a customer may reserve will be reduced from the current limit of 10 to 5.

Why?
Over the last year, the amount of holds transferred between branch libraries has jumped by nearly 50%. While the success and popularity of this service is appreciated by the Austin Public Library, this increase in workload has not been matched by an increase in staff or vehicles, resulting in a negative impact on the services we offer. Branch staff is unable to process all of the items requested in a timely fashion, resulting in a backlog of and extended wait times for requested items.

Rules of Circulation #09 (RoC)

"There is No Such thing as Patron - Circ Desk Confidentiality."

I don't know what it is about the circ desk, but it seems like patrons seem to frequently throw the general sense of self disclosure out the window. It's quite similar to someone telling their whole life story to a bartender at the bar.

Tonight I was part of one of the most awkward discussions I have had at the circ desk.

A mother came up to me at the circ desk and told me that her two children had been out of the country for the past year and that they needed new cards. Sure thing, easy transaction.
When I was looking up her children's accounts by searching with her last name, she saw the PC screen and said to her children, "Wow there are a lot of people with our last name, I mean, my ex-husband's last name." Her son looked up at her and asked, "You and dad got a divorce???" She quickly changed the subject by having him sign his name on his new card. I tried not to react at all, but I may have winced when he asked. -- Read More

Book recall, ban these Books! They'll Burn Your House Down (literally)

Book Recall
Well now I've seen it all. There's a recall on SEVERAL DIY (do it yourself) books. (reminds me of 'The 40 Year Old Virgin' Steve Carell-"Do you like to do it yourself?")

Here's the official government link:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10104.html

The Hot Books are:
Title ISBN Publication Date
AmeriSpec Home Repair Handbook 978-0-376-00180-1 January 2006
Lowe's Complete Home Improvement and Repair 978-0-376-00922-7
978-0-376-01098-8 September 2005
December 1999
Lowe's Complete Home Wiring 978-0-376-00928-9 May 2008
Sunset Basic Home Repairs 978-0-376-01581-5
978-0-376-01025-4 February 1995
January 1975
Sunset Complete Home Wiring 978-0-376-01594-5 December 1999
Sunset Complete Patio Book 978-0-376-01411-5
978-0-376-01397-2
978-0-376-01399-6 January 2006
January 1998
April 1990
Sunset Home Repair Handbook 978-0-376-01258-6
978-0-376-01256-2 October 1998
February 1985
Sunset Water Gardens 978-0-376-03849-4 January 2004
Sunset You Can Build - Wiring 978-0-376-01596-9 January 2009

Sucks for anyone who has used these for instructions.

Rules of Circulation #23 (RoC)

RoC #23

"Do Not Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth"

I had a gentleman approach me at the desk yesterday asking if there was a manager on duty. I've learned from past experience that my lack of authority > manager's ineptitude.
So I told him that I could look in the back for one to which he replied, "Well, maybe you can help me."

He had overdue fees on his card in excess of $50. All for the same 4 books, he apparently failed to comprehend the "Renewal" process. He was playing his violin and was talking about how he needed it to study and before he knew it, his fees procreated into the amount it was today.

He asked if there "was anything that could be done about it." Like he was expecting me to wave a magic wand and *poof* make it entirely disappear, which in all reason I could. But I used my "Win/Win Tactic," I told him that if he paid half of it today, I could forgive the rest. Apparently that wasn't good enough for him because didn't jump at this 'once in a lifetime opportunity' that I just presented him. I even told him that any manager would not even offer to forgive this much, he still didn't accept it.

I know times are rough and I am more than willing to help out patrons but offer them an inch and some of them expect a mile.

Not In My Job Description...

http://confessfromthecircdesk.blogspot.com/2009/12/this-is-not-in-my-job-description.html

I get to work this morning to see a plow truck clearing up the parking lot. The back entrance wasn't plowed so I walked around to the front of the building. I'm greeted at the door by a coworker who asks if I'm up for sanding the front entrance and bookdrop. Sure, why not, wouldn't want any of my older coworkers to slip and fall.

There were two people actually waiting at the door for it to open at 10. Started off the day with the bare minimum staff, 3 info and 3 circ. The first patron I helped on the desk remarked how surprised she was that we showed up. On her way out she turned around and said "thank you."
And they say libraries are "nonessential." Tell that to all of the patrons who came in today. I'll have to take a look at the circulation numbers tomorrow.

You can't say libraries aren't necessary, especially during times like this when more people flock to them.

Like Barcodes, But In Reverse

Even with the shift to RFID tags, many libraries still use barcodes. A good many of the libraries using RFID use both the tags and the barcodes.

We're all familiar with the technology; a laser passes over the code and reads it through measurement of reflected light.

A new technology in coded information utilizes something similar but in reverse. Called a Bokode, it uses a small LED covered by a lens with dark patches on it. To read it, you need a camera and some software. The dark patches detail the data and the data given out varies with angle. In other words, a Bokode on a book right in front of you might tell you an item number and title with brief synapsis. A Bokode on a book a little farther down (taken with the same camera at the same time) might tell you why you might like this book if you're interested in that one.

But for my money, here's what makes my little Circulation Supervisor brain titter with glee:

"Let's say you're standing in a library with 20 shelves in front of you and thousands of books."

"You could take a picture and you'd immediately know where the book you're looking for is."

More from the BBC.

More on Due Date Stamps

After a story earlier this week about Due Date stamps, Florida's own effing-librarian wrote to Washington Post columnist John Kelly with his thoughts.

Kelly added most of effing's email to his follow-up column, "Okay, So End of Library Stamps Isn't the End of the World.". Effing's stuff is found here fyi, along with opinions from other readers. Isn't it nice when you can start a dialogue?

Crisis in Punxsutawney

Workers at the Punxsutawney (PA) Library are dealing with what they are calling an escape artist.

Punxsutawney Phil has escaped his den at the library three times over the past two weeks. Officials said the groundhog was returned to his den each time and has not been injured.

According to workers at the library, the groundhog is climbing into the library's ceiling. From there, Phil travels about 50 feet before dropping into the library's offices from the ceiling. Maybe he's looking for a wee bit more excitement than what the library is currently offering.

The most recent escape was last Sunday.

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