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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.

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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

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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."

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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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