February 5, 2014

Confessions of a Library Worker: Requesting Books (1)

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Confessions of a Library Work is a new feature exclusively on Readiculous Reads! I am a Page at my local library (I shelve books and help clean up) and I thought like sharing some things I noticed about the library, how the library works and maybe uncovering some myths about the library. I will not be revealing where I work or the names of my coworkers for privacy reasons.

 The library is an awesome place. We can take out books for three weeks and return them later. We can take out as many books as we want and if the books are unavailable, we can request them and then they’ll be magically waiting for us to pick them up. But how what really happens when you request a book? Well, I can really tell you.

When requesting books, there are two typical situations that can occur:

1. You request a book that someone else already took out. This is simple. When the book gets returned, the librarian sees that the book is requested and then they send it to another librarian that will scan the book. This book will get labelled and put on a cart that will be shelved later by other Pages or Clerks. If the book you requested is at another library, the book will be shipped out to your library and then the librarian process will commence all over again (if that makes sense).

2. The book is sitting on the library shelves. The library has a printed list of books that are requested and that can be located in the library. Everyday, some Clerks or other Pages will go through the list and find the books that people have requested. If the books are requested by someone at another library, the books are shipped out to that library. When the book reaches its proper destination, the librarians scan it and label it. Then these books get placed on carts and once again, Clerks or other Pages will shelve them.

And that’s basically the most basic form of what happens! There are obviously other things that factor in when requesting books like what if the book is damaged? or what if the book is missing? but that process would take too long to explain & I’m not the most familiar with it.

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What do you think of the new feature? What would you like to see next? Did you enjoy reading about how requesting books works? Let me know!

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