From the catalogs of babes











{June 12, 2009}   parable #C part 2: look what I found!

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That’s right. I found the mystery Tony Duquette book.

See, what I had failed to mention in the earlier parable was that while I found the book in the OPAC after the patron left, I couldn’t find it on the shelf, despite its checked-in status. I’m generally pretty diligent, and I’m no stranger to these sorts of situations. I looked for it not just on the shelf where it belongs, but the shelf above, the shelf below, the shelf to the right and to the left. I looked on the book carts, in the book drop, and in the workroom, and I never found it. I even requested that the colletions librarian order another copy.

Until today. Until I was randomly covering the reference desk, letting my eyes graze the room, and lo and behold, I just happened to glace upon a book with huge letters on the spine reading “TONY DUQUETTE.” Of course, I snatched it up right away and sent a note to the instructor who had been interested in it, apologising for the delay but informing her that we did in fact have a copy.

So, where was it? It was safely tucked between 749.092 D716 and 749.092 Ea62. The problem?
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(For those that can’t read the blurry impromptu photo, that call number is 747.092…)

This book was essentially missing for 2 months, would have been longer if I hadn’t happened upon it. A patron wanted this book and was denied fulfillment of her information needs because it was simply in the incorrect location.

The moral of the story? Shelving properly is important. Shelfreading is important. Understanding the order of the DDC numbers is important. You know how librarians always whine that “if a book isn’t in the right place, it’s as good as lost”? Yeah, that.

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[…] had the energy to write about the few topics that occur to me. I haven’t even decided yet if finding that missing book the other day thrilled me or just made me so much more frustrated that it sat on the wrong shelf […]



Gina says:

I feel your pain. ;)

I’ve been working on inventory clean up issues, and have been on the same bad news/good news rollercoaster. It feels great to fix the records (thereby making the books findable via the catalog) and get the books back on the shelves. But it’s so depressing to realize that those books have sat there for who knows how long and no one has looked at them (or the problems with the records would have surfaced more quickly).



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