Inventory

One of the first things I do when I come in the morning is POSH which stands for Pull On Shelf Holds. Meaning the books that have been placed on holds by customers need to be pulled and processed so that they can be sent to whichever library they want to pick it up. I’ve used this function many of times since our libraries are spread out far. Sometimes customers don’t appreciate that service or understand the limitations of a public library as they will place the hold that morning and expect for it to be pulled and waiting for them within an hour. In my head I’m thinking we’re the Library not Best Buy but outloud I try to explain why that isn’t possible; really what can you do?

So anyways back to the point of this post, so every morning I usually help with POSH unless I have something else that needs to get done asap. Lately we’ve noticed the number of books that are going un-found because of shelving mistakes is starting to increase. I’ve also noticed a good number of books missing in my sections. Now being that this is a public library it’s expected to have books go missing and misplaced it’s still disturbing. My supervisor asked that we all do emergency shelf reading in our sections to try an reduce some of the problem. I’m an old hat at shelf-reading and I use to prefer to shelf-read. But I knew shelf-reading wasn’t going to do much because I knew that my branch hadn’t been inventoried in years. I brought up the topic with my boss only to find out that they uppers had decided to inventoried the branches but not the main one.

This was kind of discouraging to me as I knew that we needed it really bad. So it got me to thinking about my time in Circualtion and how we couldn’t just close down the library for inventory, but we still did inventory especially when preparing for any major move. That’s when I decided instead of standing there shelf-reading for 30 minutes or so I would pull a section of books from the shelves. Take them to the computer scan them under the inventory function, shelf read them, and then put them back on the shelves. This allowed me to straighten them as well as redistribute the shelves to alleviate crowding.

Yes it takes longer to do and it’s more involved, but at the end of it I’ll know that I’ve touched each book, and that I can run a report that will show me what books the computer says is there but aren’t physically because they weren’t inventoried (minus those I know won’t be there.) Pages and volunteers can do it and it’s a way around not closing the whole branch or floor for inventory.

Already I’ve come across three books in one section that wasn’t in the catalog…I wouldn’t have found them by simply shelf reading.

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Back to School Training

Yes it’s almost Halloween, and in fact the kids around my neck of the woods started Fall break today but it’s never too late to be introduced to certain databases. Tuesday I attended a training session encompassing some of the databases that we have that are good ones to know when it comes to helping students of all ages with their assignments. Dealing with academic research I’m kind of use to a good set of databases that are my go to, Academic Search Premier being the number one favorite. I liken it to Wal-mart when I introduce it to anyone (a good analogy I got from one of my librarian friends while doing my practicum), it’s got a little bit of everything you could possibly want but not much variety on any given topic. And then you have those subject specifics that are great for when you get stuck in the general databases, like ERIC and PsycINFO.  But sometimes those databases aren’t ideal for someone doing a 5th grade report on the planets.

I’m really glad I was able to work in this training into my schedule and that my supervisor encouraged me to go. We covered five sources in the training.

MAS Ultra-School Edition

Why: Recommend to High School or Junior College Level students seeking magazine articles or historical documents

What: Includes magazines, original historical documents, including The Bill of Rights, the Constitution, The Federalist Papers and the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Charts, tables, and graphs.

How: EBSCOhost search, can limit search to full text articles only, and sort by “date descending” for most recent .

LearningExpressLibrary

Why: Recommend to students or adults seeking test preparation materials (SAT, PSAT, Algebra)

What: Includes test preparation for all age levels,eBooks and practice tests

CultureGrams

Why: Recommend to students seeking information on countries or states (for all school levels)

What: Includes all of the information students need for their country report

Live Homework Help

Why: Recommend to students who need help with homework- free tutoring through chat

What: Provides tutor help online from 3pm to 11pm everyday

Gale Cengage Learning

Why: Great overall online encyclopedia.

What: Gale holdings will be growing exponentially for literary resources, to include short stories, novels, poetry, criticism.

 

The best part is that these sources are available 24/7 to our customers and most people in North Carolina. And if you aren’t in my neck of the woods call your public library today and ask if you have access to them. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind showing you how to get the most out of them.