Saturday, August 30, 2014

Be kind, rewind

Dear Readers (who have probably, with good reason, abandoned this blog since there have been no good public library stories for months and there is no clear evidence that there will ever be any in the future),

While waiting to find a job in a Michigan public library I am back where I started out, in technical services in an academic library. For those of you who don't know, "technical services" people are not the ones you talk to if you actually come to the library. Instead, they are the people behind the semi-magical process of making books and other items appear on the shelves for your use. They order new items from publishers, put the barcodes and all the labels and things on the items when they arrive, and of course put the items into some kind of computer system so that people have some way to find out what materials the library has. 

Specifically, my job is to be what's called the "interlibrary loan" technician. That is, if you go to the college where I work and we don't have a book (or a movie or a CD or whatever) that you need, I try to get it for you from another library that does have it. Similarly, I send out things that other libraries request from us. I also help out with miscellaneous other things that technical services does.

It's not as exciting as the public library reference desk, but there are a few bright spots:
-A film professor has requested a VHS tape from another library (I guess he still has a player at home?). Once he returns it and I get ready to send it back from whence it came, I notice that he has conscientiously rewound it for the next user.
-One of our patrons never comes to pick up the three copies of Dumpy the Dump Truck that she had requested.
-I remove an ebook record from the catalog: We no longer have access to Starting a Small Business for Canadians for Dummies.

Anyway, keep your eye on this blog. You never know what might accidentally come through the mail.