Thursday, September 07, 2006

Brief, Being

A professional librarian's time is precious. And so is your patrons'. Shorten your library instruction lectures into as few words as possible...
  • Click here. Try different keywords.
Give this lecture and use the time you save to do something productive... like shelf-reading.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

. . . or taking longer lunch breaks.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to believe this post is about me.

Anonymous said...

Wow ... that's pretty much what our administration wants to reduce the OPAC to, anyway!

Anonymous said...

Our OPAC is so efficient, that instead of reporting an item as "Missing" it says "Consult Librarian". We politely point out to patrons that "Consult Librarian" means "Missing".

Sometimes we draw straws as to which librarian to consult.

Anonymous said...

We are boxers here.

unstricken said...

Our OPAC makes a distinction between items that are "missing" and those that are "lost." Even though I majored in philosophy, I'm not sure how to parse that one.

Bob H. said...

Ours does the same - I think that missing means that we don't know what happened to it, and that lost means that we don't know what happened to it, but we do know who had it last.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes students come to the library with research assignments so impossible that "Click here. Try different keywords" is about all you can tell them.

Ponytail said...

I'm an British librarian - what does 'shelf-reading' mean ?

unstricken said...

Hey Ponytail--

"Shelf-reading" is when you check that your books are where you say they are. Ideally, you have a "shelf-list" arranged in call number order. You walk along with your head tilted at an uncomfortable angle, comparing call numbers on your list with those on the shelves, and make sure that every title is accounted for. We don't do it at my library because we are too scared to find out how many books are lost.
Do you have a quaint British term for this practice?

Ponytail said...

Hmm, never worked in a library that does this. We have shelf-tidying, where we check every book is in the proper place, and we have a missing list, that gets checked to see if the items are indeed missing. I guess I've only ever worked in messy libraries that would never attempt to do this.

Oh - could this be what we call 'stock taking' ? But again, this would only be done with either very small or very tidy libraries. So, again, none I've ever worked in...

Anonymous said...

In my library, "missing" means we're still searching for it and "lost" means we've given up on it (it's been "missing" for a while and it's been searched for multiple times).

Anonymous said...

We do the shelf-reading without a shelf-list; we worry about the wayward titles at another point in time.

Anonymous said...

Our clerck are also doing a kind of shelf-reading without a list. They simply look the shelves for misplaced books. We don't want to know how many books are lost or stolen each year, too much trouble :-)