Thursday, April 21, 2011

FARQ: Lost Books

Hello all!  I'm blogging live from the 4th floor (SciTech) reference desk this afternoon, and have received one question so often over the past 90 minutes that I decided to write another installment of Frequently Asked Reference Questions!  The question of the day seems to be:

Addison (the catalog) says this book is available, but it's not on the shelf...where is it?




Although this question seems straightforward, there are actually several possible answers!

1.  If the book is not on the shelf where it should be, stop by either the 2nd or 4th floor reference desks.  We can double check the shelf, check the book's record to see if it was recently returned, and offer other support!

2.  The librarian may recommend that you check a reshelving room to see if the book is waiting to be reshelved.  Most of the time, books will be shelved on carts, in call number order, while they wait for shelvers to put the books back where they belong.  There are reshelving rooms on every floor of the library (2-5), located not very far from the location of the reference desks!  It's not a bad idea to go ahead and check the reshelving rooms if you cannot find a book on the shelf.

3. If the book isn't in a reshelving room, and hasn't been returned so recently that it is still waiting to be put on a cart, then you will need to request that we search for the item.  You can do this through an online form, which will prompt our staff to search for the book throughout the library.  If/when we find the book, we will send you an email letting you know it's waiting for you!

Books can be missing for any number of reasons:  someone might be using a book (definitely possible if the book is for an assignment due soon!), someone may have mis-shelved a book, or someone may have stolen a book!  Although it's frustrating when you can't find the book you need, rest assured that we'll do everything we can to help you find the book.

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