Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stickers, and labels, and tape, OH MY!

So it’s not the Wizard of Oz, but all the labels that are used at ALD do take us down a winding path, and it’s not the yellow brick road! A patron who frequents both Koelbel and Castlewood for instance, may find two different stickers for the same genre, or perhaps one branch puts genre stickers on their children’s books, and another one doesn’t. This has been a sticky subject (pun intended) for years and finally we are trying to get a handle on it.

Did you know that out of all the stickers and labels in use, only a very few are “official” stickers that come from LMS? Technically, if LMS (or one of our vendors per our instructions) doesn’t put a sticker on an item that means it should not have one. But those rules have been lost in the mists of time and new faces added to the district. We constantly get requests to put red tape on a Teacher Collection item, or a Xmas sticker on a seasonal children’s book. We’re a bit nonplussed when we get these. What red tape? What Christmas sticker? They’re not official and we don’t have them (yet).

By now you have probably heard from your supervisor or manager about giving input to the decision underway to make all stickers standard throughout our branches. Some of the decisions are no-brainers. It’s way past time for a Romance sticker, and an Inspirational sticker, and why not put Mystery and Science Fiction stickers on children’s books as we do for Adult and YA?
Less obvious are the stickers many of you use to direct parents and children to juvenile books in a particular genre. Do you need Historical stickers? Pet stickers? How about Sports? Scary stuff? And of course Caldecott and Newbery.

Now’s the time to get your opinion heard. The sticker issue is part of the Interfiling Draft Decision Announcement . Take a look at it and be sure to get your input to your supervisor.

Oh, by the way, in the above photo, with the exception of the large alphabet letters, there’s not one genre sticker that is official!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Beam me up, Scotty!

Not all processing is as simple as adding a spine label, a branch sticker and a barcode to a book. We frequently receive materials that can't go out on the shelves in the same manner they arrived. The Star Trek original television series is a good example. This set of DVDs came to us packaged in an imitation of a high-tech space capsule, which splits open in the center and reveals all seven discs (shown on the left). Great for your collection at home, but not very shelf-friendly in the library, is it?

Our processors (in this case, hand model Kate Beal) scan the cover art and make a color copy which is used as the cover for one of our own DVD cases. The original artwork is on paperboard, and the thickness of the paperboard makes the cases for multiple discs tough to keep closed, and impossible to run through the decoupler for locking cases.

Now the seven discs need to be identified with the significant digits of the barcode and the 2-letter branch code. We handwrite this info on all discs including DVDs, books on disc, and music CDs. For several years, we used a self-adhesive pre-printed label but the labels proved problematic for the electronic equipment used to play the discs. To avoid complaints from patrons, we discontinued adding any kind of label on the disc surface. We feel the extra time it takes to do the hand writing is well worth it as a service to our customers. After Kate was done with this set (shown on the right), we're now ready to present this popular series in a nicely packaged case which will bear up under many, many checkouts!

Friday, June 27, 2008

How to find what you're looking for!

I've heard it said that if Google was a library, it would look like the above picture. All the books in the library piled into one big stack, and you get to sort through it. How do you find what you need? The question is valid even when books are Dewey classified, like ours. You may not have a particular title in mind, but are interested in a particular topic. How do you find what you need?

One of the biggest helps is subject headings. Yes, you can do keyword searches and pull a lot of information from a lot of bibliographic records, but subject headings narrow down your search. They are specific, and won't give you information you can't use. Our bibliographic records are loaded with subject headings but there are some specific terms the cataloging department adds which really help hone in on what you're looking for, and these are good ones to know.

Try this the next time you're helping a patron who, for instance, wants a J level fiction book (sometimes called chapter books) having to do with dogs. If you type in "dogs" on our website, you'll get 2,904 hits. A bit like Google, right? Now try refining your search (in MilCirc the term is "limit"). Add another subject heading "junior fiction" in addition to "dogs". Now you'll get a tidy 392 results, all of them junior fiction books on the topic of dogs. Cool, huh?

How about the teen who wants to read some fantasy but only in graphic novel form? Do a subject search on fantasy fiction and then "refine" or "limit" by adding the subject "graphic novels". You've pared down the list from 4,300 fantasy fiction items to 149 that are in graphic novel form.

You can do this using a number of subject terms. Some of the most popular are
  • Easy reader
  • Easy picture book
  • Board book
  • Young adult fiction
  • Graphic novels
  • Foreign films
  • Book club kit
  • Large type books
  • High interest - low vocabulary books

And of course, you can use these subject terms alone and not in conjunction with other subjects. You'll get much broader results but we all know there are people who do want to know the name of every easy picture book we own!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Can't judge a book by its cover? Listen to a review!

Do you want to know if that book you're thinking of reading is worth the time you'll need to invest in it? One of the many things Library Materials Services does is to add URLS (a link you can open) to each bibliographic record that has a review.

The reviews can be audio or video and they are made by your fellow staff members, such as Joanne Pulcino, Donna Geesaman, Terri Clark, and others. Once the reviews are recorded, the web staff sends a list to LMS and we enter the information into the record for that title.

How to find these titles? Do some subject searches for Books with audio reviews, or Books with video reviews. There you'll see them divided by adult, child, and teen. Choose a title, and click on the underlined link to see or watch the review.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bring on the popcorn!

Do you know that we offer movies that are described for people with visual disabilities? Unlike closed-captioning which allows those with hearing impairments to follow the dialogue, described films have a voice-over narrating actions, costumes, gestures, and scene changes. These are just a few of the elements that, when narrated, engage a viewer who is blind or visually impaired with the story unfolding on the screen.

Many of these films are documentaries on topics as varied as volcanos, killer ants, Little Big Horn, dogs, Einstein, and lost treasures. The collection also includes feature films such as Anna Karenina, Elizabeth I, and United 93. To find a complete list, enter a subject search for Video recordings for people with visual disabilities.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Xpress for all!

A message from Amy Greenland:
Happy Friday all!
I have exciting news to report! Two of our April selections for Xpress Treatment for ALL branches have arrived in LMS and are in processing!! They will be rushed through processing today, to arrive to you on courier TOMORROW!!! The two titles are: Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner and The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman!

I regret that I have not yet made it to everyone’s staff meetings this month to bring you your “Xpress Coming Soon” kit, but I will bring your materials to KO & SM next week and will send them via courier to GL/KE/DA.

We also know Hold Tight, by Harlan Coben has been shipped from the vendor, and Sundays at Tiffanys, by James Patterson and The Whole Truth, by David Baldacci are in process with the vendor and should ship very soon.

Welcome to Xpress Everyone!!


Friday, April 11, 2008

LM agency labels

Have you seen that new branch label called LM? Who is that? It's Library Materials Services! Amy Greenland visited Douglas County and found them using their library support department as a branch on multiple copies of very popular books like the Grishams and the Pattersons. Why?

Well, all those multiple copies we order are going out to fill holds on the holds list. Once all the holds are filled, what branch is going to want 25 copies of a book everyone's read? Now, when the holds list is fulfilled, those copies will return to their owning branch - Library Materials Services - where their disposition will be determined. No extra weeding at the branches. Ingenious? We thought so too, and you will be seeing more of these every week. What do you think?