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!