Skip to main content

Greenburgh Public Library Blog

How the Library Works: Technical Services or How the Books Get on the Shelves!

by Laura Burk on 2018-12-06T11:20:22-05:00 in How the Library Works, Everyone | Comments

When a fabulous new book by a favorite author is released, people flock to the library for a chance to read it. When that hot summer movie is finally released on DVD or Blu-Ray, hundreds of people from all over the county place holds to borrow it from the library. When your neighbor across the street finally publishes her poetry chapbook, all her friends are going to want to read it.  Did you ever wonder how those titles find their way to the shelves of your local library?


In a nutshell, the librarians order the books, movies, audiobooks, CDs, and other materials. In the circulation department we place the orders, and the distributors send us the materials.




Some items arrive almost ready for the shelves: Books have protective jackets, DVDs are labeled for library use, with the library logo and address printed on the case. Some materials arrive bare, and need to be stickered, stamped, or covered before people can take them home. At this point, the materials are in the hands of.....


...the Technical Services Department!



After verifying that we’ve received what we ordered, the materials are prepared for use by patrons. We stamp and label all pieces of an item; if a movie gets separated from its case, we need to be able to reunite the pieces. And since items travel between libraries, it’s important that staff can tell which library owns an item.





Once everything is clearly labeled, we link the item to the catalog record in the Westchester Library System database, and once the item is in the database, patrons can borrow it.



Coming Soon in How the Library Works:

Holds (or, You Don’t Have the Book I’m Looking For)


 Add a Comment



Enter your e-mail address to receive notifications of new posts by e-mail.


  Back to Blog Home
This post is closed for further discussion.