Saturday, June 21, 2014

Library Tip: Getting hold of that popular book

So, you might have heard of that popular book that is a New York Bestseller and has a movie out...

Ah, yes, the Fault in Our Stars (TFIOS). A great book in which teens and adults both love and hate (due to the ugly cry). In the two years that I have worked at the library, this book has not been on our shelf. Ok, once it came back from a patron, went on the shelf and then was pulled for a hold. Just that once did I see the book go back on the self.

In the past we had about 39 holds for 34 books which means the wait wasn't too bad to get the book. I think I waited about 3 weeks for mine. However, with the movie out, our holds has now gone up to 139 to the 34 books. We also have to option for an online book which has 100 holds for 5 e-books.

This can be a long time to wait for such a popular book. And we see this happen a lot with popular authors or books. While working here I learned a little tip that could cut your waiting time in half and help you get your book faster.


So, the big tip....ask for a Large-Print version or Book on CD

Here's how it I mentioned above we have over 139 holds for 34 books in our system. This includes all of the libraries in our system that share materials. Each library gives priority to their patrons with their books. So, the New Ulm, MN book of TFIOS will go first to patrons with the barcode listed to that library, if no one is listed then it goes to the next person on the list. This can still be a long time to wait.

With Large-Print, if there are no holds on the book then it goes out to holds listed under regular print. In our library system, we have 1 Large-Print version of TFIOS and only TWO PEOPLE on hold for it. The odds of getting your books within a few short weeks is much greater than the long list of regular print.

There is also the option of listening to the book on CDs. If you don't mind listening to books on CD or find yourself driving a lot for work (or stuck in traffic), this is also a great way to get the books you want. We currently have 5 book on CD available throughout are library system and TWO PEOPLE on hold for them. Again, you chance of getting the disks in a shorter time are much greater than waiting on the list.

So, when you hear of a popular book that you want to read, check in at the circulation desk (at the library) to see if there is a Large-Print on book on CD available for your book. If it's brand new, they might not have the option yet unless it's someone like Nora Roberts or Stephen King.

Which brings me to my send big tip...if you have a book that is coming out in a few shorts months, as the reference librarian to place a hold on it for you when it comes out.

We have a reference librarian at our library that carries this square place box around and in her down time, she goes through it pulling out paper requests for upcoming books. This is a great way to get to the start of a holds list so you can be one of the firsts to read the new book. Will you be the very first? Maybe not but you'll be in the top 10 or 20. Which is much better than being at 50 or 100 waiting for the book to come to you.

What our patrons do is asks us to place a hold for a book and then the let us know when it's due out. We print out a copy of the book from a book seller page and place their information on it for our reference librarian. The paper then goes into the magical holds box. I would suggest stopping by your local library to see if they offer the same service. If not, call our to other libraries by you, you might just get lucky to find someone who does the same thing.

Happy Holds & Reading!

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