Have you ever wondered how a book becomes available for you to check out? Sounds like it would be a simple process, the book is ordered and put out into the library stacks. Well it is a bit more complicated than that, let’s begin the journey of how a book comes to PC!!
The whole process begins with a PC community member requesting a book, shocking right? Ok I guess not so much! The majority of the requests go directly to the Collections Services inbox. I receive the request and confirm that PC does not currently own it. The next turn takes us to the vendor, I shift into high gear and order the book. Yes normally this is a speedy process, except when: a rare book is requested, a book written in a foreign language, the book is out of print, or the book is will be published in the next few months, this can put us rapidly into the slow lane.
Once the book is ordered we park and wait for the item to arrive. Travel time will vary based on the type of book, it may arrive in a few days, weeks or months! Once the book has travelled to PC we are back in gear. The book is reviewed to confirm it is the requested item, the book then passes over to the catalog department and it is cataloged into our system. Once the book is cataloged it becomes discoverable when you search the library catalog. The catalog department will also add any labels or stamps that it needs.
The final stage of the trip is nearly complete. The book gets placed onto a cart and rolled out to the appropriate shelf according to its Library of Congress call number. Then the journey begins again, with you. You search the catalog, find the book that you are looking for and then check it out. Tah-daah!