The Joys of a Hold System

May I just take a moment to reflect upon my love of putting holds on books.

*Ahhhhhhh*

At my current POW, patrons are not yet allowed to place their own holds. We’re working on a new ILS that’s coming “soon” that will allow them to do so and slowly ramping up for the waves of holds that the new system will incite. But in the interim it means that while I can place holds to my heart’s content, our most frequent hold placers spend a lot of time with the professional staff putting Harlequins, Regency Romances, and the latest from Pixar on their lists. (For whatever reason not understood by me–only the degreed staff is allowed to do this.) It creates an interesting relationship, I know a few patrons more by what comes in on hold for them than I do for any other reason, and it tends to surprise them when I start a conversation on something I know they had on hold. I know, we’re supposed to respect their privacy but when I place the hold for you or happen to unload the box of holds when your frequent holds come in and then check you out–readers advisory is just going to happen.

It’s an interesting experiment in seeing what people are looking for and following. It’s also a really good effort to retrain myself not to make assumptions about who reads what. I try to remind myself that I went through about 200-300 of the Regency romances held in the NYPL catalog and that the circulation staff at the Jefferson Market Branch library probably thought I was incapable of reading anything other than those romances. I was in about once a week to change out one bag of them for another–and usually had one nearly finished by the time I got home that evening. (I miss taking the train to work….A LOT.)

If I were, like my patrons, required to ask the professional staff to trigger holds for me–I’d never put the number of holds in place that I do. However, since I’m not a patron and have full access to helping myself–I currently have about 30 holds (all but about 3 placed this morning!)

Current project– bring in and reread all of the original Boxcar Children books.

If you’re in a multi-branch system, I hope you make as much use of this as I do. What a priviledge to reserve books and have people arrange to ship them to me, free of charge and of my time and make sure that as long as I can wait a few days–I can access nearly any book the library system owns.