As if drawn toward an irresistible magnet, large numbers of books, CD’s and DVD’s are pulled toward the Albany Library each day. The dynamo at work is the Holds Process.
In September 2011, Albany Library handled 6240 holds. The Magnet puts a lot in motion–from the purchase of new material to retrieval from other Alameda County libraries and our partners at Link+. By sharing our collections, the Library’s entire stock is utilized more efficiently and–for Albany–the shelves stay fresh and full. The volume is so great, it takes constant shelving and organization. See the stellar work of a library volunteer below:
We do not want to reverse the Magnet or curb enthusiasm for the Shared Collection. However, space constraints in the branch require some creative maneuvers, Library staff members try to keep room on the shelves by sending excess copies back to other branches.
But we don’t want to send everything back. You, too, may have your sights set on a copy of Fringe! Sometimes we have to move collections around the branch or shift material to other shelves–redrawing the mental map of the library. If you are unable to find CD Books, for instance, just look to the left of the Reference Desk. This move does not downgrade CD Books, it just reflects our need to shelve more DVD’s and our desire to make CD Books more “browsable.” (Last month, AV Circulation was 18,831 or 53% of the whole.)
Holds help generate traffic to and from the library. Circulation rang in at 35,340–up 6.6 % from 2010. Dweebs will be pleased to break that down to 213 items per hour.
The Albany Library’s “Gate Count” for September was 23,993 which comes to an average of 145 per open hour. (The under-15 crowd may skew that number, as they zig-zag in and out the door with high frequency.)
The quality of one’s individual experience at the library is the most important thing. High traffic, super circ, and overflowing holds shelves may overwhelm the system at times. The reference and circulation staff are here to help at any point in the process. We are well-aware that Requesting Library Material is part of a larger Quest for meaning and satisfaction–or just a plain-old need for “something from the library.“