Dear Patron,

We have had a ton of new books and DVDs pouring into the library in recent weeks. The story behind this is that I learned how to run a new kind of collection report. Until recently, I was checking an automatically generated report provided by C/W MARS every week that gave me a list of "high-demand" items on hold. It was always a fairly short list, but it told me what people were waiting for and gave me the kick in the pants I needed to buy additional copies. 

I learned, though, that this report will only include titles if four or more Douglas patrons have holds on them. I thought to myself, for a town our size, four is a pretty high threshold before calling something high demandSo I dug deeper into the database, generated a report of all unfilled holds, and was horrified to find a nearly 300-line list going as far back as April. IF YOU HAVE HAD AN ITEM ON HOLD FOR SIX MONTHS, I SINCERELY APOLOGIZE AND HUMBLY BEG YOUR FORGIVENESS. 

Orphan holds can happen a number of ways. The most common is that someone places a hold on an item from another library, but then that library can't find it because the copy has gone missing. If that was the only copy in the system, then that hold will be stuck in limbo until someone happens to notice it. Another way it often happens is when patrons place holds on "rental ready" DVD records instead of regular ones. The regular DVD record may have hundreds of copies in the system, whereas the rental ready record may only have half a dozen...when the only real difference is the box. In that case, I can just re-target the hold.  And, of course, sometimes there is just an unpredictably high local demand for some obscure titles. 

Regardless, the moral of this story is that I am going to be keeping a much closer tab on holds now. Given our recent subscription to Overdrive Advantage, this counts for ebooks as well! Hopefully, you will notice shorter waiting times across the board. And if the item you want to place on hold isn't in the catalog at all because no-one owns it, don't hesitate to call or email us. A few people have told me that they hesitate to ask us to buy books because they feel it would be a burden. THAT IS NOT TRUE! I'm trying to develop a collection specifically for this community, so it actually makes my job a lot easier when you tell me what you want. :)

Thank you,

Justin Snook
  • Please take a moment to complete our annual user survey if you haven't already. This isn't just a fluff survey that has no consequence. There are some very specific questions, and the majority answers will fundamentally affect how we develop library services in the upcoming year. Think of it as an opportunity to vote for the kind of library you want...because that is exactly what it is. 
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  • Check out our museum passes page if you haven't already to see all the new offerings that have become available from surrounding libraries. This is the first of what I hope will be many steps we are working on to bring Blackstone Valley Libraries together in serving our common patron base. 
Upcoming Book Clubs:
Book Bunch (October 27)

Students grades 3-5 will be meeting to talk about The Billionaire's Curse by Richard Newsome at 6:00. When thirteen-year-old Gerald finds himself the heir to twenty billion pounds from an aunt h never met, he inherits with it a mystery surrounding his hunt's death and various artifacts in the British Museum. 
Call Debbie at the library or email for more information or to register!

The Greatest Book Club Ever (November 3)

The formidably bearded Josh Tetreau will be brewing a wicked strong pot of coffee at 6:30 and entertaining post-Halloween discussion about this months title: The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson!

Intrepid Readers (November 8)

Homemade refreshments, decaf coffee, and a heartfelt conversation about The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt can be enjoyed at 6:30. 

Young Readers Club (November 10)

Students grades 6-8 are invited to discuss Sophia's War: a tale of the Revolution by Avi at 6:00. In 1776, after witnessing the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, newly occupied by the British army, young Sophia Calderwood resolves to do all she can to help the American cause, including becoming a spy.
Call Debbie at the library or email for more information or to register!

Weekly Features:
Ongoing, convenient, glorious programs!
Chess Club (Tuesdays from 5-7ish*)

Any and all kids are welcome to join Professor Jerry's table for chess club. It is an extremely friendly, outgoing, and boisterous way to learn one of the world's best games from one of America's best players. Jerry teaches the game, but he also teaches kids how to think.

*We say the program ends at 7, but I'm usually kicking them out of the library and putting an end to their fun at 8. :)
50 Shades of Awesome  (Tuesdays from 6:30-8)

Maryellen's adult coloring group has been upgraded with a constant supply of baked goods and sweet treats. Please come color and eat them because I really need to start watching my calories. Teens have been enjoying this group as well as adults, so don't be shy!
Writing Club (Thursdays at 6:00)

If I know anything about writers, it is that you need motivation and accountability. So come here for that! Also mingling creative minds is a good thing that can lead to new avenues of inspiration! Or sedition. Or both!