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 demand.
So I dug deeper into the database, generated a report of
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. :)