Gail Seidenfrau's blog
Don’t miss another book being held because of a business trip or vacation. Did you know you can suspend the material on your request list, not lose your place in the queue and select the date you wish to reactivate the list? This ability not only avoids missed requests but also allows you to have some control over when your requests arrive. This might offset the ‘when it rains it pours’ lament. I set my fiction titles a week or so apart, but that’s just me.
It’s really easy, and now that you’re on our website you’re halfway there. Go up to ‘My Account,’ click on ‘Holds Requests’ then click in the little box to the left of the title(s) you want to suspend; if you’re going away select all the titles. Then choose the date to reactivate, and click on Change Status. Circulation staff can do it for you at the library or call (ext 124) and we’ll do it or walk you through the process.
In use since March, our remodeled Circulation Department still surprises many customers who use the library infrequently. Now reserved material pick-up is self-service. Items are wrapped for privacy and requests are shelved alphabetically by your last name. We include the first three letters of your first name to differentiate those with the same last name. There isn’t room to print your full first name and we won’t use any personal information relating to your account number. You’ll quickly become familiar with the general area where your books are located. Take it to one of our express self checkouts for fast service. We are so pleased that many of you use the machines which then make it possible for staff to complete other circulation tasks or resolve customer concerns.
The self checkout might direct you to the Circulation Desk if you have overdue material, if your card needs to be updated (a yearly event), if fees are above allowed thresholds or if the hold is not in your name. For questions about your account please speak to a staff member.
Did you miss it? Our 'for sale' books have new digs. The 'Smallest Bookstore' is located in the entrance vestibule where the telephone used to be. Pocketbooks (25 cents) are always convenient when vacationing especially if you fly. Adult hardcover books are $1.00, children's just 50 cents. Staff restocks the shelves daily, so stop by, peruse the titles and see if you find something to add to your collection. The Circulation staff will help with any questions.
The other day a colleague and I, with a combined total of 40 years at the New City Library, most of it in the Circulation Department, were being questioned by an eager “newhi” (new hire). She was curious about some of the changes we experienced over the years. Do you remember the IBM cards that we used in the eighties? We still get returns with those cards. Just to let you know, we probably don’t want those books back. Computers were introduced in the library in 1991, and we began hand-stamping due dates on index cards. I wonder who thought this was an improvement! We had four different colors to signify the different loan periods in use at the time. Yes, I know some of you still miss them. And the lines! Sometimes, especially after school and on weekends, they would stretch into what is now the comfortable seating area; there were only two terminals at the desk. Our newly renovated Circulation desk has five checkouts, two of which are express self-checks. In the early '90s, all the patron reserves were on a desktop carousel. We’d have about 30-40 reserves at a time.
Some things really happen by coincidence but I’m beginning to wonder if something else is afoot. The last six books I read all have an important character named Henry. The titles include Breathless (Dean Koontz), Edgar Sawtelle (Wroblewski) and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (Ford). Then I started Olive Kitteridge (Strout) and in the very first section there are two Henrys! It’s a great name, the name of kings, synonymous with power and strength. Its popularity is on the rise here and in Europe, but 7 books in a row? So far no Henrys in my current book, Safe from the Neighbors.
We are amazed and gratified at the resounding acceptance of our new circulation desk and new hold system, the self- checkout machines and in-house book return. Staff has been available to introduce the new features and will continue to work with you. Now that you've gotten the hang of checking out there are other features on the self checkout, including renewing and the ability to review your account. The next time you visit take note of the video display that was installed today.
Library usage is increasing and staff members are busier than ever working to meet your needs. Thanks for your patience and support.
Exciting times are ahead for the Circulation Department and our customers upon completion of the lobby and circulation desk renovation project in February. We will be able to offer a variety of new services that are convenient, ensure privacy and minimize the time you spend checking out. We invite you to try our new self-service checkout machines located at the desk. Staff will be available to guide you through the process. Hold books will be within easy reach, find your reserve(s) then use express checkout out or a staffed station.
This phrase was said in a conversation with some friends recently. It really hit home. The circulation staff tries its best to insure the time you spend checking out books or taking care of other transactions at our desk is a good experience. Resolving your concerns, answering your question or just having a chat about a good read gives us a good feeling; we hope it's a positive experience for you. During the month of January this goal will be tested. The lobby area is being renovated and the circulation desk moved to a temporary location near the reference desk. We'll be there for you, just a bit differently than usual. Just knowing we can continue to meet your expectations will make each day a good day for us and help us help you.
The circulation department checks in thousands of books every month. One thing of which we are certain is finding something someone unintentionally left behind. We returned lottery tickets (no winners), discarded used boarding passes and wondered if a recipe was a keeper. Often we are able to return items to the rightful owner; money, bookmarks, bills, prescriptions or doctor's instructions. If the item falls out of the book or there is nothing to identify the owner, it's added to our lost and found or the picture box on the circulation desk. If only your pictures could talk we'd reunite Grandpa with his grandson, the graduate with prom pictures or the bridal party with the happy couple. We keep pictures for a long time hoping someone will recognize a friend. It has happened a few times, but it saddens us when pictures go unclaimed. So check the pages before you return books, a picture is worth a thousand words but the ones you leave behind are silent.
Join the more than 25% of our members who are already enjoying this service by signing up for email at the main circulation desk. You'll be emailed 3 days before your materials are due with a link to renew. You save time, money and paper, (sorry we can't do this for 3 day movies). You also get reserve and overdue notices just in case you didn't or couldn't renew. New signups can enter a monthly drawing for our eco friendly 'green bag' with the New City Library logo. There will be a winner each month through the end of the year. Come in, sign up, save!