Avoiding Disappointment

One of the greatest joys in public library service is getting to know our users – the young, the not-so-young, and all ages in between. We get real satisfaction knowing we have placed something in your hands that you will enjoy reading, listening to, or watching. We share your excitement and delight when you discover a bestseller, a new novel, an independent film or the latest release from a pop singer. At the same time, we share your disappointment when you don’t find what you are looking for on the library shelves.

As a member of the SAILS network, a consortium of 38 public libraries, 24 school libraries and two academic libraries in 39 communities throughout Southeastern Massachusetts, we  have access to a shared catalog of more than 4 million items, a sophisticated circulation and acquisitions system, professional and technical assistance, and most importantly, reciprocal borrowing among the member libraries. So, one would think that our library user would never be disappointed. No so.

If you are browsing our library shelves for a bestseller, you will be disappointed. You will seldom find a bestseller sitting on the shelf. Why? Because demand for popular items is incredibly high. Remember, reciprocal borrowing requests are coming from library users in the 39 communities in our network.  Last year, we sent almost 15,000 Raynham items to other libraries. Other libraries sent more than 20,000 items to Raynham. We often acquire items that are immediately put into transit to another library. The items are put into transit, because some user somewhere in the network has been smart enough to place a Hold.

So what is our library user to do? How can our user avoid the disappointment of not finding that bestseller on the shelf? Be a smart library user and place a Hold. Instead of browsing the library shelves, browse the virtual shelves – the SAILS e-catalog. As soon as you see an item you want to borrow, place a Hold. A hold will ensure that you receive the item as soon as it becomes available. If it’s a Raynham item, your Hold will have priority. We notify you either by e-mail, text or automated phone call when the item is here and ready to be picked-up. It’s simple. It works. It avoids disappointment, and we can share in your happiness when we place the item in your hands. You can access the SAILS e-catalog from the library’s website: raynhampubliclibrary.org, where you’ll also find lists of the latest bestsellers.

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Posted in Readers

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