Technical Services Frequently Asked Questions

How does the library decide which items to purchase?
Librarians from different departments select the materials. Adult Services is responsible for adult videos, recorded books, music CD’s, fiction and nonfiction books, adult newspapers and magazines, and reference materials, while Youth Services selects children’s and young adult’s fiction books and recorded books, nonfiction books, music CDs, fiction and nonfiction videos, magazines, and reference material.
 
Where does the library purchase its materials?
The library purchases the majority of its books through a jobber; however, many books, especially specialty items such as reference books, are purchased directly from the publisher. Many of the videos and music CDs are also purchased mainly from a jobber, but we use more than 100 vendors for these items as well. We always look for reliable sources with the lowest prices.
 
How long does it take from the time a book is selected for purchase, until it is on the shelf ready to checked out by patrons?
Assuming that the book is in stock, we usually receive an ordered book within one week. Unpacking and initial processing, cataloging, and final processing normally can be accomplished within one month. Books, CDs and videos which are on back order (not in stock with the jobber or publisher) can take up to six months to be received.
 
Do any materials get preferential treatment once received by Technical Services?
Yes, we have a special procedure to "rush" items through all of our processing steps. We try to process rush items within five days. Items on which patrons have already placed a hold, reference materials, and memorial books (books purchased in memory of a library patron) qualify for rush status.
 
How many items are processed by Technical Services each year?
In 2011, we ordered 27,174 items and processed 41,109 items.
In 2012, we ordered 26,447 items and processed 43,116 items.
 
Why are new titles at the bookstore before the library?
Publishers ship to commercial outlets before public libraries so they can sell more copies. Usually, though, the time difference is not too great. Once items are received, cataloging and processing is done for each item. Cataloging makes the record of the item available in the library catalog placing it near other items about the subject.
If you know of a book, CD, or video that is being published or released, check our catalog. If it is on order, contact Adult Services or Youth Services and ask for a hold to be placed on the item. This will ensure that when the item is received, it will get special attention by Technical Services, and you will get the item much more quickly.
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