Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Strange geographies

We have somewhat of an odd arrangement for materials on hold here in the Reading Room. Items which have not been picked up yet are assorted first and foremost by the date of arrival: those which come in today are shelved on their own truck (marked "Today's Delivery", natch), which after 24 hours gets bumped one slot over and re-labeled "Yesterday's Delivery". Anything that isn't picked up within those 48 hours then goes to our infamous Cage, where they will spend the next eight days if not claimed before being returned to the Stacks, the Depository, or whencever they originally came.

This would be an ideal arrangement if people picked up most of their materials within those first two days, but quite a bit of it ends up going back into our Cage, which isn't even in the Reading Room but a dedicated section of secure space within the Stacks that we have to access by leaving the room, which means leaving the room unattended when there's only one person working the desk. That and it can be a real pain in the ass to run back and forth to retrieve the material, if the patron has ordered a large quantity of them, not to mention the unnecessary wear and tear we put on the Cage's lock by turning it dozens if not more times a day.

The solution of course would be to install some bookshelves behind the desk, and I have heard rumors that such a thing may actually be in the works. Until then, however, it's the Reading Room dance for me. At least I'm getting my exercise!

(And I haven't even mentioned the twenty-odd stairs just to get in and out of the room...)

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