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Dear coworkers: what the hell?!

On a completely different note from my last post, I have to ask: how did this happen?

How did WHAT happen, you may ask.

Okay, so last week, I decided there were a few (four) movies I wanted to see that I haven't seen yet, but I don't know if I want to buy them yet. So, naturally, I put them on hold, to be picked up at the library where I work. As of noon, when I got to work and looked at my account, none of them had arrived. Fine, whatever, we were closed two days last week and weekends are always slightly sketchy on actually getting deliveries. A little before 2 pm, we got our usual Monday delivery. I sometimes help sort the items, since we often only have one person at the circ desk from 2 to 3 and I don't really have an assignment other than occasional shelf reading then. Today, however, there were two, and our usual Monday page was away, so I spent the hour shelving books instead. Fine, whatever, at least it wasn't shelf reading.

Sometime after my "lunch" break (it's from 4:30 to 5, I never know what to call it) I checked my account again, figuring the delivery would all be checked in and hey, I might have holds, right? And my account now tells me that two of the four items I had put on hold are now available. Awesome. As I usually get to the circulation desk before the computers are shut down, I naturally figured I would pick them up at the end of the day.

At 7:55, I go downstairs. My coworker M says "R, you have an item on hold, do you want me to check it out to you?" And I go "...I should have TWO items on hold."

Commence a search for the missing DVD. It is not on the staff hold shelf. It is not on the regular hold shelf, under my last name or any other. It is not in the box of outgoing items. It is not on the shelving cart. It is not on any of the DVD shelves (regular, children, foreign language, nonfiction) at least not in the correct area.

So what I want to know is what the hell happened to this item in the less than five hours between when it was checked in (I'm pretty sure it was all sorting til 3, then checking things in) and when I tried to pick it up. Basically, what the ever loving fuck.


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 31st, 2013 01:44 am (UTC)
Are your items shelved where patrons have access to them? Or do employees have their own hold area?
Dec. 31st, 2013 01:51 am (UTC)
The patrons don't even have access to THEIR hold items. Basically, we have two long shelves of patron holds behind the circ desk, so they have to ask for them anyway. Staff holds are usually (I say usually because occasionally someone doesn't recognize a name and an item ends up with the patron holds) located on a small shelf above the technical librarian's desk, which is not only behind the circ desk, it is also not even visible to patrons. So, yeah, no chance of a patron accidentally taking it.
Dec. 31st, 2013 02:22 am (UTC)
Is it still showing on hold for you? Do you have shelf space where someone might have put it for you?

Dec. 31st, 2013 05:30 am (UTC)
It's showing as available for pickup at the library, where it does not appear to be. And I checked every single shelf I could think of where it might even possibly be. ...I guess I didn't check where the book group holds are located, but those are, you know, books.
Dec. 31st, 2013 02:25 am (UTC)
Is it possible that someone has checked it in, then noticed (on the way to putting it on the holds shelf) that the dvd box maybe needed mending? Obviously I don't know your method of dealing with things like this, but I have been guilty of putting something down on my desk (because it just needs a bit of book tape, or some other 5 second quick repair) then I've been sidetracked and not gone back to my desk for a while. (I know, I'm THAT person! Sorry.) Anyway, I hope it turns up.
Dec. 31st, 2013 05:31 am (UTC)
I don't think it's even our item! We only fix things that actually belong to our library, which is part of a consortium of 40ish libraries. And holds can come from any of them. So it's possible, but highly unlikely. Also, I doubt it needs mending - the item is less than a year old.
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:44 am (UTC)
I'm voting that one of your fellow staff members 'borrowed' it for themselves. I'm sure it will "magically" turn up once they are finished watching it. Then again, I'm realistic cynical.
Dec. 31st, 2013 04:18 am (UTC)

I also wonder if they realized it was for a fellow coworker and feel foolish now
Dec. 31st, 2013 05:32 am (UTC)
Possible, but unlikely - I've never seen any of my coworkers do anything like that before. F likes to look through some of the deliveries, to see if there's anything he wants to put on hold, but I've never seen him take anything.
Jan. 1st, 2014 07:45 pm (UTC)
If they did, they'd be pretty dumb to just put it in their bag without changing the status somehow in the circulation software.

That's also a fair abuse of library policy/employee access/possibly patron privacy, and if I tried that at either of my libraries, I'd get written up. Possibly fired. Which isn't worth it for any movie.

Less sketchy, but still completely not allowed, is seeing a DVD come in on hold for somebody, wanting it, and putting yourself at the top of the list so that you can it next when the held copy gets returned.
Jan. 1st, 2014 08:07 pm (UTC)
I've seen exactly that type of thing happen and the item will 'magically' appear in a drop box or on the shelf. When the 2nd season of Game of Thrones came out on dvd, I made sure they were cataloged, sent down to our circ dept. and went to the shelves the next day to check them out. They weren't there in spite of the fact that the catalog said they were. I asked my colleagues at the circ desk if they had seen them or if they were still on a cart waiting to be shelved. They were nowhere to be found. I checked again the next day and my friend who worked at circ checked every place she could think of and on a suspicion, checked the locker of one of the student assistants (the one in charge of shelving that area). She found over 25 music cds and dvds that not only had not been checked out, but some were still showing as 'In Process'--including the missing 2nd season of Game of Thrones dvds that we had just sent down the day before.

Apparently the student asst. wanted to use the items, but had overdue items and couldn't check these out. The SA was promptly fired. The kicker was if the SA had just asked my friend, she would have gladly gone ahead and checked out the items to the SA. At least that way, there would have been a way to keep track of where the items were.

I'm hoping that something like this is not the case for you.

Edited at 2014-01-01 08:09 pm (UTC)
Jan. 1st, 2014 10:16 pm (UTC)
...That is completely absurd. Not okay, not okay at all.
Jan. 1st, 2014 10:15 pm (UTC)
The only person who I can think of who might have done it is the person who's only temporarily covering (she used to work here, she left to go to grad school, but she's home for Christmas and is taking some hours so other people can have off), but even she's super unlikely. I'm pretty sure no one else would have.

And yeah, definitely not worth getting fired for a movie that didn't have a very long holds list at all. I put it on hold more to ensure there would be a copy without me having to look on the shelves than anything else.

I don't think you even CAN cheat the holds list in our system - I'm not sure there's a way to artificially move someone up it. If there is, I don't know it.
Dec. 31st, 2013 03:53 am (UTC)
I once had a book on hold that said it was available for me to pick up, only it was no where to be found. Every day we'd search through the delivery and the new shelves with no luck. Until almost two weeks later when it magically showed up.
Dec. 31st, 2013 05:32 am (UTC)
So weird. So so weird.
Jan. 1st, 2014 07:46 pm (UTC)
Is it possible it got delivered to the wrong library, and is sitting on someone else's hold shelf?
Jan. 1st, 2014 10:17 pm (UTC)
Possible but INCREDIBLY unlikely. When you check an item in into the system, it tells you what to do with it - and the instructions on both the screen and the printed slip are different if it's an item that's on hold at the library you are currently at than if it's an item that needs to be delivered to another library. It's always possible that someone could have made a mistake, but that would involve the item both being in the wrong box and being checked in improperly.
Jan. 2nd, 2014 02:04 pm (UTC)
It's happened to us were the holds markings/slip falls out and the item gets put in outgoing delivery
Jan. 2nd, 2014 09:49 pm (UTC)
I don't know, the way we do deliveries, that's unlikely to happen. If something has no slip, my immediate reaction is not to just shove it somewhere, it's to check on the computer where it should be. Besides, our outgoing items have slips as well - there's usually not anything totally blank.
Jan. 3rd, 2014 08:03 am (UTC)
We've had things happen to us a lot (well not a lot but still regular enough to be a major annoyance) and quite often they've actually been shelved as someone missed the reserve/put it in another book (rants) anyway I do hope it turns up for you.
Jan. 3rd, 2014 08:04 am (UTC)
Yeah, we checked the actual DVD shelves as well as the hold shelves and the shelving cart, so...it wasn't on any of those. *sighs* Not fun, not fun at all.
Jan. 4th, 2014 03:13 am (UTC)
Understandable but yes my fingers are crossed that it turns up.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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the fuck
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For all of those times when the gatekeepers of the world's knowledge are called upon, in their professional capacity, to use the word "motherfucker." Or at least to seriously consider it.

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