June: Getting new books ready

June is here and that means stocking up on books to read during the long, sunny days that are ahead of us. We all want books that will intrigue us. But, have you wondered how the books get processed and ready to loan at Norway Memorial Library? If so, this month is for you! I will explain what we do before you find that magical book on our shelves.

Books new books

Delivery of new books

The books arrive via UPS and I unpack the boxes and check them against the packing slip. For me, a book lover, this is like Christmas. Opening the boxes and seeing all the new, shiny books waiting to be read.

I then divide the books into two groups: fiction and nonfiction. Next I type and print call numbers for the fiction books (example Louis Penny’s call number is F Penny). Call numbers tell us where the book is located on the shelf. Nonfiction books receive Dewey numbers. These numbers group like subjects together in order for patrons and staff to find them on the shelves. To find the correct numbers for the nonfiction books I use the Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index. An example of a Dewey number is 973.3 Phi for Nathaniel Philbrick’s Valiant Ambition.

KM Unpacking

Unpacking the books

A volunteer processes the books: stamping Norway Memorial Library on the first page, title page, a secret page number and on all three sides of the book. Date dues and a call number are added.

Processing Bernice

Processing new books

Then I add the books to Sierra (the Integrated Library System that connects Minerva libraries to each other). I find a record that matches the book and add our specific Norway codes to the record, plus the bar code, call number, and price. A few of many elements I check to match the book to a record are: title, author, page number, and ISBN (International Standard Book Number). There are many more, but I will not bore with detailed cataloging rules. If I did you would fall asleep and I want you to finish reading my blog!

Though I kid about it, making sure I add the book correctly record is important. If I did not do this part of cataloging correctly you would end up with the wrong book. Think about: I add Louise Penny’s latest book and I see a similar title and think “Oh this is the right record” without checking the rest of the record. Then you request the book and Nancy calls and you rush to the library only to discover the book is written in a language you are not fluent in. I added it to the wrong record and you are disappointed and need to request the book again and wait by the phone for Nancy to call (or keep checking your phone for a Minerva text alert). So, all the boring cataloging rules are important. You do not need to know them, but I do.


New nonfiction books

Okay, back to how the books end up on our shelves and in your hands. I add the year date at the top of the outside spine (the year date is the date the book was published or the copyright date). I add the titles to the month’s new book list. Finally I check to see if there are holds. If so, I set the books aside that have holds for Norway patrons and for Minerva patrons. Norway patrons are called and books for Minerva patrons are sent via the delivery service (read the April blog to see how Minerva Interlibrary Loans work). All remaining books are shelved in the new book section waiting to be checked out and read.


New fiction books



Now you know how books are processed here at Norway Library.