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How to Make a Librarian Wince

Kay headshot

One way to make a Librarian wince… From the awesome comic XKCD

One of the things that being a Librarian for *mumble, mumble* years has done for me is made me pretty wince-proof. I’ve helped people find their favorite brand of underwear. I’ve found resources to help people with practically every financial and medical problem out there. If you have an embarrassing problem, I can probably help you find information without blushing.

However, I’ve recently I found that rare thing that caused me to blink… Using your holds list to keep track of what you want to read. Seriously, there’s an easier way!

For the background, as of about a week ago MCLINC changed a setting in our catalog on how many holds you have have at one time. It used to be unlimited; it’s now 100. What that means is that if you placed a hold and made it inactive to keep track of “wish list” stuff, you are now going to be blocked from placing any more holds until you reduce your holds down under 100. It won’t cancel the current holds, but some people I’ve talked to have double or triple that limit in holds which means it’s going to be very painful to reduce their lists to the point where they can actually place holds again.

What’s the better way? Did you know that you can create saved lists in our catalog? And that the saved title lists have live information so you can quickly and easily keep track of everything you want to read, watch or listen to and place holds when you actually want them? It’s pretty much identical to Amazon wish lists, except that with Library wish lists, everything is free.

Showing how to add The Night Manager DVD to my list of Movies to Watch.

The Night Manager is an amazing mini-series. I couldn’t stop watching it.

How does it work?

  1. Log in to your library account.
  2. Search for an item you’d like to save.
  3. Click on the little Add to List underneath Place Request. (see screenshot–>)
  4. Add item to list. If you need to, create a New list by clicking on [New List]
  5. Create as many lists as you like.

Yes, I really have 114 fiction books I want to read and 46 non-fiction books. It’s an occupational hazard of being a librarian.

When you want to actually place a hold on something on your list, click on the list name in the left-hand bar of your account, which you can see in the screenshot below. Your list will display with live links to the status. Want to place a hold on it? Click the title and then click place request.

Why is this method easier than placing a hold?

  • You don’t have to track whether or not a hold is going to go live before you want it.
  • You can separate things into logical categories for you. Are you sometimes in the mood for zombie horror flicks or chick lit set in New York City? Create a list for it and find it quickly later.
  • Sending someone to the library to pick out something for you? You can even email or print your list for future reference.
  • You can get to it at any time. I can’t tell you how times I wrote a book title on a scrap of paper and then forgot it at home. Make a list and be able to remember the book title whenever you like.

So there you have it. Make a list in our catalog and spare your holds list today!



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