Thursday, September 28, 2017

Library Hacks: Holds

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Welcome to Library Hacks, a monthly segment where we give you tips on using the library.

This month learn about about HOLDS. 

What are holds?
Holds are a service the library provides to make library materials easier to access by delivering them to alternative library locations.

Why would you place a hold? 
The holds shelf at the J.W. Scott Health Sciences Library

There are a couple of reasons you would place a hold. Firstly, if an item is checked out to someone else, placing a hold on it tells the library system you want to use the material next. When you place a hold on checked out material, the person who has it checked out will not be able to renew it. If they have had it checked out past two-weeks they will get a recall notice, explaining the item has to be returned.

Another reason you would place a hold, is if material is at a different library location. The University of Alberta Libraries is a part of the the NEOS Library Consortium and therefore the library catalogue includes the collection of many libraries that are not on campus. Placing a hold brings the book to campus, to a library that is most convenient for you to retrieve it from.

How do you place a hold?
You can place holds in the library catalogue in the item record. When you click on the "place hold" button the catalogue will prompt you for your CCID and password. It will then ask you to choose a pick-up location.

The holds shelf at the Cameron Library
How long will the hold take to arrive?
It depends! Firstly, where was the material coming from? Materials that coming from another campus library, the Book and Record Depository (BARD) or somewhere in the city, typically take about 1-2 business days to arrive.  Secondly, was the material ON SHELF when you placed the hold? Material that is checked out will show a due date in the "location" area of the holdings information. If the material is checked out it could take quite a bit longer for the book to come in.

How do books get to where they need to go?
The holds shelf at the HT Coutts Library
Items placed on hold are retrieved by library staff on weekday mornings. Staff then put the holds into blue bins that get transported by our delivery truck drivers. The same delivery drivers drop-off bins they picked up at other locations. Library staff sort and place the holds on the hold shelf in alphabetical order by last name. When library staff check the materials in, the library system sends you an email telling you the hold is available for you to pick up.

You will find your holds on the hold shelf the library you selected as your pick-up location. You have five days to pick up your holds before we return them to their home location, or move them onwards to the next hold in line.

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