Monday, January 11, 2010

Love those self-service reserved book shelves at the Madison Public Library

Self Service Reserved Book Shelves at Madison Public Library (Sequoya)
I received an email telling me that another book from my Christmas wish list of reserved books -- Louisa Gilder's the "Age of Entanglement" -- was waiting for me at Sequoya. The Madison Public Library has long had a great reserved book system. Among other things, the system draws on the entire South Central Library System for books. As you can see, this volume came from Mt. Horeb.

It's now easier and more convenient than ever. You used to have to stand in line at the check-out counter and then wait while a librarian or assistant who probably had something better to do went through their shelved reserved books to come up with yours. No biggie, but it could take a bit of time. Now they're shelved in the open and you can check them out yourself at the self-service checkout. Since library records are confidential, the names of patrons are not on the books. You find your book by the little colored slips holding some of the initials of your first and last name and your middle initial. Seems a "good enough' approach to privacy.

I was in and out of Sequoya in just over one minute flat. Cool.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anyone know why they spell Sequoya that way? I always thought it was spelled Sequoia. Is there some history here?

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

Tell anonymous it's named after the famous American Indian leader and not the tree.

At first I was horrified at the thought of losing the serendipity of the card catalog, but I got over that pretty quickly. Now I am addicted to immediately ordering titles the minute the Natl Book Award nominees are announced etc.

And then there are the Sunday hours!

brother said...

~25 years ago, in another life, I worked on a library IT project that had us visiting a college in Minnesota. Using mainframe software, they created an automated card catalog. They left the card drawers in place but emptied them -- they were lovely furniture. One weekend during the semester the automated system crashed for 2-3 days. Not one person complained about the empty drawers: everyone simply waited for the sutomated system to return. That taught me a lesson about well-designed software a decade before the ubiquitous web.

Dorothea said...

Speaking as a librarian -- circ folks generally don't mind finding your books for you. :)

I hope you'll find a way to draw the attention of the library to this post. This kind of thing makes a librarian's day, and is also important when the library has to demonstrate community impact at funding time.

Sequoya Library said...

"I hope you'll find a way to draw the attention of the library to this post. This kind of thing makes a librarian's day, and is also important when the library has to demonstrate community impact at funding time."

We know and we think it's awesome! It really did make my day. Have already shared it on our MPL-wide staff blog. (And we would be glad to help you find a hold if you would like.) And for the spelling--Sequoyah, Sequoia, Sequoya, are just variant spellings of his name.