Library hold policy (was Re: freedom and necessity)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at
Thu Feb 28 11:33:28 EST 2002

On Wed, 27 Feb 2002 13:31:19 -0700, Jacob Proffitt wrote:

>---Original Message From: Melissa Proffitt
>> HOWEVER.  The way it works here, all the books on hold are in
>> a room that's open to the public.  They stick a little slip
>> of paper with the patron's name on it, and you go in and find
>> them yourself.  And they only keep track of what you
>> personally have waiting for you.  Theoretically, if I were
>> eeeeevil, I could browse the shelves and take someone else's
>> holds, and they wouldn't have a clue until the real person
>> came along looking for their book.  I wonder if they'd be
>> able to cross-reference the missing book to me....
>> (They must have trouble with this when it comes to
>> ultra-popular books, because when a new Harry Potter arrives,
>> they keep all THOSE holds behind the desk.)
>I don't know.  They're pretty technologically advanced.  They might have
>those copies flagged to the user's account so that you'd get caught when
>you tried to check the book out.  That doesn't explain the extra
>paranoia on the Harry Potter books, though.  Unless they got tired of
>catching people cheating...

I suppose it depends on when that flag gets placed--after you check the book
out, or before.  Usually when I place a hold, it's on the title rather than
the actual book, so if all copies are checked out they give me the first one
available.  I would *think* they would have to code the item in order to
register that the hold is in, but I don't know that they do; for one thing,
they always ask, "did you get your hold items?" even if it's obvious that I
did (because the titles come up on the computer screen when they scan my
card).  Anyway, yes, I'd assume they were that advanced, but given the
general tech state of this library system, I'm not certain that they're
actually implementing what's possible.

Melissa Proffitt
To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list