Technical Services

PWPL's "Tech" Services is the department that processes all materials in the Library's collection. Staff members process the mail on a daily basis, too. Mail includes correspondence, packages, bills & invoices, catalogs, magazines and newspapers. Newspapers and correspondence are sorted and delivered within the Library to its recipients. Orders and magazine subscriptions are checked for receipt against invoices, then placed aside for later processing.

Staff add new purchases and donations that the Department Heads/Librarians want in our collection to our holdings on the computer. Using SIRSI, OCLC and other library-specific software, the Catalog Librarian finds the correct location for the material within the Dewey Decimal System. She (At PWPL, we have a female, but it could be a male cataloguer.) puts books about the same subject in the same place. For example, books on Travel are in the 910's, Computer Software & Operating Systems books are under 004-006, Mathematical works are in 510's, etc. It is during this step that an item receives its barcode. The barcode is a 14-digit number that is unique to that item. Barcodes are also unique to the Library as each building has a different prefix.

Once an item is catalogued, it is then processed. Processing involves doing different things for different items, but all items receive some sort of security device. Books receive our property stamp, purchase information, book label, spine label, any special stickers and a plastic jacket if necessary. Paperbacks are reinforced with heavy-duty tape on the spines plus tape on the edges of the front and back covers. All CD's, DVD's, videos and books on tape or CD are processed slightly different. Each of these items is given a security device, property label and case. Titles that include more than one tape or CD just have larger cases.

Magazines get catalogued and processed, too. Our Circulating Art Collection is catalogued by artist and title. Children's items get cataloguing and processing similar to Adult materials before they can circulate. Once any item has gone through these two procedures, it is almost ready for circulation by Library patrons. With a check-in scan, it is cleared from processing, put on a cart, then shelved to await its first check out by a library patron.

A withdrawal process is done when an item is being removed from PWPL's collection. After one of the Librarians decides to delete an item for one of several reasons, "Tech" Services has two procedures to follow before that item can actually leave the Library. It must first be deleted from the online catalog. The item is then stamped with a red "Withdrawal" stamp and withdrawn, or removed, from the building.

"Tech" Services is also the department that performs magic on aging, or sometimes new, material. Staff mend all things from a book's torn page  to a magazine loosing its cover to a fallen spine replaced over the book's many signatures (bound pages). They also listen to damaged audio cassettes and view bad VHS tapes to see where the problem is to determine if a replacement is needed. Scratches on CD's and DVD's are polished out. Boxes, bags or book covers get replaced as needed. Clear tape, glue, cactus cleaner, needle & thread, a stylus, bone and hinge tape are a few of the tools used to repair and clean the many books and other items within Peter White Public Library's walls.