You’re waiting with bated breath. The library just got a copy. It’s that series your friend hooked you on, a new mystery, biography, or adventure, and its hot… too hot to touch! Welcome to the back of the line for this week’s bestseller, but before you do:
HOLD your horses! Before you place a request through CLICnet, pay attention to your competition or else you’ll sell yourself short. When you view your objet desire, ask yourself how many copies are available, what their due dates are, and how many holds are already in the queue.
Let’s say you want to read Anthony Doerr’s latest novel. Observe: of three copies, none is guaranteed to be back in circulation until late April. It gets worse: while no one will be able to renew their loan before you can take a peek, everyone gets a full loan period of at least two months, and eight people are ahead of you in line! Thankfully, there are some fast readers in this world, and spot #9 will become #1 soon enough.
What’s a bibliophile to do?
If you’re desperate, you can put in an Inter-Library Loan (ILL) request. But think, the public library queues are probably longer and they’re likely to pass on filling another library’s request. While it never hurts to check your local library, be realistic about your prospects.
If you can wait, just place a request with us, but do it intelligently. After logging in, you’ll be asked to set a date for your request to expire. It is AUTOMATICALLY SET AT 30 DAYS FROM TODAY. Obviously, you may need more time than that for your ticket to be called.
When you come to the screen pictured above, enter the latest date you’d be interested in receiving the book. You’ll get the book based on the date you place your request, NOT the date your hold request expires.
Or if you want to get mathematical about it, multiple 8 weeks (shortest student loan period plus some time on the holdshelf) by 8 requests (or however many requests are ahead of you), then divide by 3 (the number of copies). Here the total is 21+ weeks, so extend that request expiration date out 5 months or so.
Keep waiting, but breathe easy. Play it smart: those eight people waiting in line, they might not be so clever; in two months, maybe less, their holds may expire while yours is there to stay.
~Mason M., Ireland Library Staff, Graduate Student