The Journey of a Book: Part 2

In November, we took you behind the scenes at our Collection Management Department so you could see how books are ordered, processed and delivered. If you haven't read that post yet, stop now and read it! (It ended on a real cliffhanger.)

This month, we’re showing you what happens once the books (and other Library materials) arrive at a branch. To keep things interesting, we’ll be taking a look at our beautiful Central Library.

We're starting off on step #6, as our last blog post ended at step #5: Delivery.

6. Unboxing and Sorting


Each week, our Delivery Team moves hundreds of bins of Library material between our 14 different branches. When new bins arrive at Halifax Central Library, staff unpack them by placing each item on our Automated Materials Handling (AMH) machine. Since Central Library is so big (we have 5 floors!), this machine is able to sort the material into different bins depending on where it’s going in the Library. If the books are heading to a shelf, the item’s location is updated to “Central” and the status will show as “Shelving Cart”. 

Our handy AMH machine also separates any books that have been requested by community members. 

Did you place a hold on the latest Louise Penny? Don’t worry, our AMH machine will make sure to set it aside for you.

7. Shelving

Now that all the books have been sorted, staff arrange everything onto carts destined for specific floors. Our Library Clerks take these carts into the Library and carefully place the books (or DVDs, CDs, magazines, etc.) in their proper locations.

8. Hold it!

It’s no surprise that most of our new books have already been requested by community members. In the Library world, we call these "holds." 

Once the AMH machine identifies books with holds, our staff will print and attach a slip to each item and place it on our hold shelf.

9. Show 'em off

At the Library, one of our favourite things to do is create beautiful book displays.  Our staff are fantastic at coming up with creative concepts for fun, informative, and sometimes even interactive displays. 

10. Share the love

The final step in our journey is connecting a book with an eager reader. Library cards are free and we really like to share our books. 

Our friendly staff are here to help you find just what you’re looking for. Not sure what you want to read next? We can help with that too!

Once customers have made their selections, they can visit a staff member or a self-checkout machine to borrow their books. 

We hope you have enjoyed our behind the scenes look at the journey of a book. Happy reading, everyone!