Spring Blog Post 2

One of the reasons that my term in Access Services has been so useful as a part of this internship is precisely because it’s the department I knew the most about from the start. I think that is fairly common, since circulation is such a central part of most libraries, both academic and public, as well as one of the most visible components. When we think of libraries, we think of checking out books. But because I had the most casual knowledge about circulation, both from growing up inside of various libraries and working in one, this term has helped me realize how the information I learned as a part of my job fits into the larger picture of loan services as well as the library as a whole. When reading “Circulation Policies in Major Academic Libraries” by Wilson, Frazier, and Harter, I was struck by how the minute details in policy (say, in policies around renewals and recalls) differ from library to library, and how those policies can affect an individual patron’s experience. In academic libraries this is particularly interesting because of how common it is for faculty to be able to check items out much longer than students or community members. I have also spent much of this past week discussing shifting and inventory; a patron might experience no more than a minor annoyance at a shelf that is packed so full of books that they have difficulty removing the one they want, but Access Services is responsible for considering the bigger picture. If those books have to be moved, where? How? On what scale? The practicality of these questions appeal to me, because I feel like I’m finally considering both the minutiae and how those small factors stack up into larger, holistic questions about trying to maintain and build and manage a physical collection.