Everything In Its Place: Inventory Season at Touro Libraries

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Inventory in action: Midtown staff, Librarian Toby Krausz and Library Assistant Valerie Schrager, scanning books

Call numbers allow us to pinpoint the exact location of a book, even if its one among thousands. But what happens if a book gets put back in the wrong place?

Once every 3 years the Touro College libraries engage in a complete inventory of their physical collections, including books, microfilm, microfiche, and videos. Inventorying our collections allows us to know exactly what we have and where it is.

Library Assistant Eddie Schabes catching some sun while scanning
Library Assistant Eddie Schabes catching some sun while scanning

The process of taking an inventory involves scanning the barcode of every item in the collection. This allows us to check if something is out of place, but also helps the library staff become better acquainted with their collections, which helps them to answer reference questions and make acquisition decisions. For example, Chief Librarian Joan Wagner uncovered a trove of children’s books, collected for our early childhood education students, at the Bay Shore library:

After scanning, the data is then uploaded to a web-based application that generates inventory reports. These reports are used to identify mis-shelved books and missing items. It is always exciting to find an item that we thought was long gone. As Lewis Carroll said in the poem the Jabberwocky: “O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

Inventorying goes to new heights at Bay Shore, featuring Librarian Rachel Oleaga and Library Assistant Katie Flood
Inventorying goes to new heights at Bay Shore, featuring Librarian Rachel Oleaga and Library Assistant Katie Flood

Happy hunting to the library staff!

Contributed by: Ms. Bashe Simon, Director of Libraries

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