Beyond the basic known item searches that you practiced in the previous exercise, here are some of the challenges that might come up when looking for a known item.
1. The patron missed that it was an ebook - sometimes patrons write down a call number and go looking for a book on the shelf, when in reality the book is only available as an electronic book. Even ebooks receive LC call numbers so that they can also be browsed by subject area, but this can sometimes be confusing. Tip: If a book is electronic, the call number will always end in "eb", which will be a tip-off for you (HV875 .O38 2009eb). Suggestion: Look up the book again in HopeCat, either by call number or title and show the patron the link to the ebook. If they seem disappointed and want a print copy, you can usually find a print version through MeLCat if we don't have it here.
2. The item is not available - If a patron comes to you with an item they were unable to find in the stacks, always look the item up again in HopeCat, by Call Number or Title, to verify the location, call number, and availability. If the Availability says any of the following, you will not find it on the shelf:
3. The patron wrote down the call number incorrectly - If when you type in a provided call number nothing comes up, then the patron likely wrote the number down incorrectly. See if you can get the patron to recall the title and/or author of the book, or recreate the search they did to find it so that you can track down the correct call number.
4. The patron doesn't remember the citation correctly - Sometimes the patron doesn't have complete or correct information about the item they need. I even had an example recently where the professor wrote the title incorrectly in their syllabus! There is where Google is your friend. Use online searching to try to come up with a complete and correct citation for the item they need. Then take this information to HopeCat or 1Search to check and see if we have it.
5. The location is a less common one - The items may be in an odder location in our outside of Van Wylen. Here are some that come up regularly:
6. The item is missing - If after you have followed the above suggestions you are not finding the item where you expect to, it may be legitimately missing. Take the student to the circulation desk and have them fill out a missing item form, and the circulation students will begin searching for it. Suggest that in the meantime they student could order it through MeLCat or use an alternate item.
7. The item is a shorter work that may be located in a larger anthology - This comes up more frequently in the arts, when someone is looking for a play or a score for a piece of music. It also may be an issue if someone needs an essay published in an anthology.
8. We don't own the item they need - If after verifying that the citation information is correct, you may find that we don't have the item in our library. At this point, if they have a little time to wait, you can show them how to order the item through MeLCat or InterLibrary Loan.
OK, now it's time to answer some more complicated "known item" search puzzles. For each question, you are given a scenario in which you need to find an item the patron is looking for. In some cases we have it, but the location might be tricky. In some cases, the patron has made a mistake in describing the item or is uncertain what they are looking for. In some cases we don't have the item, and you will need to offer the patron other options. With the information given in the scenario, use library tools to look up the item and in the form below, describe what you would tell the patron about accessing the item they need.
DUE October 2nd