The First Stop a Library Book Makes on its Way to You
When the Library closed last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Cataloging team teleworked during the stay-at-home order, preparing our records for the upgraded catalog and library accounts system.
By early June, we were ready to return to our normal work space at Central Library and resume our normal operations. But like everything else in a pandemic, operations were anything but normal. We moved desk space to maintain a 6-foot distance, and took to Microsoft Teams for group meetings and trainings on our new catalog.
Our book vendors had issues with supply and demand, and we were eager to receive four months' worth of new book orders. By early July, book vendors were able to start delivering materials, and huge pallets of books began arriving.
Double pallet delivery in the receiving room at Central Library in August, 2020. (Orange and pink hearts drawn on top of photo.)
In the month of July we received almost 3000 books.
During one especially busy week we received two deliveries of huge pallets, filling our receiving room with boxes. By August, our vendors had ramped up staffing and delivered 6,200 items in one month - double our normal monthly volume.
Boxes stacked taller than Laurie
So many books...
On our busiest day, we received 615 new items! Our stacks of boxes were taller than some of the cataloging staff.
The publishing "shoulder season," or slow season, is summer and winter, which is normally our time to accomplish big projects. This year, our pandemic winter project has been focused on closing out our backlog of materials from the summer, catching up on training and refining our pandemic workflow.
Because new information never stops, we have been updating the reference collection by replacing the "pocket parts" - the inserts published periodically to amend printed volumes such as the Virginia State Code.
We're also working on cataloging the Center for Local History's collection of periodicals and VHS tapes.
We can’t wait to share what the always busy new Spring publishing season brings us - stay tuned!