From Order to Shelf

Roy Mackenzie | September 22, 2016

Have you ever wondered how the materials you borrow from the library are ordered, processed and prepared for you to take home from the library?

Our dedicated technical services team handles all the physical items. The process begins in the order department where staff places the order, checks the item when delivered, confirms the correct item is received, makes sure that the invoice is accurate, and sends the invoice to the library business manager for payment.


Our professional librarian catalogers assign call numbers, enter the items, and add subject headings to the online catalog to make that items are discoverable when you search for the title, author, or subject. The team catalogs everything from cake pans, hots spots, telescopes, games, DVDs, to traditional hard cover and paperback books. The team also catalogs digital items such as our historic Brookline photographs, BHS yearbooks, sculptures, art, and more. Many of these items are accessible in the Digital Commonwealth repository and the Internet Archives. The team catalogs materials in other languages, as well. We have materials in Chinese, Korean, Russian, and Spanish, for example. Other team members prepare the items for use by affixing the call number labels, RFID tags, barcodes, and everything necessary to allow you to borrow the material.


Do you visit our branch libraries, Coolidge Corner and Putterham? All of their materials are ordered and processed at the Brookline Village location then sent via our delivery system to the branch. Although you may not often see the Technical Services team at the public service desks, they work behind the scenes every day to make sure the materials you want are ready for you to enjoy.