So this morning we get a call from a patron looking for Six Degrees of Separation.  Not the movie, the book.  So I do a search for the title, and that gets me every edition of the book plus DVD copies, VHS copies, etc.  So to save myself a few precious seconds of time, first I limit my search to my branch, so I can see if it’s on my shelves or if I need to look elsewhere.  When I limit it to my branch, I get the “0 entries” message, and I tell the patron that we don’t own it.  Then I do the search again, only this time I limit my results to books to get rid of all of the video entries.  I pick one of the book records, double-click to examine the record more closely to see if it’s listed at any of our local branches … and that’s when I see that a copy is listed as being at MY branch.

Curiouser and curiouser.

So I go to the shelves and it’s there.  Only it doesn’t have our property label; it has the property label from another library in another borough.  Which seems to indicate that this is one of our recent “floating collection” immigrants.  Which begs the question … was this an isolated incident, or is this going to happen EVERY SINGLE TIME we get another library’s item returned to us?  Because the entire point of floating collections is that books and videos are supposed to be more available to patrons.  But if Millennium doesn’t let us know that we have these items on our shelves, then it isn’t going to do a damn bit of good.

And while we’re on the subject of Millennium making me mental, we’ve recently discovered another reason that our circulation and attendance statistics are taking a hit.  Our patrons have been getting so frustrated with “false” hold messages — they come into the library to pick up the reserves that Millennium SAYS are there, only to discover that they wasted another trip — that they are reducing their library visits.  They have been telling us in person and by phone that they will not come into the library until they call and get multiple assurances that their items are actually there and ready to be picked up.  Which I totally understand — why should you pay for bus fare, or pay for parking, and then find out that your books / DVDs / etc. aren’t ready after all?

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