Middlebury

Searching tips

7 Tips for finding missing materials in Davis Family Library:

 

  1. With any missing item in the Library, the first thing you need to do is to take a look at the item record in Sierra. 
  • Double check status, make sure it says available or missing, and not checked out. 
  • Check check-in date.  Recent returns may be in re-shelving.
  • Check last check-in and last check out dates.  Some books have never been checked out and this is a clue that they may have been lost, taken or even mislabeled.
  • Check location and make sure it matches where you believe it to be.   Sometimes books are shelved in the wrong collection or the record gives the wrong location.   This often happens with oversize books.
  • Make sure a second call number isn’t listed.  This is sometimes in the bibliographic record, but also shows up in item records where the book may have had a different call number in an earlier edition.  Note: This is uncommon but has happened.\

 

  1. Search the shelf where the book is supposed to be.    This is the most important place to start.   Often a book is shelved just a few books to the left or right of where it should be.  Try these tips:
  • Look at the cutter.  For books with two or more, search all of them.  For example B 100 C45 F45.   Search both B 100 C45, and B 100 F45.
  • Look behind the books on the shelf to make sure it didn’t fall behind. 
  • Expand the search to include the bays to the left and right, often a book is within 6 feet of where it is supposed to be, and may be miss-shelved in B 101 C45 F45 for example.

 

  1. Expand the search to include variations of the call number.  For example B 100 C45 F45.  
  • Try B 10 C45 F45.  
  • Try B 1 C45 F45.  
  • Try B 1000 C45 F45.  

 

  1. Another problem is inverted numbers.  Take BS 352 B35 2000 for example,  you get:
  • BS 235 B35 2000
  • BS 253 B35 2000
  • BS 325 B35 2000
  • BS 523 B35 2000
  • BS 532 B35 2000

 

  1. Next look at classes and subclasses within the missing call number for miss-shelving. 
  • For example B 100 C45 F45, could be miss-shelved in BA 100 C45 F45.    For B you would look in all the following sub-classes:   BA, BC, BD, BF, BH, BJ, BL, BM, BP, BQ, BR, BS, BT, BV and BX.
  • This is also commonly true for D, H, J, and P although it can happen it most classes.

 

  1. Flipping letters, although not common, can happen.   Here are the more common ones:
  • E check in F and vice-versa.
  • PR check in PS and vice versa.

 

  1. Location mix-ups happen occasionally.  Here are some examples.
  • Browsing books that are shelved in the regular stacks.
  • Stacks that are shelved in Browsing.
  • Browsing books that are shelved in other browsing areas.
  • Browsing graphic in Browsing.
  • Oversize that are in stacks, especially N and TR sections.
  • Stacks that are in oversize, especially N and TR sections.
  • Government documents shelved in Stacks.
  • Cds shelved in the stacks CD section. 
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