The Hidden Department in the Library

The Hidden Department in the Library

We’re the Technical Services Department, but we’re not what our name implies!  Our name makes people think we handle computers and technology.  While we happen to be very tech-savvy, what we really do is order, add to the catalog and process all the items patrons can check out.  We add approximately 3,000 items to the collection each month.  These include books, music CDs, DVDs/Blu-ray, magazines and audiobooks. 

There are 6 of us in the department:

  • 2 catalogers - They create and adapt records for the library’s materials so patrons can search the online catalog for them. They also determine the call numbers so patrons can easily find what they need.
  • 1 acquisitions associate – This person orders all the items added to the collection, codes the invoices so all the items are charged to the correct budget line, and handles all our magazines.
  • 1 receiving clerk – This person has the best job in the library, as they open all the boxes for the items that are ordered each week. It’s like Christmas every day! 
  • 1 processing clerk – This person processes all the items – adding the call number labels along with any other stickers, and also adds the plastic cover that protects our books. They also do any repair necessary on our books and CDs/DVDs.
  • 1 department manager – This person plans and manages all the functions of the department and makes sure everything is running smoothly.

One of the best parts of working in Tech Services is that we get to see all the new items.   While it’s always easy to identify the new bestsellers or popular movies, there are lots of items we get in that don’t get as much attention but are still worthwhile to check out.  Some of these items include: 

  • Star Wars Blueprints: Rebel Edition - eat your Wheaties if you want to bring this book home, as it’s big and weighs about 8 pounds! The book provides detailed plans of the Rebel Alliance, where you can see how the super high-tech vehicles, weapons and droids of the Rebel Alliance are built.
  • MasterChef Junior Cookbook: Bold Recipes and essential techniques to inspire young cooks
  • Swallowing Mercury by Wioletta Greg – long-listed for the Mann Booker prize and several other Polish literary prizes and is now translated into English.
  • David Lynch: the Art Life – this DVD is a must-watch film for any David Lynch fan.


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