TODAY'S TIP - Understanding Statuses

After you have searched the catalog and found just the title you are looking for, how do you tell where, when or if you can get the item? The catalog record gives you all the information you need. The following guide will help you understand statuses, especially during those times when you are searching from home or when the library is closed.

LOCATION: This will give you the name of the Branch and possibly the special section within that branch where the material is located. Each branch is different, but common locations include Adult, New Books, Children and Reference.

CALL NUMBER: This is the number you will use to find the item on the shelf. The same edition of a book, movie or CD should have the same call number at every location in the San Francisco Public Library system. For detail on special collections call numbers and locations, see http://sfpl.org/sfplonline/faq/searching.htm#callno.

STATUS: This tells you about the current status of the book. Is it checked out? Has the book been ordered? Here are the statuses you will see most often:

DUE: If the status says DUE followed by a date, the item is checked out.
CHECK SHELF: Check the shelf for the book, DVD, CD, etc. If it’s not there, ask a librarian for assistance.
ON HOLD SHELF: The item is being held by request of a library user.
MISSING: The item was not on the shelf so it was marked missing. Many missing items turn up, so it's worth double-checking the shelf or asking the librarian for assistance.
IN TRANSIT: This item is being sent from one library location to another.
ON ORDER: The Library has ordered the item from the publisher but has not yet received it.
AT VENDOR: This item is currently being processed by the bookseller.
DAMAGED/REPAIR: This item was damaged and is currently being repaired.

For more information and other statuses, go to http://sfpl.org/sfplonline/faq/searching.htm#status.

Excelsior Librarians and Staff share tips & tricks to help you make the most of the San Francisco Public Library catalog, databases and website. New tips posted Tuesdays on the Excelsior Blog. Watch this space!