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National Library Week- The Inner Workings of the LPL Part II

National Library Week- The Inner Workings of the LPL Part II

You might have noticed that the Larchmont Public Library carries a whole lot of… you guessed it! Books! And besides print books, we also have an extensive collection of eBooks, eAudiobooks and DVDs covering all of the age groups from Childrens to Teens to Adults. We pride ourselves on maintaining a diverse collection that suits our patrons here in Larchmont. So how exactly do we decide what to order and when to order it?

There are quite a few steps which our librarians follow when ordering books for the library’s collection. Firstly, we read lots of book reviews! We are subscribed toPublisher’s Weekly, Kirkus and a myriad of other print and online review publications.

Another thing that helps us with ordering is the Westchester Library System’s ‘Purchase Alert.’ This ‘alerts’ us to the book titles with the most holds on them at our library. Librarians review the ‘Purchase Alert’ and order any books that we need to fill the holds for our patrons. It’s all about demand! Our librarians sometimes order books due solely to popular demand. Take for instance, Kristin Hannah’s newest book, The Women. This title has 944 holds on it system-wide… which of course means we are going to order a lot of copies!  Another example of demand might be due to a TV show or movie. Truman Capote’s book, Answered Prayers, started to pop up on the Purchase Alert… but it was published in 1986. It turns out that FX released a TV series called Feud: Capote vs. The Swans which got viewers interested in reading the book that inspired the show so we ordered a copy! 

The Library’s four Adult Reference Librarians divide their ordering up by sections. For example, Alex is in charge of ordering all of the New Fiction books while Paul is in charge of ordering all of the New Travel books. Caroline stays on top of Cookbooks while Liam keeps a close eye on Science Fiction. In our Children’s Room, Linnea and Veronica order Children’s books together- for example, Veronica is in charge of the French Language books while Linnea orders kids’ eBooks. Kim, who is our Young Adult librarian, oversees the ordering of all Teen materials- YA fiction, YA non-fiction and YA graphic novels.

During Covid, the library’s eBook lending system skyrocketed, shifting a huge focus we previously had on print book ordering to eBook ordering. That’s where Caroline comes in again! She orders our eBooks and eAudiobooks once a week based on how many Larchmont holds there are on a title. We like to ensure that we have one eBook for every five holds. The library also has a system in place called ‘CPC’ or ‘Cost Per Circulation.’ Only certain publishers allow ‘CPC’ but when they do, Caroline activates it if there are five or more holds on a title. When ‘CPC’ is activated, it means the library pays a certain amount of money each time someone checks out that title. This allows Larchmont Library patrons to get the book without having to wait- they can download the book instantly!

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