Today I had my second session with Gosia in country orders. I felt privileged knowing we are only the second year of graduate trainees who have been formally introduced to the department. It served to add yet another dimension to the multi-faceted services the library offers its members.
Country members are defined by anyone living outside of the twenty mile radius of the library; members falling under this bracket receive and return books via postal delivery. Gosia also deals with the inter-library loan service whereby other libraries can request to borrow books from our shelves and likewise; this is facilitated by copac.
My session today dealt predominantly with inter-library loans and the processing of requests. A lot of books in the collection are old, rare or valuable and therefore we must assess the risks posed in lending them elsewhere not to mention the damage caused by postage. A quick valuation is executed using bookfinder.com or ABE books, we compare the products available with the ones we have ourselves and if the price is to great or availability is scarce, the library holds the right to refuse inter-library requests.
I was also shown briefly how to respond to a member of our library requesting to borrow from another library and how to apply. It was nice to immerse myself in a new learning curve because sometimes, and this was no exception, further learning forces current knowledge to click into place.