stacks of booksDon’t you dislike residue? For example, after removing stickers and labels, you are left with a sticky mess. The residue creates a whole new problem that has to be dealt with. We at Lincoln Library have noticed some annoying residue from the Covid-19 shutdown that has to be addressed. The first area that we are going to be dealing with is “lost” books. Please allow me to explain!

Judy has the job of reminding patrons that their books and movies are overdue. Everyone around here totally gets the quick passage of time and understands how two weeks can somehow disappear into what feels like two days’ time. That’s where Judy comes in; she reminds you of real time. Sometimes books are put out of sight, and you know what they say, “Out of sight, out of mind!” And again, that is part of Judy’s job, to bring those books back to your mind!

When she contacts those with overdue books, she also renews the materials that are checked out.

After 3 months of the book not being renewed, the software will declare the books to be lost and they move out of the overdue locale into another area in the system. Due to the Covid-19 shutdown, Judy was away from her desk several weeks and we had a lot of books and movies that slid right down the rabbit hole! We are going to be concentrating our efforts on getting those books and movies out of the rabbit hole and back on the shelves!

When Covid-19 descended upon us, we did shut down, but we breached, bent, and broke many of our guidelines to best serve our patrons during that weird time. There are many of our patrons who find books essential! We delivered way more than could be read in a couple of weeks, so we went fine-free. We decided to not charge fines through the summer and pick the fines back up come fall. We are much more concerned with retrieving these “lost” books than collecting fines on them. We will be going back to charging fines in October.

Included on the “lost” list are books that are part of series, books that are so new that they only have the one check-out, and favorite movies and books. It would take right at $1,000 to replace just the “lost” books. This does not include the hundreds of dollars’ worth of books that are now weeks overdue!

Now you know what our mission is. So, if you see any of the staff at Lincoln Library eyeballing you, nothing personal, we are just going through the list of patrons in our minds that we need to remind of their books being out. If we find you on our mental list, we’ll run it past you to see if you remember.

Thank you in advance for helping us in our mission of recovering these overdue and “lost” books as we start the cleanup of Covid-19 residue here at Lincoln Library!