Floaters

While we’re waiting, here’s a bit of trivia they don’t tell you about.

I’m sure you’ve seen paperback books like this one.

Book with simple Toronto Public Library barcode

Note the barcode. It doesn’t show a branch name. That means the item is a floater, an uncatalogued paperback. Yes, it has an entry in the system, but it is not “catalogued” with author, title, and other information. An outside company buys most of these in bulk, and a lot of them are total crap and never move. This is one part of the library’s normal course of business that needs to be reconsidered.

But the really fun part about floaters is they have no home branch. In the ordinary course of events, they stay where they are returned. When there isn’t a lot of space, like on the Bookmobile, you might not see that floater again, but usually it just sits at a branch till someone takes it out and returns it to another branch.

(There are uncatalogued books and other items that do belong to certain branches – Queen/Saulter has a good selection of those, and most of the DVDs and CDs I donated to Jones are registered in the system as such.)

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