Survey 2010 comments: missing/not found


1. Again, the frequency of books gone missing from the shelf is outrageous. I have never used such a disorganized academic library.

2. as i said earlier in the survey, i have been very frustrated with my inability to find books which are supposedly on shelf

3. Searching for journals and books can't always get fit in to a day - especially when books are so often lost.

4. I think there are plenty of resources at the Library, but they are almost impossible to find and access

5. My biggest problem is the issue of missing books on the shelves. Relatedly, I often see misplaced books while browsing the stacks, often misplaced in a systematic way; DR501 may be placed where DR5001 should be, for example.

6. My main concerns are with the number of lost or misplaced books

7. I also find about 20% of the time when a book is marked 'on shelf' it is not.

8. Also, missing books are problem.

9. Staff searching seems to mostly conclude that the books are missing--that's fine, but couldn't they do a better job of not being missing in the first place?

10. Not finding books on the shelves is a constant problem, and often books turn out to be "missing". Security should be improved so that books don't get stolen.

11. My favorite service is that, if I'm feeling lazy, I can just click "Can't find it?", and the library staff will page the item for me even if it's in place. I told all my friends and many of them have stopped going into the stacks altogether. Thanks guys!

12. As for books not on the shelf - well, maybe it's gotten better in the past couple years, but my experience has been that things are more often than not 'missing.' At least half, if not 3/4 of the books I have ever looked for have not been on the shelf, though they are listed on the catalog as not checked out, and no one has been able to find them. Actually, no one has ever done anything but shrug and say, 'well, shelving can take several days or sometimes a week or more. Check back another day.' I do most of my work from journals now, largely because the search through the stacks is seldom fruitful. I always find other goodies - but seldom what I am looking for.

13. I have never once had a missing or mis-shelved book found after initiating a search.

14. Never had any luck so far finding books when missing from shelves.

15. and fewer lost or mis-shelved books.

16. Also, I've been to the library looking for books on several occasions where the book I was looking for was supposed to be available, but it actually was missing or lost (as concluded by librarians after a search request was made)

17. Books frequently go missing - they shouldn't.

18. Books that are supposed to be on the shelf are often not there

19. Check student library lockers every week for books that have been taken off the shelf but not checked-out. I often find that the books I need are not on the shelf throughout the quarter and have not been checked out, thus preventing me from recalling them.

20. Four times in the past month or two I've tried to find books that were listed on the website as being on the shelf but they weren't there. That's terribly frustrating! They can't be recalled, they just simply can't be used. Some method for rectifying this problem should be discovered. I'm betting many of those books are in the lockers, which I believe are a bad and unhelpful obstruction

21. Half the time the book I am looking for is part of the collection but it is either missing or not on the shelf

22. I am not entirely satisfied with the print collection because so many books are "lost" etc.

23. I freqently cannot find books reportedly not checked.

24. I realize this is almost certainly the result of allowing patrons to look for books, which is a feature of the library I consider important, but the issue of lost/misplaced books seems pressing.

25. i would say that at least 50% of the time (though probably more like 75%) i cannot find the book I am looking for. it's just not there. the computer says that it is on the shelf, but it is not. i don't know if people hide books in their lockers or something so that they can't be recalled, but it is really frustrating. i've stopped putting in search requests because much of the time the book is either simply declared "missing" or i don't have time to wait on the recall process.

26. replace books that are lost or missing. Also, often I find that books that are listed as being on the shelf are not actually there.

27. Last week I went to Reg and Crerar with the intention of checking out a book or two. I had four possibilities, two at each place. All four were on the shelf according to Lens. After an hour-plus of searching, I left campus empty-handed. Not one was on the shelf in reality. Attendants suggested I put in a search request, but living up in Logan Square, I am only on campus once a week or so, so I really wanted a book for this week! Very, very frustrating.

28. Also, there are so many copies of books that are missing from the bookstacks or very hard to find.

29. Major reference Bible commentaries are missing from the Library.

30. Many items go lost or missing and this is not reflected in the catalogue; one can waste days or weeks waiting for something that will never arrive.

31. several times a book i needed was not on the shelves even though it was supposed to be available; after requesting a search for the book(s) i was told it was flagged as missing/ despite this no new books were purchased to replace it, a very frustrating experience as i then had to look to other libraries and sources for the book(s).

32. is also quite common, that books can not be found on the shelves for several days in a row, although marked as available in the online system.

33. Sometimes, something is supposed to be in the stacks and it isn't.

34. There are many, many books that are missing from the collection--either listed as such in the catalog, or not on the shelf when I go to get them. It would be great if the Library could do a better job of keeping its collection intact.

35. There is a major problem with books which are not checked out, yet are missing from the shelves. A large portion of the books I need and use are not to be found on shelves - yet they are not checked out. I assume that some grad students are stashing them in their carrels.

36. Almost every time I go to the Regenstein, there are books missing from the shelf that the catalog claims are not checked out. Having worked in a library at another institution, I wonder about how much shelf reading is done and how quickly books are reshelved once they are returned. This problem has caused me to waste a lot of time trying to find these books.

37. As stated before, it's a bit frustrating when I cannot find books on the shelf that are supposed to be there according to the system

38. Many books are missed at the shelves although available through Lens

39. I put "dissatisfied" with Shelving/bookstacks maintenance at the Reg above because there have been a few times that specific books I've gone looking for were not where they were supposed to be. Presumably this is unavoidable; it's not like the shelving/stacks are horribly maintained or something.

40. There is sometimes problems with books not being on shelves.

41. Books that are not checked out are often not on the shelves, and important books do get lost. This is frustrating when one only needs to check something quickly (and especially when an important deadline is looming).

42. It is frustrating if books are not on the shelf and cannot be found by anyone, including staff.

43. Books are often not where they are supposed to be

44. I think that we should be able to request books from different libraries to be delivered to the library we use most often. For example, D'Angelo is about a 20-minute walk from the Regenstein and this can be a burden when it is cold out or when you are extremely busy. I have also had experiences wherein I go all the way over there only to discover the book isn't on the shelf, thus wasting nearly an hour.

45. My dissatisfaction with the catalog was stated earlier in a comment and is that the books that are supposedly on the shelves are often in fact nowhere to be found.

46. I would ask the staff to search for items not found on shelf if I thought that they could find it, but sometimes I'm pretty sure that that the book has been lost or something. The shelves could be kept in better order, and lost items could be replaced.

47. In the past year or so, I'd say about 5-10 percent of the books I've looked for have not been on the shelf despite the library catalog saying they are.

48. I am able to use the libraries but some things end up being much more complicated than they should be. for example, I keep having trouble finding books where they should be (disorganized stacks).

49. Reg--A lot of the time books Im looking for aren't on the shelves. Frustrating.

50. Some comments: --Almost every major trip I make to Crerar or Regenstein libraries, I find that books that were supposed to be on the shelves cannot be found. In the past, I have filed lost book notifications and the libraries have not been able to locate the copies. I am concerned and frustrated that a large fraction of the libraries' holdings are not where you think they are.

51. It would be great if the books in the library were actually on the shelves where they are supposed to be. I have used lots of academic libraries and nowhere else have I had so many problems finding library materials. I submit a 'missing from shelf' request at least every other week - THIS IS TOO OFTEN!!!!!

52. I'm surprised at how often the catalog says there's a book on the shelf, but it isn't there. This even happens when there are supposed to be three or more copies there.

53. The library must dedicate more staff/staff hours to maintaining the stacks' orderliness in Regenstein. Nine out of ten visits, I find that one or more texts are missing from the shelves and almost invariably things are (often dramatically) out of order. While I understand part of this problem might stem from users reshelving things themselves and the sheer number of items kept in the library poses a challenge, more staff would greatly help this matter.

54. Staff, while friendly, tend to lose items between the desk and the shelves, and this is very problematic.

55. And I have tried to find a book, and the book wasn't where the system said it would be.

56. There have been many cases where the library catalog has a book listed as being available but I am unable to find it on the shelf (i.e. it is missing or checked out but the library catolog does not reflect that)


58. Books are often missing.

59. Please be more careful about reshelving materials from the Harvard Yenching collection. There are 2 occasions in which the items (from this collection) are registered as "missing" after I had returned them to Circulation

60. I am a frequent user of the East Asian collection located in the B-level and often find mistakenly shelved books. Since Japanese books have call number beginning with "J" and Chinese ones have no alphabet in their call numbers, they are frequently placed on the shelves in a wrong language collection. Please be careful to shelve them.

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61. Also, I was looking for a book that wasn't on the shelf and the staff searcher found the book very quickly, I really appreciated that.

62. As for books not on the shelf - well, maybe it's gotten better in the past couple years, but my experience has been that things are more often than not 'missing.' At least half, if not 3/4 of the books I have ever looked for have not been on the shelf, though they are listed on the catalog as not checked out, and no one has been able to find them. Actually, no one has ever done anything but shrug and say, 'well, shelving can take several days or sometimes a week or more. Check back another day.' I do most of my work from journals now, largely because the search through the stacks is seldom fruitful. I always find other goodies - but seldom what I am looking for.

63. In terms of staff searching materials and also recall, I've had experiences where I am simply told "we were unable to fulfill your request" meaning that the book is lost or the patron didn't want to return a recalled item. In those circumstances, I wish the library staff was more pro-active, either directly getting the book through ILL or purchasing a new copy and letting me know exactly when they expect to get it in.

64. When I've needed a book that wasn't on the shelf even though it was checked in nothing was ever done about it. Staff would basically say I was 'out of luck”

65. It also occurs quite frequently that a book is not on shelf. Asking for it to be searched rarely leads to results. Often I didn't get a notification after the search regarding its results (which were almost always negative), and there is an annoying bottleneck in terms of recalling other copies/submitting an interloan library request when the book is missing.

66. The amount of time given to find a lost item is far too long. Two weeks to find, plus the week to recall another copy of the book means you can't get the book for 3 weeks which seriously impedes research

67. Also, most of the time when I request a search for a missing book, it never materializes. It makes me wonder how carefully staff are searching for materials. Can there really be that many obscure books stolen from the library?

68. Also, it's not clear to me how staff let you know if a book has been located. I feel like I've clicked that I can't find a book before and never heard the results of the search

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69. The rate at which returned books are reshelved Crerar is **terrible**. There's never been an occasion when I've never been there to look for a book, when I *haven't* had to search through all the backlogged trollies parked up full of returned books, to find what I need. The books are rarely in the right place - huge numbers of the social studies/history and philosophy of science books are misplaced or lost. I have to schedule extra amount of time to hunt all over the library every time I go there - and when I'm on campus I got there a lot.

70. I am occasionally frustrated when old books appear as in the system but are not on the shelves. This seems most common with the Dewey decimal collection in the basement of Crerar, and it's always sad to realize the book you want is missing.

71. I regularly find items misshelved in Crerar or notice that the items on the cart awaiting reshelving sit there for several weeks at a time, particularly over breaks.

72. In addition, in my experience Crerar books are frequently missing or mis-shelved.

73. It is almost impossible to find print journals in Crerar so is important to have digital access

74. Crerar used to be slow about searching for missing books, but has improved lately in this respect.

75. In addition, in my experience Crerar books are frequently missing or mis-shelved.

76. As far as being able to find books - there are a lot of lost books that never seem to be replaced, or are mis-shelved and never found again. Some libraries are worse than others - although in the Reg its an occasional annoyance, in Crerar its a constantly repeated frustration.

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77. I've gone to the law library to check-out a book which was listed as available. They were not on the shelves and, when I reported this, I later received status updates that the books were missing. I've noticed that there is a least one way in which a person can access the law library collections and leave the building without ever having gone through a security gate - at least one that I could see. I did this inadvertently the first time and then, after being frustrated not finding the books I wanted, I intentionally retraced my steps to confirm that you could do it. I suspect books are walking off. Maybe I missed the security system but I looked for them intentionally.

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