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Monday, June 20, 2011

Behind the Scenes: Magazines at the Library

The EPL currently subscribes to 156 serials.  Topics range from aerospace to yoga, and target audiences from toddlers to seniors.  Not only do we have a wide variety of popular newsstand periodicals, but we also have specialty publications that you might not have seen before.

As with our collection of books, serial publications have records in the online catalog.  This means you can search to see if the title you want is owned by a LCLS library or if a particular issue is available.  Often, the most recent issue of a magazine is not available for request or checkout, but for those that are available, loan periods are the same as for books.

At our library, new issues arrive in the mail, are checked in and go to the rack in the main reading room.  The older issue is removed, given a barcode (see the previous post about cataloging books) and is available for checkout.  Because we have a limited amount of space, we are restricted in how many back issues we can keep on the shelves.  At the end of each month, we remove and withdraw the oldest issue for those periodicals for which we keep 6 months of back issues.  These are placed on the "free shelf" for anyone to take home.  Each November, we remove and withdraw the previous year of back issues for all other magazines. In this case, there are too many to give away, and the bulk are recycled.  If you have a favorite magazine, and would like some back issues, contact the circulation desk; it may be possible to set aside withdrawn items for you to take home.

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