Bier de Stone ( wrote,
Bier de Stone

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Suggesting a purchase

One of the things I really love about my job is that employees can make suggestions on books and CD/DVDs. We have an Intranet web site which makes me feel quite privileged using it because I see it as a perk. One page in particular explains the various procedures which can be followed in making suggestions for purchase because there's always that special condition involved in buying certain publications that are distributed from only a handful of locations; so when a publication just isn't found in the Public Access Catalog and the only source of obtaining publication information is either thru or some other dedicated publishing tool, I can send my suggestions to various other departments. Woohoo! it's almost like giving a subordinate orders, except the subordinate in question actually earns more money than I do.

It's funny. A few years back, before I had discovered the on-line suggestion form, I would inquire to my boss how I could go about submitting a request for something that wasn't part of the vast LAPL catalog collection. The response was always the same, an apology, then "the purchasing librarian always places orders from the order sheet". The Order Sheet. Once in a while, us workerbees are handed an order sheet listing DVDs and music CDs to check off anything we think we might like to have. That's really cool and all, but when I'm making suggestions using that Suggestion Form, because it takes so long for the process to run it's course, I forget what I ordered. Plus, it's hard to tell when the suggestion actually kicks in for any given Order Sheet. So, what I've noticed about the order sheet is this. Sometimes, below the title of the CD (or DVD) listings, a short description explains how that item made it's way onto the Order Sheet. It might say something like "Requested by patron" or "Requested by branch". Now, I'm thinking, it would make life so much easier if, when handed an Order Sheet filled with DVDs and CDs, I could browse it in search of my name, or the name of the branch where I work.

I'm reading the Suggest a Purchase instructions and it offers alternative ways to suggest stuff. For instance, if the item isn't already listed as part of the collection on, then one can visit and create a wish list which can then be e-mailed to the proper dept. for consideration. And, another technique described is using one of those convoluted publishers' data-banks where you can learn stuff about a book pertaining to it's printing date, whether it's out of print, ISBN numbers, publisher, etc. Making a shopping list on one of these servers can then be forwarded to the managing region. Being the wuss that I am, I was too chicken to send off my suggestion directly to my boss's boss; so, instead, I e-mailed it to the assistant clerk with a disclaimer in my note that if I was overstepping my bounds to please inform me. This clerk in particular has a tendency to go directly to my boss when I do something out of the ordinary. This time, she may have only declined my request and referred me to my boss. We'll see on Monday.

In the meantime, I touched base with the dept. listed as the recipient of wish lists and she approved that process though made clear that it shouldn't be misconstrued as a positive alternative to seeing purchases result from it. Hmn? did that make any sense? What about this, then: a suggestion is still only just a suggestion.

Tags: books, movies

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