Searches for Missing Items

The Libraries' book stacks are open to all and there may be times when something shown as available online is not where it should be in the stacks. How does this happen? The item may have been recently returned but is not yet back in its place on the shelves. Another person in the library may be using it. It may be charged out, at the bindery, or have another status. Whatever the case, a book that is absent from the shelves can often be located easily. You can take the following steps when this happens:

  • Check the call number - they can be tricky to interpret. Make sure you are looking in the correct location on the shelves.
  • Check the sorting shelves - usually located near the elevator on the floor where the item would be shelved.

If you can't find the book, stop by the Circulation Desk. Circulation staff will check to see if the item is checked out, on hold for another patron, or is temporarily in another location, such as the repository. If the book is checked out, we can place a recall on it and you will be notified when the item is returned.

If we STILL can't determine the current location of the needed book, we will place a SEARCH on the book. Circulation staff will search at least four times for the item in multiple locations and will notify you when/if the item is found. A full search can take up to two weeks. While circulation staff search for the book, you can place a GIL Express request for the item, or place a request through Interlibrary Loan.