December 1st, 2010 by Wendy Tan
Termed as a library jargon, NOS denotes as “A book is reportedly, from catalog, available, but it is Not On Shelf when needed”. Toward the end of the semester, this phenomenon would top the list of frequently asked reference questions and drive many book searchers crazy.
This happening could have resulted from many scenarios. One of those factors is that during this period of time, HUGE amount of just used books end up in library book sorting room, waiting to be shelved back, but this step is not reflected on CUNY+ (therefore, it shows books are available). While library workers are trying hard to get them back to shelves as fast as they can, it may take longer, due to high volumes, than you wish for. Please refrain yourselves from asking permission to browse that room, because your search may slow down our process. Nevertheless, with a huge reservoir of library resources, you would not be left in a black hole. The following is the suggested approaches which you may take to tackle this issue.
1. Using e-books, if available, as a substitute—For books published after 2004, it is very possible that e-books of equivalent print version are available through our comprehensive databases Ebrary or Springerlink; or, Ask a librarian how to find ebooks from CUNY+
2. When the above possibility is not applied, conduct a CUNY+ search, again, using “all CUNY libraries” to find out whether the target book is available & ready to be borrowed in any other CUNY schools. Get to that library and grab it as soon as possible. Do NOT leave the chance to CLICKS service when timing is the essence.
3. If Hunter happens to be the only CUNY library which owns the title, next destination for your search is public libraries, N.Y. Public Library ; Queens Library ; or Brooklyn Library The coverage of their print & e-book collections is very intensive as well.
4. Another resort is, if above all failed, to check library catalogs for NYU, Columbia , or other academic libraries in NYC metro area. Our librarians can issue you, if necessary, a pass to enter any of these libraries and use materials in their facilities.
5. Most importantly, our reference librarians stand ready to help you if you have exhausted, in vain, all of above methods. We can try to help you find alternatives, such as other books, reports, journal articles, etc., from the wealth of our resources to serve your research needs and complete your papers in a timely fashion.
Keep in mind: TOGETHER, you will be transported outside the gridlock of NOS.