Learning how to wait your turn with library 'holds' | Darcy Brixey

King County Library - Contributed art
King County Library
— image credit: Contributed art

I’ve been thinking about Laura Palmer. I was in high school when Twin Peaks came out and I’d watch it every week then discuss it with my friends at lunch the following day. As an adult, much hasn’t changed except I talk about shows like Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey.

Recently I started thinking about Twin Peaks again, after a visit to Snoqualmie Falls and placed a hold on Twin Peaks. For a show that only ran two seasons, the gold box edition is an impressive set of 10 discs that circulate as separate items. I placed all of them on hold and made a rookie mistake: I didn’t manage my holds properly and they arrived out of order.

For any of you drawn to specific television shows, you know it is just not feasible nor is it wise to watch them out of order. Especially Twin Peaks.

There is an easy way to avoid this: suspend your holds. When you have placed an item on hold and you know you won’t need it for a while choose the “suspend” option in your account. You will still climb to the top of the list, but the hold won’t be delivered until you are ready for it. You won’t receive holds when you are on vacation or too busy to try War and Peace for the third time in a year. (This I know from experience.)

Once you are ready for your next installment, simply log in and activate your hold. If you are first in line and your hold is suspended, the next person in line gets the item and you don’t lose your place in line. Savvy library users have this figured out. Plan ahead, grab your pals and sit down for a weekend marathon of shows like Twin Peaks or China Beach. If you’ve managed your holds, nothing will be out of order.

Darcy Brixey is a teen services librarian with the King County Library System. She’d like to tell you she loves to read, but it’s an expectation of the job.


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