Following My Book Through Processing: A Library Assistant’s Perspective

Final Final Cover

Being a Library Assistant at the DeWitt Community Library presented me with a unique opportunity that most authors do not get : I cataloged my own book, The Peddler’s Bed. This experience was extra special because The Peddler’s Bed is my very first book. I want to share the experience with you, through pictures.



A shipment of new books has arrived from Ingram via either FedEx or UPS.


The label on the outside of this box tells me it contains mostly children’s books and The Peddler’s Bed is one of them.


The box is unpacked along with other boxes and the contents are placed on one of the processing carts. My book hasn’t gotten to me yet; that comes a little later. (I pulled my book out a bit to make it easier for you to see.)


My processing counterpart, Linda, gets it next. She’ll do all the labeling and stamping. It already has the protective mylar covering the jacket. Look how shiny it is.


Linda added the spine label (I printed it!).


She stamped the name and address of the library, as well as the processing date, inside on the first page. You can see the order card in this picture too, paperclipped at the top.


Linda also placed the library barcode and a NEW sticker on the back cover, top left.


Now it’s my turn. My book is on my processing cart, ready to be added to the catalog. Can you see it?


Here’s a closer look. Can you see it now?


Here it is! It’s in good company. Do you recognize some of the other books nearby?


Okay, back to work. (So shiny!) Time to create an item record for my book.


Creating an item record is fairly simple. I log into Polaris, the integrated library system used by the library. I pull up the bibliographic record for The Peddler’s Bed. Then I attach an item record to the bib record. I do this by opening up an item record form and filling in the necessary information. (This picture shows the item record form.) I save the record and presto, just like that, we’re done. My book can now be searched for and found in the library’s catalog. (This has all been simplified so that I don’t bore you to death, but it really isn’t complicated.)


My book is now shelved and part of the library’s collection. Since it’s new, it’ll be shelved with the new picture books for a couple of months before it’s moved to its permanent position on the picture book shelves.


Just for fun, let’s take a look at where The Peddler’s Bed will be on the regular picture book shelves. Do you see it?


There it is! It fits in quite nicely between Alison Formento and Mem Fox.

And with that, a long held dream of mine has come true: I have a published book in the library. And it’s already been checked out several times since the beginning of October.

If you have any questions about processing or cataloging new library books or media, just ask. I’m happy to answer.


Another dream has come true as well: The Peddler’s Bed is on the shelf of my local Barnes & Noble! 🙂


17 thoughts on “Following My Book Through Processing: A Library Assistant’s Perspective

  1. From one library tech author to another, a big congratulations again. What a wonderful thing, to be able to catalog your own book! Wait until you get the joy of seeing kids checking it out!! Nothing better!


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