Library Home page | Library Catalog
Skip to main content

Reference Procedures: Reference



The Reference area is located behind the Reference desk. We no longer have a distinct "Ready Reference Area" since this is the only place we keep reference materials.
When a patron wants to take  reference material away from the desk, ideally they must give us a library card, or driver’s license. We limit patrons to taking only one newspaper at a time. Do not take a credit card for we do not want to be responsible for it, if it gets lost.  Patrons must have some sort of ID to give us, or we cannot allow the material to be used away from the desk.  If necessary, we can take car keys.  The important point to remember is to take something that the patron will want to come back for.  We take the ID and paperclip it to a card with the title of the item and place it in the top drawer of the reference desk.
We loan pens, pencils and highlighters without taking an ID.  Patrons may not take our staplers, tape, scissors, hole punches, and other materials away from the desk, but must use them in front of us.  More expensive items such as magnifying glass, calculator, and USB drives may be used away from the desk if an ID is left with us.  




Patrons or staff from other libraries will call asking to put materials on hold. We limit to three items per call.  Check the catalog to make sure the items are in.   If they are:


  •    Tell the patron you will check the shelf and place the call on hold.
  •    Go to the shelf and obtain the item.
  •    Tell patron we have the item and it will be held.
  •    Take their barcode number and reserve that specific item in Symphony.
  •     If there are other holds on that item, reorder the queue so that the telephone reserve is at    the  top of the list.
  •     Fill out reserve slip with the necessary information and place it in or on the item.
  •     Bring the item over to the circulation desk.
  •     If the patron does not have his or her library card, the item can still be reserved by using their name in the hold function.

      All reserves are held for 5 days.  Email notification is generated the same day the item is set to Hold; robocalls are done the following day, essentially making the "pickup by" period 4 days for telephone notification types.  There is currently no way to have a two-tier system wherein items with short circulation periods have shorter pickup periods than 14-and 28-day items.



The following rules and restrictions only apply to Finkelstein patrons and materials as they are no longer part of ANSER.  Procedures with other RCLS libraries are unchanged.
As of December 31, 2010, Finkelstein library patrons are not permitted to place holds on New City, or any other RCLS library materials, either in person, or remotely, although telephone holds will be allowed on items that are on our shelves.  These telephone holds will only be held until the end of the day, and will be kept at the reference desk.
Finkelstein’s catalog displays only Finkelstein’s materials.
Finkelstein items have beeen removed from our catalog.
We have access to Finkelstein’s catalog on the web, but we cannot place holds through it.
If a New City or West Nyack patron wants an item and it is only found in Finkelstein, we can place a SEAL reserve on that item.  All other patrons must return to their home library to initiate a SEAL request.
Finkelstein Library now had two ANSER shares, so non-Finklestein items returned to them will be checked-in immediately.


  •    Pull item      
  •    Place telephone reserve slip in it with identifying information  (name, phone number)
  •    Mark slip FML
  •    Keep item on one of the shelves behind the reference desk.
  •    Tell patron to come to reference desk by the end of the day

    * If item is not picked up by closing, place it on a reshelving cart.

 Remember, we do not do telephone reserves (for anyone) on 7 day items or DVDs with the loan type of "no ILL"



Telephone reference is generally limited to supplying the kind of information that is readily available, does not require extensive search, and which may be accurately imparted over the telephone. A rule of thumb for looking up directory information, a phone number or address is three items per call.  This is also the same guideline used for putting items on reserve.   If the question cannot be answered within 3-5 minutes, the caller should be asked to come into the Library further assistance, or the question may be taken as a call back.  Patrons must supply us with their telephone numbers, and at least a first name.  If patrons refuse to give this information, we are not obliged to search for the answer to the question.  If a long-distance call is involved, (and this includes cell phone numbers) request that the patron call us back.  If a patron indicates that getting the Library is a real problem, staff judgment should be used in adjusting these guidelines.  We do not fax materials to patrons, only to other institutions.


When checking the shelves for materials, sometimes you will not find them.  In this case, we will want to change the status from checked-in to missing.  This procedure pertains to Books, BOTs, Playaways and BCDs.


Search for title

Click on Mark Item Missing under "Items" category on left side of screen

Follow on-screen directions



There is a new method of discarding using Global Item Maintenance.  Instead of checking out to NWCDISCARD, go to Global and change the following fields:

Permanent:  Yes
Circulate:  No
Home Location:  Discard
Shadowed:  Yes

Proceed with scanning.


In most cases, interlibrary loans and reserves are the same thing, since we do not always know when we place material on hold where it will be coming from.  If we cannot find the material in the ANSER catalog, we can try to track down the item using another catalog. 
    SEAL – If the item is not found in ANSER, the next place to check is on SEAL (Southeastern New York catalog).  Librarians must be registered with a user name and password in order to complete the interlibrary loan transaction.  If a librarian is not registered, or is registered through another library, please pass the request on to a librarian who is. We do SEAL requests for New City cardholders only.  All out-of-district patrons must return to their home libraries to obtain interlibrary loans. If you have difficulties using SEAL because it appears not to be functioning correctly, please call SENYLRC at 845-883-9065 and press 0 for the receptionist and report the problem.
    OCLC -- If the item is not found in SEAL, check in a bibliographic site such as World Cat or Amazon to see if it exists.  We can send the information up to our RCLS system to see if they can track it down.  Print out whatever information you can find on the item, and write on it,  “not in Symphony, not in SEAL”, and give to Theresa at the Circulation Desk.  We do OCLC searches for New City patrons only.

If you are doing a SEAL or OCLC request, please give the patron your business card, so he or she will know who to contact in case of any problems.


We take purchase requests from New City and West Nyack cardholders only.  Patrons from other libraries should be referred to their home libraries. In the interest of saving paper, please use the Purchase Suggestion form under the Find an Item tab on the website when patrons make requests at the reference desk.  The Director will receive these emails and will forward them to the appropriate librarian.  If the patron does not have an email address ( as required by the form), insert your own, or just type in no e-mail address

000s                               Dana

100s                               Dana

200s                               Karen

300s                               Matt

400s                               Karen

500s                               Karen

600s                               Dana

700s                               Dana

800s                               Karen

900-949s                        Karen

950-999s                        Matt

Cookbooks                     Dana

Romance Pbks               Karen

SF, Fant, Graphic Novels Karen

Mystery                           Nancy

Fiction                             Nancy

Large Print                      Dana

Foreign Language            To Be Determined

Paperbacks                      Nancy

Young Adult Fict & Non-fic   Mary

Music CDs                           Brian

Books on CDs/Playaways   Mary

DVDs/Blu-Rays                  Matt

Games                               Matt

Periodicals                         Brian

Reference                          Nancy

Databases                         Nancy

Overdrive                           Dana

Nooks                                Brian

Local History                      Brian

Childrens anything             Janet M.


Patrons can also submit purchase requests online.

Procedure for purchase requests and in memoriams:  After you have ordered the book on TS360, send Sue T. an email requesting that a quick record be added to the system.  This is assuming that there is no existing record.  Give her the ISBN (no hyphens), the title and author, also the patron's barcode number so she can place the reserve.  When she has added the record and the reserve, she will send back an email confirming.  If it is an “in memoriam” or “in honor of” donation, place a copy-specific hold on the book for yourself.  This way when it comes upstairs you will see that it has been processed correctly (with plaque) and you can contact the donor if they wish to see it.    Please continue to utilize the "P.O. per line" field in TS360 to indicate purchase request and in memoriam. 


The Local History Librarian, Brian Jennings, is in charge of the Rockland Room and its collections.  All questions should be given to him. The materials in the Rockland Room are special, rare, and sometimes one of a kind. The Rockland Room contains information on genealogy and local Rockland County history.  The filing cabinets contain many folders of clippings from local Rockland newspapers.   Librarians at the Reference desk will be called upon to assist patrons by retrieving wanted materials.  Patrons may remove books from the Rockland Room to photocopy without our permission, but under no circumstances are they to be removed from the library.

    * Write down patron's name, library card number, or telephone number, and the material they   are using in the notepad.  Try to limit the usage of materials to one folder at a time.
    * These drawers are kept locked at all times.
    * Color-coded keys correspond to color-coded locks on drawers.
    * Patrons are asked to keep material in the same order in which it was found.
    * When material is returned, return the I.D.
    * Promptly return materials to cabinet and lock it.

 Rockland Room maps -

These are kept locked in drawers in the map case in the Rockland Room.  The keys are in the drawers on the Rockland Room key chain.  If patrons want to view them, follow the same procedure as above.

 Rockland Room reference questions

Many questions we get regarding the Rockland Room materials may be beyond our expertise. If the Local History Librarian is in the building, contact him.  If he is not available, have the patrons write down their question and give it to him.  Patrons should also be encouraged to contact the Local History librarian via e-mail, or by telephone, or to make an appointment with him. Give patrons his business card so that they may make their own arrangements. .

Use of the Rockland Room –

The Rockland Room’s purpose is to be a repository for people doing genealogical or local history research.  Those using it for those purposes have priority over anyone else using it for other reasons.  The room is not intended as a quiet study area, and those wishing to use it for that reason, should be directed elsewhere.  We cannot be lenient about food and drink in the Rockland Room; it is strictly forbidden.



While it is the responsibility of the librarian to help patrons with computer questions, or technical assistance on devices on an impromptu basis, there are times when the patron needs undivided individual attention.  In those cases, take the contact information of the patron and submit it to the director via e-mail.  She will assign a book-a-librarian appointment to the librarian whom she feels can best help the patron.  The assigned librarian will contact the patron and set up a half hour appointment, either in a meeting room or a section of the library where they can work without significant disturbance to others.  If time runs over thirty minutes, and the librarian has time, instruction may continue up to a reasonable point.  Follow-up appointments can be made.

Librarians are allowed to curtail the session if the goals of the session cannot and will not be met.  Examples of this would be patrons who cannot speak any English, patrons who can't type, and patrons who expect  the librarian to do the actual work (i.e., fill in a job application, post comments on Facebook).  As in any other reference question, we will assist, but not do the work, be it construct a resume, or do a homework assignment.  These restrictions should be communicated clearly to the patron when the appointment is made.  If need be, the patron may want to bring someone else to assist.


 This service is offered to patrons with New City and West Nyack library cards.  Patrons who are enrolled automatically have reserves placed for them. They have a choice of various bestselling authors and may select up to ten names. Patrons may revise their choices at any time, by filling out a new form to give to a member of the circulation staff.  She places reserves when she is alerted that forthcoming books by bestselling authors have been ordered.  Reserves are placed in random order, so patrons have the same chance of getting best sellers. A librarian selects the authors that are part of Automatically Yours.  Forms are kept in lower plastic drawer between the two reference desks.  When returned, please check to see if the number of authors is correctly limited to ten before giving to circulation staff. Any questions about this service should be directed to Nancy or Theresa.

New City patrons who are temporarily or permanently unable to come to the library may avail themselves of our Homebound Service.  When someone comes in to inquire about it, give him an application and have him mail or bring it in to the library when completed.  The application explains the program, how it works, and what materials are included in this material by mail service.  If the person does not already have a library card, an application to get one is included.  Nancy is in charge of this service.


Suggestion forms are kept at both the Reference Desk and the Circulation Desk.  Patrons may make suggestions, file complaints, or leave compliments on these forms.  Encourage patrons to use these forms if they are unhappy about some aspect of the library and never be judgmental or defensive. The forms are placed in the suggestion box that is on the Circulation Desk.


There are coloring kits kept behind the reference desk.  They contain colored pencils and loose sheets of line drawings for coloring.  They are to be used only in the library, but patrons are welcome to take home their finished products.  Remember to take a library card while the kit is in use.




These passes are handled by the Circulation Department.  Refer all inquiries to them.  Patrons can also reserve passes on-line on our website.


The library receives various free magazines and newspapers, e.g. Rockland Review, Hook and other give-aways.  We put them out for the public, but when they are gone, that's it.  We do not archive them.


  2nd Tuesday of every month at 7:15 p.m. Led by Dana Munsch

 Investigating Mysteries
 Fourth Monday of every month at New City Library at 7PM. Led by Nancy Moskowitz

 Facts (Non-Fiction)
 2nd Wednesday of every month at 1PM. Self-led.  Staff contact person is Marianne Silver.

 In Other Worlds (Speculative Fiction)
 3rd Wednesday of every month at 7PM. Led by Karen Ostertag.

He Said/She Said (Memoirs)
First Monday of every month at 7PM.  Led by Jodi Hink.

Patrons  may sign up for Internet or computer classes one week before they are given. Do not sign patrons up more than one week before the stated signup date.   Classes are given either morning or evening on eight laptop computers.  Out-of-district patrons are allowed.  Sign-up is done on Eventkeeper.


Generally, we do not do sign-ups for programs that are originated by the Community Relations Department.  If there is a sign-up (usually for programs with limited enrollment), the newsletter advises them to call the Community Relations Department at extension 139.
We sign patrons up for computer orientation classes given by the reference department on Eventkeeper.
Young adult programs such as baby-sitting classes, summer reading club, and SAT practice tests will have sign-ups at the Reference Desk. Instructions pertaining to such sign-ups will come from the Young Adult librarian.  We will sign-up individuals for these programs using Eventkeeper. 

To use Eventkeeper:  

  Click on icon for Eventkeeper on the desktop    
          o Program will be found under the date that it is held, not the registration date.
          o Scroll to find the program.
          o Click on Register.
          o Type in patron's name and phone number in appropriate boxes.
          o If the class is full, Eventkeeper will tell you and offer you access to a waiting list if there is one.

To find programs quickly on Eventkeeper, hit control F and type in search term in the pop-up box.


Print materials are loaned for 7, 14 or 28 days.  Fines for 7 day materials are $.25 per day, and there are no renewals.  14 and 28 days materials carry fines of $.10 per day, and may be renewed under certain circumstances.

Answers to frequently asked questions will be found at the link below: