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Why doesn't the library have available copies of a popular item?

FAQ: Why doesn't the library have available copies of a popular item?


There often are more copies available than meet the eye. For example, additional copies may be checked out or held at other MCPL locations.

Additionally, library staff order extra copies of items expected to be in high demand, and they continually monitor the collection to determine if further copies of any item are needed.

For most items, MCPL staff try to maintain at least one copy for every six MCPL patrons who have requested it (placed it "on hold"). For the most popular items, this can result in a (roughly) three month wait for those at the end of the list.

E-books may have longer waiting lists because that collection is managed by Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC) and is accessed by patrons throughout the state.

To alleviate demand, visitors to any MCPL location may see "Lucky Day" items on display. These are popular items that are kept immediately available (no wait list) on a first-come, first-served basis.

Note: In the Library Catalog (V-Cat), you may see additional copies of “high demand” items owned by other V-Cat member libraries; however, these copies may remain unavailable to MCPL card holders for four to six months after they are added to the collection. This is because libraries reserve the right to limit those items’ availability to their local patrons until demand subsides.