Too many labels

(No idea what book this is…)

Submitter: I think you might enjoy this photo of a book with a serious case of label overload. It appeared in the book drop today. It’s a discard from a public library’s book lease collection.

Holly: What I want to know is where you shelve the darn thing??  Pick your favorite, I guess.  On some books, this would cover the title and/or author name, making it hard to find and definitely less browsable.  It also seems like the “New” and “7 Day Loan” stickers will be the first ones removed, which will leave a giant gaping empty spot under the call number.  Oh, I know processing clerks who will have a fit when they see this!


  1. Looks okay to me. The one sticker is the one it goes on the shelf with – the author is Albert, it gores in the mystery section. I see it hasn’t gone out much compared to books in my library as the dust cover looks practically new.

  2. I don’t even know what B & T means! My library uses a piece of colored tape with the number of the month we got it for new books. Makes shelving easier and then we know when to take it off the new shelf.

  3. B&T is Baker & Taylor, a library supplier. Not sure why this library thought anyone would care where they bought the book, though (or that their patrons would even have the slightest idea that that’s what the sticker meant).

  4. Leah, “B & T” is Baker and Taylor, the vendor this book was leased from. Which is information the patron doesn’t need at all, so there’s no reason to put it on the spine.

  5. In my experience, libraries that mark mystery novels with a sticker like this have a separate section in their non-fiction area just for mysteries. They’re shelved alphabetically, rather than by call number, and you can still see the “ALB” on the spine for that purpose. I don’t think B & T is a sticker, but the publishers ( of the book.

    Still, all those stickers are a lot of weight for that poor spine to bear!

  6. B&T is Baker & Taylor. They ‘lease’ books to libraries as well as sell them. Libraries ‘lease’ popular titles/authors without actually purchasing them for the collection. In theory, they can be sent back when they are no longer needed or after a certain amount of time has passed.
    We use new stickers, but peel them off after 3 months.
    Why someone would put stickers all over a book that can be sent back is confusing to me. I use the genre stickers, but only on books that we actually buy for the collection and I don’t cover the spine label.

  7. (One sticker to rule them all…) B&T in my world stands for Baker and Taylor, the book distributors. When we get stuff from the McNaughton (bestsellers) division of B&T they have removable green labels under the mylar covers. I can’t see enough to tell if this is similar to this B&T label, but the McN labels do have an advert logo there.

  8. I guess some of you haven’t seen leased books before! Books like this come from Baker & Taylor pre-processed with the “B&T” sticker and a basic call number placed a ways up the spine like that, it’s not the library’s fault. The “new” and “7 day” stickers mean it’s some sort of high-turnaround express type collection (at my library, the new sticker goes on the top of the spine and we put a 14 day sticker on the front cover, but to each library their own!). The new and 7 day stickers will usually never have to be removed, as most books from these collections will be returned to B&T as soon as their circulation dwindles (in fact, I just boxed up 350 of these guys to send back, new labels and all). And then it’s got a genre label, probably covering B&T’s “FIC” designation, which either helps with shelving or browsing, depending on how the library handles this collection.

  9. B&T is bookseller Baker and Taylor. This is a leased book; that sticker means it needs to be purchased or sent back to B&T. It allows the library to have a large number of copies of a single title that is extremely popular for a short period of time. It’s so patrons don’t have to wait a long time for holds to become available.

    Where books like these get shelved rarely becomes an issue as they are constantly checked out and then returned to B&T once circulation goes down. Once in a while a copy slips through the cracks. That’s probably what happened with this book.

  10. Looks like one of Susan Wittig Albert’s “The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter” mystery stories. I can’t tell which one from the spine, though, even though I own the entire series.

  11. It’s “The Tale Of Hilltop Farm.” I just checked my paperback and it has the same owl on the spine.

  12. The public library system I work for has gone the other way… No stickers allowed on the books, only spine labels! This is to make it more uniform across the system, so we can ship each other extra books from our collections without taking off a bunch of labels. It drives the children’s librarians mad, though, because they really do need some extra stickers for all their special collections. (There is an exception for “new and interesting” stickers, which are pulled off before the books are a year old.)

  13. I don’t see the issue here… obviously it’s shelved with the new mysteries. And eventually, once it was no longer new, it’d just be with the regular mysteries. If this one was discarded then the library probably only kept one or two copies to move to the regular mystery section once it was no longer “new”.

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