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Policies and procedures for the staff of Parsons Music Library


For a quick guide to basic call number reading, view this short tutorial.

Music Library call numbers consist of multiple elements:

1. Letter(s): GV = Dance; M = Music score; ML = Music Literature; MT = Music Teaching or Music Theory (R in front of any of these letters indicates an audio Recording)

2. Class Number: this is a whole number, ex. 1527

3. Decimal point followed by letter and number(s), ex. .B14

4. Additional letters, numbers, and/or dates

       Example:         RM      (RM = Recorded Music)
                               1001    (1001 = class number for symphonies)
                               .B4     (decimal point, letter, and number: .B4 = Beethoven)
                               op. 125 (opus 125 = his 9th Symphony - see below)
                               1984    (date = year this CD was issued)


Start at the top of the call number and proceed element by element. Numbers following the decimal point ARE decimal numbers. Add imaginary zeroes to the end of a number, for example: .B14 would come before .B4 (.B40)

Opus numbers (abbreviated Op.) are whole numbers, not decimals. Also filed as whole numbers are K. numbers (for Mozart), M. numbers (for Haydn), S. or BWV numbers (for J.S. Bach), and D. numbers (for Schubert). A few other classical composers also have these types of letter/number combinations in their call numbers.

The first three elements described above are pretty predictable, but element 4 can contain a variety of designations that need to be interfiled with similar call numbers. Always group identical opus numbers or composer numbers together in date order. For example:


RM1001.B4 op. 67 1990 --> RM1001.B4 op. 67 1995 --> RM1001.B4 op. 68 1985 --> RM1001.B4 op. 68 1989


NOTHING COMES BEFORE SOMETHING: this is a good rule to remember when you have a call number that does not have an opus number. For example, RM1001 .B4 1992 would go before RM1001 .B4 op. 125 1984 (something without an opus number goes before something with an opus number)

Cash Handling Procedures

Cash handling procedures are posted in the blue binder.  Ask Linda or Melanie if you run out of forms or blank receipts.

We only make change for patrons who are paying fines or using the photocopier.  In order to prevent us from running out of small bills, please observe the following rules:

- give out no more than $5 in singles
- no change for any bill larger than $20
- please notify Linda or Melanie if you see that we have fewer than five $1 bills left

We do not make change for the vending machines or for any other purpose.

Catalog Searching

Our library catalog ( doesn't always make it easy to find music scores and recordings.  Here are a few tips:

The more words you include in your search, the fewer results you are likely to get, but these results should be more precise.  If you enter just one or two search terms, you will get more results, but they will be less precise.  So if you want more results, try using fewer search terms; if you want fewer results, try adding more terms to your search.

If you're looking for music with a unique title (i.e. one that isn't shared by any other composition) then you can just do a keyword search, making sure to put quotation marks around phrases.

If you're looking for music with a generic title (i.e. a "common" title based on the musical genre, like "symphony," "sonata," "nocturne," "etude," etc), try using the plural form of the title, since most of the time these pieces come in collections.

If you're looking for a piece for a particular instrument, be sure to include it in your search (e.g. flute sonatas, guitar quartets, etc).

If you know the composer's name, it's always best to include it in your search.  If you're not sure how to spell it, this list might be helpful. 

Remember that an individual can be both a subject of and a creator of materials in our collection.  To find materials about a person, use a subject search.  To find materials by a person, use an author search (composers, performers, and editors are all considered authors).  In both cases, enter the person's name as last name, first name.
Musical groups can also be authors or subjects.  If the name consists of more than one word, be sure to enclose it in quotation marks.

If you can't find something, don't ever tell someone that we don't have it.  Just take down the relevant information and give it to Melanie or Linda.

CD Processing

Prepping brand-new CDs for cataloging

• Remove the shrink wrap and the adhesive label at the top, if there is one

• Put a barcode on the plastic jewel case (not on any cardboard sleeve that might enclose the case)

Barcodes are always placed on the back of the CD case. Ideally the barcode should be centered at the top, but it should never cover important text like the title, artists, or track information. If placing the barcode in the top center location would cover important text, then place the barcode elsewhere: sideways, at the bottom, or anywhere there is sufficient space. It’s okay to cover the manufacturer’s barcode, or even a picture if you have no other choice. If there is absolutely no way to avoid covering text on the back of the case, give the CD back to Melanie or Linda without a barcode.

• Place on COMPLETED shelf for Linda to catalog

Processing CDs that have been cataloged


• Cut off bottom (blank part) of spine label and place the part with the text on bottom left-hand side of front case. To match CDs and spine labels, refer to the attached Post-It note and keep it attached after processing is completed.

• Cut clear label cover (larger roll) and place cover over spine label

• Place green dot sticker on front case if there is more than one CD in the case, and write the number of discs on the sticker


• Put Music Library label on front of insert, if there is one.

• Put a round Music Library label ("donut") on each disc, centering over the hole


• Put clear protective cover (smaller roll) over barcode

• Put copyright notice (small square with red lettering) on back cover without covering up any important information


• Disc envelopes are kept in a box on the bottom reserve shelf in the CD storage room

• Put title label in upper left-hand corner

• Cut off bottom (blank part) of spine label and put the part with the text on bottom left-hand corner

Finishing the Job

Place on COMPLETED shelf for Melanie to review. Do not remove the Post-it note, since it sometimes contains information that she needs.

Christmas Music

A wide selection of Christmas CDs is available in RM1629.3.C5 and RM2065.

Circulation Blocks

There are several reasons why a patron might be blocked from checking out a particular item. Blocks generally fall into one of three categories.

Item blocks

Item has an outstanding hold/recall request: click OK, then see if the person who placed the hold/recall is your current patron. If yes, cancel the hold/recall. If it's someone else, then the item should not be checked out; it should be held for the person who made the request.

Item marked "in process": click OK and YES. Give item to patron as usual.

Non-circulating Item: if the patron is faculty, refer him/her to Linda or Melanie. Otherwise, the item should not be checked out.

Item at Renewal Limit: refer the patron to Linda or Melanie.

Patron blocks

Patron Address Invalid: Managers should ask patron for current address and edit the patron record accordingly.

Patron Expired: If the patron is a UR alumnus/alumna, Managers should move their expiration date forward by one year. Patrons who are the "general public" type of Special Borrowers will need to pay a fee to renew their cards. Refer all other types of borrowers to Linda or Melanie.

Limit blocks

Fine Limit, Overdue Limit, or Lost Limit: do not override the block. Notify Linda or Melanie

Charge Limit: override only if patron is checking out a multi-part item like a score and set of parts or a multiple-disc CD set.

Circulation Computers (BASIC INFORMATION)

There are two identical computers at the circulation desk. Each user must log in with his/her own net ID and password.

We have these computers so that we can perform library-related functions. Using the computers for schoolwork is a privilege that we extend to our student workers, with the expectation that they will not tamper with the basic configuration of these machines. Please do not download or install programs, and do not modify or add icons to the computer desktop. If you need to save a file, save it to Box or to a flash drive.

Our circulation system is part of a larger integrated library system called VOYAGER. The circulation module allows us to keep track of what is being checked out and returned (or not returned). It is a very complex program, and there are a lot of components that library student employees will never use. Below is some information about the parts that you will encounter:

Checking Things Out ("Charging")

Before the circulation transaction, ask patrons if they found what they were looking for. If not, offer to assist them or refer them to staff.

[note: for CDs and DVDs, put the discs in the cases before charging them, just in case a disc turns out to be missing]

1. Click the Charge button to open the Charge window, or click on it if it's already open.

2. Swipe the patron's SpiderCard or scan the barcode on their Special Borrower card. They should present one or the other of these items to you. Refer to Linda or Melanie if they cannot. If the machine refuses to scan their card, click the ellipses button (three dots), which opens the Patron Search dialog box, and enter their name or ID number in the relevant box.

3. Scan the barcode on each item to be checked out. Don't forget to scan every item in a set of parts. You should hear two beeps (one from the barcode scanner and one from the computer). If you don't, then the transaction has not registered. If a circulation block comes up, read the information on screen and take the appropriate action.

4. Give the charge receipt to the patron, or place it inside one of the charged items.

5. Desensitize all bound items.

6. When you're finished, close the Charge window, to maintain patron confidentiality.

Checking Things In ("Discharging")

[note: for CDs and DVDs, make sure the discs are inside the cases BEFORE discharging them]

1. Click the Discharge button to open the Discharge window, or click on it if it's already open.

2. Make sure the cursor is in the "Item Barcode" box. If it's not, the information won't be recorded.

3. Scan the barcode(s) on each returned item. Don't forget to scan every item in a set of parts. You should hear two beeps (one from the barcode scanner and one from the computer). If you don't, then the transaction has not registered. Look at the screen to make sure every scanned item actually appears on the screen. If it does not, it will remain on the patron's record and they will receive overdue notices for it. FAILING TO DISCHARGE ITEMS PROPERLY INCONVENIENCES PATRONS AND REFLECTS BADLY ON MUSIC LIBRARY STAFF (INCLUDING YOU).

4. Sensitize all bound items. Put them on the reshelving cart.

5. Put CDs and DVDs in the red boxes on the reshelving cart so the discs can be returned to their envelopes and the cases can be reshelved.

Composers' Names

Here are the names of some composers that are well-known, but potentially difficult to spell. Copy and paste into the catalog as needed.



Cherubini (pronounced Kay-ru-BEE-nee)


Copland (pronounced COPE-land)


Dvorak (pronounced DVOR-zhak)

Grieg (pronounced GREEG)


Haydn (pronounced HI-den)

Ibert (pronounced ee-BEAR)



Mendelssohn (you may have more luck with his full last name, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy)

Messiaen (pronounced Mess-YON or MESS-yen)

Milhaud (pronounced Mee-YO)

Ockeghem (pronounced AH-keg-em)


Poulenc (pronounced Poo-LANK)

Prokofiev (pronounced Pro-KO-fi-ev)

Rachmaninov (pronounced Rak-MA-ni-nov)

Schoenberg (pronounced almost like SHERN-bairg)

Schuman (first name William)

Schumann (first name Robert)

Szymanowski (pronounced Shee-ma-NOV-ski)


Weber (pronounced VAY-ber)

Webern (pronounced VAY-bern)

Xenakis (pronounced Ze-NA-kis)


Computer Guest Accounts

Visitors to the campus may use the VisitUR network free of charge for basic internet access, which includes searching the online library catalog.  Instructions are here.  If they want to use library databases or other subscription services, they will need a network guest account.  Guest accounts can only be created by Melanie or Linda. If neither is available, send the person to Boatwright's Service Desk, where staff can assist them.

Confidentiality (BASIC INFORMATION)

Library users expect that information regarding their reading habits will be kept confidential.  The University of Richmond libraries are bound by ethical standards, as well as the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia, not to reveal confidential library records to anyone without properly drawn court orders.

For our staff, this means that we do not tell ANYONE (not even faculty or administrators) what another person has borrowed from the library or asked about at the reference desk.  Student employees who intentionally share such information with unauthorized persons are subject to termination.

If a patron wants to borrow an item that is currently checked out by someone else, the prospective borrower may place a hold or recall on the item, or may speak to Linda or Melanie about other options to get access to it.  UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU REVEAL THE NAME OF THE CURRENT BORROWER, but it is okay to say when the item is due.  If someone pressures you to reveal information about an individual library patron, please refer the person to Linda or Melanie.

Continuation of Employment (BASIC INFORMATION)

Student employment from one semester to the next is never guaranteed. Continuation will be assessed on the following factors:

  • Student work performance
  • Availability of funds
  • Need for staffing hours
  • Individual student's hours of availability

Course Reserves

The Music Library maintains both physical course reserves (books, scores, CDs, DVDs, etc) and online course reserves (streaming audio). E-reserves (online book chapters, journals articles, etc.) are processed at Boatwright. If professors have questions about any of this, refer them to Melanie or Linda.

Reserve Books, Scores, CDs, DVDs

Books, scores, CDs, and DVDs on reserve are shelved by course/professor. Reserve items are clearly marked with a sticker that indicates the course, professor, and borrowing period, and should not be reshelved in the regular stacks. Reserve items cannot be taken out of the Music Library unless this is indicated on the sticker. Sometimes reserve items are shared by more than one course, so it may be necessary to look around if something appears to be missing.

If a professor gives you an item to be added to his or her course reserve, be sure to ask which course it is for. Write that information on a Post-it and attach it to the item. Put the item on the "For Linda or Melanie" shelf.

E-reserves (text)

These are processed and maintained by Boatwright Library staff. Call Susan Opdycke (289-8006) with any questions or concerns.