What Book Does Library Have Most Copies Of? No One Knows.

Categories: Local News
zeitoun-cover.gif
Really, Zeitoun? Really?
After it turned out that we might be waiting 11 years for a book on hold, we grew interested in the number of copies the San Francisco Public Library keeps of certain much-loved tomes.

What, we queried the library, is the book it has the most copies of? Well, it turns out this isn't the easiest question in the book. The answers thus far: A. We don't know, and; B. We're working on that.

It turns out the "Millennium" system the library uses to keep track of its wares doesn't simply allow one to conjure up some manner of spreadsheet or data file and rank the books in the library's possession in order of copies owned. 

Without extensive analysis, the library can only produce book data that skew heavily toward items it has purchased extensively this year. That means the books featured in the One City One Book program do inordinately well. Meaning, yes, Zeitoun might well show up as the library's most voluminous possession.

Library personnel have promised us complicated procedures -- perhaps even rituals -- will be undertaken that will allow us to soon answer the pressing question: What is book No. 1?

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