Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Library Life: Hold Slips - Pt. 2

A few weeks ago, I did a post all about how hold slips are generated at libraries (it's much more interesting than it sounds, I promise), and included in it some examples of famous people and what their hold slip codes might look like. I had such fun thinking about them that I decided to do a part II post entirely dedicated to what author's codes would be. 

In case you haven't read that post (in which case, I absolutely recommend it), or just need a refresher, this topic assumes that holds codes are made using the first three letters of the person's last name and the first letter of their first name.

I've scoured my brain and the internet to come up with authors that have interesting or amusing codes, and categorized them into ones that:

  • Form English words 
  • Result in a name 
  • Caught my attention for being interesting
and last but not least,
  • Where the holds code look shockingly like the author's own name

English Words

Emily Dickinson - DICE

Gustave Flaubert - FLAG

George Bernard Shaw - SHAG

Daisy Goodwin - GOOD

Ken Follett - FOLK

Neil Gaiman - GAIN

Tayeb Salih - SALT

Kiran Desai - DESK

P. L. Travers - TRAP

Emma Donoghue - DONE


Lewis Carroll - CARL

Kamala Markandaya - MARK

Andre Norton - NORA

Angela Carter - CARA

Mary Norton - NORM

Dionne Brand - BRAD


Colleen McCullough - MCCC (so many C's!)

Olaudah Equiano - EQUO (this is a form of the word "horse" in Latin and "fair/just" in Italian)

Mian Mian - MIAM ("yum" in French)

Keri Hulme - HULK (this could have fit in a few categories, but I wanted to highlight how cool it is)

Oh So Close...

Rupi Kaur - KAUR

Alexandre Dumas - DUMA

Elizabeth Marie Pope - POPE

Rick Riordan - RIOR

Richard Scary - SCAR

Ta-Nehisi Coates - COAT

Now you're going to start doing this with other people's names aren't you? Let me know if you come up with anything fun! I'm definitely finding it hard to not keep adding to this list!

Interesting thing that I found out though, was that certain cultural naming patterns work better for this than others, at least for English words. I found that authors with Chinese names and Polish names for example, often were difficult to match with English language patterns. I wonder if this same practice holds true for words in those languages (and others!) and how English names fair in those contexts.


  1. I just went back to read the first post and I can honestly say that I had never thought of this. I guess I just assumed you used the borrowers name & hadn't even considered privacy.

    Super interesting!

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    1. Thanks for checking out both this post and part 1! Yeah, it's definitely a big part of the job that a lot of people don't know about. So many people come over and feel like they have to tell us the title of the item they have on hold, and I'm thinking "nooooo it's okay!"

  2. "George Bernard Shaw - SHAG"
    I'm sure he would have loved that 😂.

    HULK was fun too!

    "EQUO (this is a form of the word "horse" in Latin and "fair/just" in Italian)"
    See, you're learning Italian 😉.

    1. Haha, I thought so too!

      I'm 1/4 Italian, actually ;) so I know a few words here and there, but not much in terms of sentence structure unfortunately! Hmm....I sort of want to do a perceptions of me post now....

    2. 1/4 Italian? That's lovely! And that post would be fun 😀.