I am wondering if issue is a right word to describe the act of giving a book by librarian to the customer of library. The book that the person ordered previously and now is standing in front of the counter in library and the librarian is giving the book to the person after introducing all necessary data about this person and rental details into system.

So, can we say that librarian issued the book to customer?

In Oxford Dictionary I found that one of the meanings of issue is Supply someone with (something) and following example is given everyone was issued with a gas mask. According to that I think the sentenced I made is correct although one person who knowns English better then I claims that issue cannot be used in this particular context.

  • 1
    I don't see why issue couldn't be used that way. Even though the library book is being lent out, it is still also being issued. Just as while a passport is being given to somebody, it, too, is also being issued. The degree of permanence of something shouldn't affect the fact that it's being issued. Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 20:54
  • Please see english.stackexchange.com/a/55304/16244
    – Mustafa
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 22:00
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    It is possible that anything that is loaned, sold or given, is also "issued". But the verb "issue" relates more closely to the physical handing over of the item(s) than to the contractual condition under which it is changing hands i.e. sale, loan or gift. Indeed "issue" is a neutral term which does not imply any of them.
    – WS2
    Commented Jun 12, 2018 at 22:50
  • I would say that the librarian "checked the book out" to the customer.
    – tautophile
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 1:51
  • OED 10. trans. To give or supply (something) to a person (also with the recipient as indirect object). Also: to supply (a person) with something. . All of the examples in the OED are either military issues to troops or government issues like driving licences. Seems to be quite a specialised use, in the OED.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Jun 13, 2018 at 2:52

1 Answer 1


While it's not typical, you could say that.

I think, however, it would be more precise and better understood if you said loaned.

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