As a child, I absolutely adored series books. Nancy Drew, The Baby-sitters Club (and all the spinoffs), Sweet Valley Twins (and all the spinoffs), Encyclopedia Brown, Cam Jansen, etc. etc. etc. Whenever I'd go to the library, I would just head over to the familiar shelf full of yellow Nancy Drews and grab a couple at random. Same with the other series. There was a seemingly infinite amount of books at my disposal.
Then I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Then I FLEW through Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban. Then, when I went back to the library for the next book. I couldn't find it. So, I asked the librarian if I could put a hold on it. She gave me that "oh honey" look and told me it wasn't even written yet. This was me:
This had NEVER happened to me before. Consequently, it's one of the top 3 library moments from my childhood (the other 2 are better memories).
Last week, I was the librarian in this situation and let me tell you, it was heartbreaking on this end too. A student who recently began Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy came in to return Insurgent and pick up the third (unwritten) installment. When she couldn't find it, she asked if anyone had checked it out or if it was maybe part of the new books display. Throughout her entire question, I was reliving this in my head:
So I told her, as delicately as possible, that the book isn't finished yet and is due out next year. Yes, she was devastated (and I can't blame her, it's a great series). But to keep her spirits up, I gave her recommendations for other series she might enjoy while she waits for the final Divergent installment: Graceling, by Kristin Cashore (the first in The Seven Kingdoms trilogy), Matched, by Allie Condie (the first in the Matched trilogy), and The Alchemyst, by Michael Scott (the first in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series).
She ended up selecting Graceling and loved it. That trilogy is complete (phew), so it was great when I got to hand her the second book when she finished Graceling.
Moral of the story: always be prepared to comfort a saddened patron who just wants to know what happens next.