Floating our Collection One System – One Collection1 February 2012
What is a floating collection? Essentially, items are shelved at the location where they are checked in. TLC automatically changes the “owning” branch designation to the branch where items are returned. The philosophy of this method is “One system, one collection.” (We all own and share the collection.) Benefits: Materials movement is generated by our library customers through their hold requests. Items remain at the location where they are returned. Items move freely among all locations.2
Libraries all over the world are usingthis method. But why should we do it? To get materials into the hands of our customers more quickly while reducing the handling and transportation of materials by library staff and courier. To help make the entire collection more readily available to our customers, reduce staff time and save money. Branch shelves will not look the same all the time encouraging more customer browsing and increasing circulation.3
The Fear Factor You want to do what? You think this is going to work?4
The Real Fear Factor What if our branch ends up with too many books? Or not enough books? What if stacks of books pile up everywhere, topple over, and injure our customers! Yikes!5
Back to the original question: Why float? Because it6 works!
Benefits of FloatingFor the Library SystemBrings us together as a systemIncreases materials availability and provides continuously refreshed collectionsReduces the risk of smaller branches being “read out” Have you ever wondered how many customers don’t come back to visit because the shelves are stocked with the same books all the time?7
Benefits of Floating (cont’d) For our Customers Allows customers to control the movement of items across branches Items are available at the point of check-in instead of being “In Transit” Reduces amount of time items are “In Transit” Offers opportunity to better utilize our catalog8 features - searching and placing holds
Benefits of Floating (cont’d)For our WorkloadReduces amount of materials-handling by the courier and library staff who load and unload the cratesLess in-house processing of items such as DVDs – all items will be uniformly processed and should come “shelf ready” from the vendor9
Benefits of Floating Some Cost Savings Reduces physical wear and tear on items as they are moved less - extending life Reduces need to duplicate titles Reduces staff ergonomic injuries Promotes sharing and good stewardship10 of resources
Issues to Address How do we deal with overflow – too many books on a topic or shelf at a small branch? You can: Do limited shifting to accommodate items Make creative displays to increase circulation Weed tired, worn and tattered materials Create redistribution guidelines Relocation should be used as a last resort THRESHOLD: Your branch manager will receive an email when too many items are on the shelves at your branch. We will designate a threshold number for your branch that generates this email automatically.11
Issues to Address (cont’d) Things to Think About We will need to standardize our processing practices across the system. Example: recent changes in cataloging & spine labels for DVDs. Will there be new workflow issues for circulation staff? Will this change your work routines? Customer training (placing holds, system-wide view) Collection knowledge – your shelves may be refreshed with new materials much more frequently and may attract your customers to come in more often and discover new materials! This equals a12 possible increase in circulation!
Issues to Address (cont’d)Collection Development We now need to standardize processing of materials.Important point: All items should look alike – labels, stickers, etc. – because these items now belong to the system and not to any one branch.Example: Many branches place a label inside the DVD case that says “Property of xxxxx branch.”You should no longer do this. Are there other labels you use?Please discontinue these practices. If you are unsure, call Diane.13
Final Thoughts We will begin floating DVDs and music CDs on March 1 st. Please think about how will this affect you. How can we help staff and customers prepare for the change? Help your customers to get a PIN, learn to use the online PAC, and place holds when they see items they are interested in. For customers who cannot use the computer, place their holds for them.14
Please talk to your manager or a collection development team member if you have any questions or suggestions.We need you to help this project be successful.15
Many thanks to: Natasha Casteel from the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Library in Albuquerque, New Mexico for this PowerPoint presentation. While I have customized it for our library system, she developed the original presentation and posted it on Slideshare for the use of other libraries.16