Making A Collection Count


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Presentation for the Loleta Fyan Rural Libraries Conference April 29-May1 Grand Traverse Resort

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  • Welcome! Intro
  • Making A Collection Count

    1. 1. Making a Collection Count: Why a Physical Inventory is Essential to a Dynamic Library  
    2. 2. Program Outline <ul><li>Steps to performing a physical inventory </li></ul><ul><li>What you’ll discover </li></ul><ul><li>Why you should care </li></ul><ul><li>Creating collection objectives from inventory data </li></ul><ul><li>Creating benchmarks from inventory data </li></ul>This presentation is available online:
    3. 3. Physical Inventory – What is it? <ul><li>On-going process of comparing the “shelf list” (holdings) to actual items. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Inventory Strategy: Step 1 <ul><li>Choose a manageable piece of collection </li></ul><ul><li>SSLDL Started with audio book collection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High per unit cost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Newer collection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Holdings at beginning of project ~ 500 items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Estimated value at that time: about $32,000 </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Inventory Strategy: Step 2 <ul><li>Do a quick, general weed </li></ul><ul><li>Be aggressive! </li></ul><ul><li>Makes shelf list more manageable in step 3 </li></ul>
    6. 6. Inventory Strategy: Step 3 <ul><li>Get a shelf list </li></ul><ul><li>Usually includes title, author, pub date, last circ date, total circs, price, item barcode # </li></ul>
    7. 7. Inventory Strategy: Step 4 <ul><li>Identify obvious errors on shelf list. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Call numbers that don’t line up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Items without prices or other empty fields on list </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Find the items and fix their records </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SSLDL placed holds on a special “SLYN Inventory” library card for items currently checked out </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Inventory Strategy: Step 5 <ul><li>Inventory remaining items </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cart up a shelf at a time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scan into your ILS’s inventory feature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteers are a great resource for this part! </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Collection Life Cycle Selection Purchase Processing Shelving Checkout Re-Shelving Repair/Maintenance Weed or Replace Each stop in the circle gives us a chance to check quality and perform inventory checks.
    10. 10. What You’ll Discover <ul><ul><li>Items still attached to patron records </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Items shelved in the wrong place </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Items that are broken, dirty, and disgusting! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Items attached to the wrong record </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Holdings for items discarded ages ago </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adult items marked juvenile/vice versa </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. More Discoveries <ul><ul><li>Mislabeled items </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inaccurate call numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Items marked missing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Items that are just plain stupid! </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Why should we spend time doing this? <ul><li>So that catalog accurately reflects library holdings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Limit customer and staff frustration </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To create a starting point for evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Library & Librarian performance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>So that staff gain deeper understanding of ILS and library work flow </li></ul>
    13. 13. Physical Inventory Helps Maintain a Quality Collection <ul><li>Does it circulate or is it used enough? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it current? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it relevant? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it look nice? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the catalog correctly reflect the status of the item? (checked out, lost/missing, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Are collections organized logically? </li></ul>
    14. 14. Physical Inventory Defines Your Collections <ul><li>Geographical </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shelf Location, Department </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Item type </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DVDs, Book on CD, Large Print </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Home Location (regardless of item type) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-Fiction, Fiction, Audio book, Music </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Monetary Reasons to Perform a Physical Inventory <ul><li>Provides information for budget decisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to update/overhaul a collection? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Waning format = limit/eliminate funds to a collection </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Regular inventory controls loss ( Read: $$$ ) </li></ul>
    16. 16. Intangible Reasons <ul><li>Solid collection information and data shows vigilance with public assets </li></ul><ul><li>Staff familiarity with collections </li></ul><ul><li>You look smart, professional, and RELEVANT! </li></ul>
    17. 17. Using Inventory Data <ul><li>SSLDL’s Audio Book Collection Results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5 missing items found </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 item not discharged properly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>14 items cataloged as wrong format </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2 items not found (Stolen? Lost? Discarded?) </li></ul></ul>Error Rate: 4.4% Reclaimed items: 6 ( ~$65 each = about $390 value) Lost/stolen/missing:2 (about $130 value)
    18. 18. Using Inventory Data: Creating Collection Objectives <ul><li>A general statement of what materials will or will not be included in the collection. </li></ul><ul><li>They are different for every library and community </li></ul><ul><li>Can be different for each collection </li></ul>Collection Data is Dynamic! Is your collection doing the job it’s supposed to?
    19. 19. SSLDL’s Audio Book Collection Objective <ul><li>Popular materials of current interest </li></ul><ul><li>Since cost is a factor with audio books, titles that have a limited shelf life will be given low priority </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: some series fiction, political material addressing current events, travel info, certain types of science or health material that could be outdated quickly </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. SSLDL’s Audio Book Collection Objective (Continued) <ul><li>Consideration and comparison to statistics in downloadable audios will also be investigated. </li></ul><ul><li>Other considerations for the collection: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Classic fiction and nonfiction titles that coincide with local school and university curriculum objectives, foreign language instruction for both students and travelers </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Using Inventory Data to Create Benchmarks <ul><li>Benchmark: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A standard by which something can be measured or judged </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Most expensive collections get most attention </li></ul><ul><li>Non-financial reasons are important and considered! </li></ul><ul><li>Circulation Goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Estimation of how many times you estimate this item will be checked out within 2 years of purchase </li></ul></ul>
    22. 22. SSLDL’s Circulation Benchmarks for Audio Book Collection <ul><li>Fiction Titles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10-12 checkouts within 1 year of purchase </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Popular Non-Fiction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bestsellers, self help, biography, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8-10 checkouts within a year of purchase </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Informational Non-Fiction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Language instruction, Shakespeare/Poetry, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3 checkouts within 1 year of purchase </li></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Other Benchmarks to Set Using Inventory Data <ul><li>Average unit cost of each item in a collection </li></ul><ul><li>Total cost (worth) of a collection </li></ul><ul><li>Number of units in a collection </li></ul><ul><li>Weeding/maintenance schedule </li></ul>
    24. 24. Presented by : Mary Kelly [email_address] Holly Hibner [email_address] Presentation available online at