PALS: Making Collection Count


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Presentation made to Prairie Area Libraries Conference, Moine, IL
April, 22, 2010

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  • Welcome!Intro
  • PALS: Making Collection Count

    1. 1. Making a Collection Count: Why a Physical Inventory is Essential to a Dynamic Library  <br />
    2. 2. Physical Inventory – What is it?<br />On-going process of comparing the “shelf list” (holdings) to actual items.<br />
    3. 3. Inventory Strategy: Step 1<br />Choose a manageable piece of collection<br />Started with audio book collection<br />High per unit cost<br />Newer collection<br />Holdings at beginning of project (2006) ~1000 items according to first shelf list.<br />Estimated value at that time: about $65,000<br />
    4. 4. Inventory Strategy: Step 2<br /><ul><li>Do a quick, general weed
    5. 5. Be aggressive!
    6. 6. Makes shelf list more manageable in step 3</li></li></ul><li>A few notes about weeding…<br />It is as important as selection<br />Must be done regularly<br />Hoarding is not collection development<br />
    7. 7. Inventory Strategy: Step 3<br /><ul><li>Get a shelf list
    8. 8. Usually includes title, author, pub date, last circ date, total circs, price, item barcode #</li></li></ul><li>Inventory Strategy: Step 4<br />Identify obvious errors on shelf list.<br />Call numbers that don’t line up<br />Items without prices or other empty fields on list<br />Find the items and fix their records and inventory them<br />
    9. 9. Inventory Strategy: Step 5<br />Inventory remaining items<br />Cart up a shelf at a time<br />Scan into your ILS’s inventory feature<br />Mark off items on the shelf list as you go along<br />Volunteers are a great resource for this part!<br />
    10. 10. Inventory Strategy: Step 6<br />Track down items on the shelf list that were not confirmed in your first pass.<br />Place holds for items that were checked out when made your first sweep<br />Follow up: mark missing? Damaged?<br />
    11. 11. Inventory Strategy: Step 7<br />Make a policy for how long to keep records for items that are not confirmed<br />Missing, damaged, assumed lost, etc.<br />Set a maintenance schedule for your next inventory in that collection<br />Items with no activity in a certain amount of time<br />
    12. 12. What You’ll Discover<br /><ul><li>Items still attached to patron records
    13. 13. Items shelved in the wrong place
    14. 14. Items that are broken, dirty, and disgusting!
    15. 15. Items attached to the wrong record
    16. 16. Holdings for items discarded ages ago
    17. 17. Adult items marked juvenile/vice versa</li></li></ul><li>More Discoveries<br /><ul><li>Mislabeled items</li></ul>Inaccurate call numbers <br />Items marked missing<br /><ul><li>Items that are just plain stupid!</li></li></ul><li>Why should we spend time doing this?<br /><ul><li>So that catalog accurately reflects library holdings
    18. 18. Limit customer and staff frustration
    19. 19. To create a starting point for evaluation
    20. 20. Library & Librarian performance
    21. 21. Increase knowledge of your holdings—better reference skills!</li></li></ul><li>Physical Inventory Helps Maintain a Quality Collection<br />Does it circulate or is it used enough?<br />Is it current?<br />Is it relevant?<br />Does it look nice?<br />Does the catalog correctly reflect the status of the item? (checked out, lost/missing, etc)<br />Are collections organized logically?<br />
    22. 22. Physical InventoryDefines Your Collections<br /><ul><li>Geographical
    23. 23. Shelf Location, Department
    24. 24. Item type
    25. 25. DVDs, Book on CD, Large Print
    26. 26. Location in a “collection”
    27. 27. Non-Fiction, Fiction, Audio book, Music</li></li></ul><li>Monetary Reasons to Perform a Physical Inventory<br />Provides information for budget decisions<br />Need to update/overhaul a collection?<br />Waning format = limit/eliminate funds to a collection<br />Regular inventory controls waste (Read: $$$)<br />Replacement costs<br />ILL costs<br />
    28. 28. Intangible Reasons<br />Solid collection information and data shows vigilance with public assets<br />Staff familiarity with collections<br />You look smart, professional, and RELEVANT!<br />
    29. 29. Using Inventory Data<br />SSLDL’s Audio Book Collection Results (1 Day’s Work)<br />5 missing items found<br />1 item still checked out on patron record<br />14 items cataloged as wrong format<br />2 items not found (Stolen? Lost? Discarded?)<br />~50 confirmed status/location<br />Error Rate: 4.4%<br />Reclaimed items: 20 (~$65 each = about $1,300 value)<br />Lost/stolen/missing:2 (about $130 value)<br />Items confirmed: ~50 (about $3,250)<br />
    30. 30. Using Inventory Data:Creating Collection Objectives<br />A general statement of what materials will or will not be included in the collection.<br />They are different for every library and community<br />Can be different for each collection<br />Collection Data is Dynamic!<br />Is your collection doing the job <br />it’s supposed to?<br />
    31. 31. Audio Book Collection Objective<br />Popular materials of current interest <br />Since cost is a factor with audio books, titles that have a limited shelf life will be given low priority <br />Examples: some series fiction, political material addressing current events, travel info, certain types of science or health material that could be outdated quickly<br />
    32. 32. Audio Book Collection Objective(Continued)<br />Consideration and comparison to statistics in downloadable audios will also be investigated.<br />Other considerations for the collection: <br />Classic fiction and nonfiction titles that coincide with local school and university curriculum objectives, foreign language instruction for both students and travelers<br />
    33. 33. Using Inventory Data to Create Benchmarks<br /><ul><li>Benchmark:
    34. 34. A standard by which something can be measured or judged
    35. 35. Most expensive collections get most attention
    36. 36. Non-financial reasons are important and considered!
    37. 37. Circulation Goals
    38. 38. Estimation of how many times you estimate this item will be checked out within 2 years of purchase</li></li></ul><li>Circulation Benchmarksfor Audio Book Collection<br /><ul><li>Fiction Titles
    39. 39. 10-12 checkouts within 1 year of purchase
    40. 40. Popular Non-Fiction
    41. 41. Bestsellers, self help, biography, etc.
    42. 42. 8-10 checkouts within a year of purchase
    43. 43. Informational Non-Fiction
    44. 44. Language instruction, Shakespeare/Poetry, etc.
    45. 45. 3 checkouts within 1 year of purchase</li></li></ul><li>Other Benchmarks to SetUsing Inventory Data<br /><ul><li>Average unit cost of each item in a collection
    46. 46. Total cost (worth) of a collection
    47. 47. Number of units in a collection
    48. 48. Weeding/maintenance schedule</li></li></ul><li>Collection Life Cycle<br />Selection<br />Purchase<br />Weed or Replace<br />Processing<br />Repair/Maintenance<br />Shelving<br />Re-Shelving<br />Checkout<br />Each stop in the circle gives us a chance to check quality<br />
    49. 49. Contact Me!Mary Kelly marykelly48@gmail.comhttp://practicallibrarian.blogspot.comHave some truly awful things to share?http://awfullibrarybooks.infoemail: awfullibrarybooks@gmail.comPresentation available online at<br />