Good Afternoon. This presentation offers an overview of the Inventory Process undertaken in December 2009 by Southbank Institute of Technology Library. It describes the Library Inventory Project using portable memory scanners and laptops as well as the processes employed to manipulate the data files into the correct format for uploading into Workflows. It won’t cover the reports associated with actioning an inventory.
Our Library Policy guidelines state that we are to conduct an inventory of our collection every two years. Due to major challenges faced by our Institute it had been four years since our last inventory. For the library this entailed integrating the four campus library collections into a new four level library as well as migrating our data to new system. Now we all know that libraries like to embrace change but were we completely out of our minds - implementing two new library systems within eighteen months. After our migration to Horizon in 2007, we felt a bit like experts, and thankfully accomplished a seamless changeover to Symphony in 2008 with minimum disruption to staff duties. Just to keep busy we moved all our website content to EPS/Rooms.
It was apparent to the whole library team that it was essential for us to conduct an inventory as soon as possible to clean up our database. So, without wireless capability or accessible internet connections throughout the four levels of the new library, the Systems team investigated conducting an inventory using PDAs with the PocketCirc Software. Our plan to purchase the SirsiDynix recommended PDAs were blocked at every turn – discontinued PDAs, stock unavailable etc. etc. Finally, we made the decision to conduct the inventory as planned using our existing equipment - portable memory scanners. Our staff were familiar with the scanners and required no training. The library would be closed at the end of semester while we scanned the General Collection - we had a week to conduct the inventory and action reports. But…. how to get the text files into a format that worked with Symphony. Kathryn Johnson from the Illinois College of Optometry, provided assistance on manipulating the scanned data through separate applications to configure it into the correct format and file type for uploading into Workflows. Our next step was to test the different scanning options and write the new inventory work instructions.
We used the three scanning options o conduct inventory on our smaller collections during the testing period. This enabled us to identify any problems or issues before scanning the General Collection.
Directly into WorkFlows – Inventory can be conducted using a workstation or laptop. Challenges for us involved items being taken to the closest workstation or using a long network cable to take laptops into the shelves. As previously discussed, the benefit is that the item record is updated in real-time. Portable Memory Scanners – We used lightweight scanners with an attached battery pack. The scanner contain a memory to capture the scanned barcodes and is programmed for continuous mode, activating a beep and green light when the barcode is scanned correctly. When each section is completed the collected data is downloaded into NotePad and saved as a text file, the scanner’s memory is cleared before scanning the next section of collection. Laptops - Using a laptop with an attached scanner, the barcodes can be scanned directly into NotePad. The data files were save onto a USB for easy transfer. A regular check while scanning the barcodes is required to ensure there are no errors – part barcodes.
Firstly, the scanned data must be manipulated into a format that WorkFlows will accept. The first column of each row of the data must contain the word “SCANNER”, followed by a pipe delimiter | the second column the date and time stamp (YYYMMDDHHMM), followed by a pipe delimiter| and the third column contains the barcode. A template file was created in Excel using this layout. We could have scanned directly in to this template file but we felt there was an opportunity for errors. Secondly, the uploaded data must have a file extension of .sav to be uploaded to the Workflows directory.
As each Excel file has an input limit of 3647 barcodes rows, I ran a Call Number Range Count Report to provide a break down of the General Collection. Before scanning began we marked out the collection using a card system – the library was closed when we scanned during this time. As instructed, the Set Inventory Date Report should be run before scanning begins to ensure all items checked out will be accounted for when the file is uploaded. Using the Portable Memory Scanners or Laptops our staff began scanning items in the specific call no. range areas. When each section was completed, I download data into a NotePad file. The saved file was named for the corresponding call number area scanned.
The process followed by us to manipulate the data for uploading file. Although the process is time consuming, we found that start off with clear instructions ensured that there are no mistakes. I also kept a copy of each manipulated data files as I worked through the process. Luckily, I’d had plenty of time to practice the process when testing on our smaller collections. Download barcodes into Notepad and save file Copy and paste the barcodes into an WorkFlows Upload Excel template, saving as Text Tab (Delimited) file Open file in MS Word to change the format Open file in NotePad and save to .sav Upload into Workflows
The following instructions describe the process of manipulating the data file containing the scanned barcodes for uploading into Workflows. Each file was manipulated using the same method for uploading into Workflows. Transfer barcodes Open the saved Text file for the selected area and select all barcodes Open the Excel Workflows Upload Template Paste barcodes into Column C - Cell C1 overwriting - place holder Scroll through file to check for errors Verify the word SCANNER (CAPS) is entered in all cells in Column A Ensure the date/time listed in Column B (YYYYMMDDHHMM) is prior to the current day/time file is uploaded. If necessary, modify date using Replace ALL function IMPORTANT – Delete any rows in the Excel file past the last barcode. (Only 3647 barcodes may be entered in any one file) The Excel Workflows Upload Template must be saves as a Text file. Select File &gt; Save As Verify the File name is named for Call No range scanned Change the file Type to Text Tab (Delimited ***.txt.) Save the file to either a local or library network drive Accept the Formatting questions Close Excel
Open the saved .txt file MS Word program Type Ctrl H or Select Edit &gt; Replace to replace formatting e.g. Replace ( ^t ) with ( | ) pipe delimiter Click on Replace ALL Select Save As from File Menu Change file extension from .txt to .sav in the File name box Retain .txt in Save As Type Click the SAVE button Close MS Word
Note: This step strips the Word formatting so that it will load into Workflows - if you do not change the file type to all files and add .sav, Workflows will not recognize file for processing. Change filename with .sav extension in NotePad Open NotePad program Open .sav.txt file e.g. GEN A-D.sav.txt Click File &gt; Save As Delete the .txt element in File Name Change File Type to All Files Click SAVE button
Upload Barcode File - Select the Utility Toolbar in WorkFlows - Open the Scanner Wizard. Choose Intermec 2410 since that is the format in which the data has been saved. Click on Retrieve Click Exit at the pop up box since you are not transferring from a handheld scanner to the pc Use the Directory & File gadget to browse and select the .sav file that you previously have saved. Retain all default settings Click on the Upload to load the file into WorkFlows The next step is to run the Load Scanned Barcode Report. This report provides you with a list of errors - the current location attached to the barcode e.g. In Processing, Checked Out etc. Also list items not on the systems and provides the barcode and call no. of the item scanned before the listed item’s barcode
Although the manipulation of the barcode files using this method is a lengthy and tedious process, the end results were as successful as other methods of inventory. The barcodes were uploaded into Workflows and the output reports were addressed, resulting in accurate lists and counts of our holdings. One significant benefit for the library was that it allowed us to use our existing portable memory scanners to conduct the inventory - staff were familiar with the equipment. Since conducting our inventory, I have found there are easier methods of manipulating the scanned data. All library staff participated in the Inventory and we followed WH&S guidelines. In between scanning shifts staff utilised their time managing any issues that arose – repairing damaged items, replacing unreadable barcodes/spine labels etc. The usual benefits of an inventory were satisfied. An accurate list of holding offers a more efficient use of staff time – reduction in time spent searching the shelves for incorrectly shelved or missing items. Wireless has now been implemented at Southbank and future inventory can be preformed in a more user friendly operation. We have now changed direction and have investigated RFID – this is currently under review.
The Longest Process…..
Library Systems Officer
Southbank Institute of Technology
Redevelopment of Southbank Institute
• Organisational Restructure
• Amalgamation of Four Campuses
• New Four Level Library
• Two Data Migrations
Time to inventory… Investigations begin
• PocketCirc Software
• Existing Equipment
• Inventory Work Instructions
Format of Upload File
• File Format for Uploading into Workflows
• Uploaded File Extension = .sav
• Call Number Range Count Report
• Run Set Inventory Date Report in Workflows
• Scan barcodes in Call Number Areas
• Download scanned data into NotePad
Data File Manipulation Flowchart
Transfer barcode data to Excel fileTransfer barcode data to Excel file
Save as… Text (Tab Delimited)Save as… Text (Tab Delimited)
Change format in MS WordChange format in MS Word
Rename file extension in NotePadRename file extension in NotePad
Upload file into WorkFlowsUpload file into WorkFlows
Download barcodes into NotePadDownload barcodes into NotePad
Process – Modify Text File
• Copy barcodes from the saved NotePad file
• Open Workflows Upload Template (Excel file)
• Paste barcodes into Column C of the Template
• Delete all empty rows after the last barcode
• Save as File Type - Text (Tab Delimited)
Process – Format in MS Word
• Open the saved Text file in Microsoft Word
• Change Formatting using the Replace function
• Replace ( ^t ) with ( | ) pipe delimiter
• Change file extension from .txt to .sav in File Name
• Retain .txt in Save As Type
• Example file name: Gen A- D.sav.txt
Process – Change File Extension in NotePad
• Open the saved file in NotePad
• Open the saved Word file .sav.txt
• Saving the file NotePad strips out MS Word formatting
• Delete the .txt element in File Name
• Change File Type to All Files
Upload Barcode File into WorkFlows
• Open the Scanner Wizard in Workflows
• Retrieve the Inventory Device ‘Intermec 2410’
• Browse and select the .sav file pathway
• Upload the file into Workflows
• Run the Load Scanned Barcode Report
Disadvantages of Using this Process
• Time Consuming
• Repetitive Task
• Risk of Errors/Corrupt Files
• Utilisation of Existing Equipment
• Accurate Database Holdings
• Accurate Item Counts