Transforming from Dewey to BISAC: The Herculean Conversion of a Small Branch

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Presentation at the 2013 ILF Annual Conference, October 22, 2013, Indianapolis, IN. I discussed why the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library chose to convert the nonfiction books at our smallest branch from Dewey to BISAC, how we did it, and whether or not it increased circulation at that branch.

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Transforming from Dewey to BISAC: The Herculean Conversion of a Small Branch

  1. 1. The Herculean Conversion of a Small Branch ILF Annual Conference October 22, 2013 Indianapolis, IN Andrea Kappler, Cataloging Manager Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library
  2. 2.         Large public library in Evansville (SW IN) Central Library, 7 branches, 1 bookmobile Population served (2010 Census): 179,703 2012 total registered borrowers: 114,552 2012 total operating fund: $11.8 million 2012 total physical holdings: 806,922 2011 visits: 1.8 million 2011 circulation: 3.1 million (2012 was 2.6 M)
  3. 3.   East Branch, Stringtown Branch, West Branch Hours/Staffing:  Closed 2 days/week  Minimal staffing  Square footage:  6,902 sq. ft. (East & West)  4,428 sq. ft. (Stringtown)  East & West:  Carnegie library buildings (100 yrs old)  Located in small parks
  4. 4. 2012 Holdings by Branch *East Stringtown *West Books/Magazines: 15,765 Books/Magazines: 17,681 Books/Magazines: 24,485 Music CDs/Audiobooks: 2,944 Music CDs/Audiobooks: 2,884 Music CDs/Audiobooks: 3,583 DVDs: 4,448 DVDs: 4,484 DVDs: 4,439 Maps/Other: 0 Maps/Other: 88 Maps/Other: 55 Total items: 23,157 Total items: 25,137 Total items: 32,562
  5. 5. 2012 Circulation by Branch *East Stringtown *West Books/Magazines: 17,108 Books/Magazines: 28,312 Books/Magazines: 33,216 Music CDs/Audiobooks: 7,558 Music CDs/Audiobooks: 7,793 Music CDs/Audiobooks: 8,418 DVDs: 32,366 DVDs: 47,008 DVDs: 44,277 Maps/Other: 1 Maps/Other: 0 Maps/Other: 0 Total items: 57,033 Total items: 83,113 Total items: 84,816
  6. 6. Pilot project:  Smallest collection  Lowest annual circulation  Declining circulation statistics  Lower educational/economic background  Keep branch open Impact of:  Media specialists only in high schools  Power shelving
  7. 7. One bite at a time!
  8. 8.         Lots of research Defined scope of project Created Wiki page Notified internal and external players Converted magazines first Found an intern Formed a committee Withdrew books
  9. 9.        “Taxonomy” = classification of things or concepts Reference staff, branch staff, LIS intern, cataloger(s) Goals and timeline 4 taxonomy models Assignments with deadlines Created 2-level taxonomy (K.I.S.S.) Wiki for communication and documentation
  10. 10. Many, many of them!  Fast-track directive  Thinking outside the box  BISAC’s weaknesses and quirks  Executive vs. group decisions  Documenting decisions  Consistency
  11. 11.        Spine label limitations Stickers Assigning BISAC call numbers Re-labeling existing books Moving shelves Developing documentation Coordination with B&T
  12. 12.        Vacations, conferences, other projects, crises Retirements, loss of intern ILS migration Training CD staff, catalogers, public services Marketing/Publicity Tracking /Evaluating circulation Repeat performance with juvenile NF
  13. 13.  Existing stock:  Shelf ready vendor  Audiobooks/Playaways  Must include:  Prefixes- (R, J, YA, foreign language symbols)  Volume/part numbering  Limitations:  8 characters wide  7 lines top-to-bottom
  14. 14. CAREERS COLLEGE PORTABLE TRAVEL FL FLORIDA 2012 BIO ANTONIA JORDAN ART GENERAL AUDUBON BLAUGRUN TRUCRIME MURDER MILLER R FACTS GENERAL GUINNESS 2012 Sp EDUCATE FORLANG NAVARRO ESL EDUCATE FORLANG GALVIN CD BIO ANGELOU ANGELOU Playaway BIO ANGELOU ANGELOU
  15. 15.      Spreadsheet-based (1 for adult; 1 for juvenile) 39 unique top-level categories (adult) Countries/Peoples spreadsheet (juvenile) CONCEPTS audience cutoff (juvenile) Documentation (staff & B&T)
  16. 16.         All titles & copies in collection Missing, billed, lost & paid Tabs Sort-able Countable Dewey # and BISAC # Tested BISAC taxonomy Consistency, errors, making decisions
  17. 17.      Dewey/BISAC spreadsheet Done at East Branch Supplies & equipment TSD staff time Case-by-case decisions
  18. 18. Adult NF:  One month (August 2012)  Two catalogers  Part-time (20-25 hrs/week)  2,300+ adult NF books converted  125 adult NF audio CDs  22 adult NF Playaways
  19. 19. Juvenile NF:  Multiple months (Oct. 2012, Mar. 2013, July 2013)  Two catalogers, then one cataloger  Part-time (15-20 hrs/week)  2,400+ juvenile NF books converted  No audiobooks or Playaways converted  5,000 spine labels used (adult + juvenile)
  20. 20.     Dewey call # in bibliographic record BISAC call # in item record(s) BISAC headings in most bibliographic records No BISAC authority records
  21. 21.  Project 1: Create Adult BISAC taxonomy and spine labeling scheme  Re-label adult NF books, audiobooks, and Playaways  Project 2: Re-position adult NF shelving units at East Branch  Re-shelve converted books, audiobooks, and Playaways  Label shelves  Project 3: Create Juvenile BISAC taxonomy and spine labeling scheme  Re-label juvenile NF books & label the shelves  No shelf re-positioning done
  22. 22.         Non-cataloger appreciation for classification? Eliminated some location codes Eliminated low-use collection Cleaned up collections TSD staff worked at East Shelving flexibility/Marketing Patron reactions Increased circulation??
  23. 23.   Sort of, but not really Circulation  By BISAC category  Converted vs. New    Year-to-Year Withdrawals East’s patrons
  24. 24.  BISAC categories with highest circulation:         COOKING BIO LEISURE HEALTH HISTORY RELIGION TESTS MATH 8% 4% 4% 3% 3% 3% 2% 1%
  25. 25.  Books (after 6 mos. & 1 yr.)  Converted ▪ No circ: 78%; 63% ▪ 1-4 circs each: 20%; 24% ▪ 5+ circs each: 5 books; 9 books  New ▪ No circ: 41%; 32% ▪ 1-4 circs each: 59%; 59% ▪ 5+ circs each: 6 books ( 2 books had 6 circs, 1 had 7 circs, 1 had 8 circs); 31 books- 6-9 times each (1 book had 13 circs; 1 book had 14 circs)
  26. 26.  CD Audiobooks and Playaways (after 6 mos.)  Converted ▪ 93% had no circ ▪ 7% had 1+ circ  New ▪ 100% had no circ
  27. 27. Circulation of East’s BISAC Books & Magazines at East Aug 2011- Aug 2012 Sept 2012 – Sept 2013 % Change # of Checkouts # of Checkouts Adult Nonfiction 1,669 1,341 -20% Juvenile Nonfiction 1,075 889 -17% Adult Magazines 846 636 -25% Juvenile Magazines 2 0 -100% YA Magazines 60 14 -77%
  28. 28. Books withdrawn (year-end totals):  2009: 3,385  2010: 5,111  2011: 3,234  2012: 2,319
  29. 29.       3,100+ patrons 49% in zip code 47713 65% adult, 8% juvenile, 2% YA 14% are 43-52 years old 11% are 23-27 or 28-32 years old 21% of them sent to Collection Agency
  30. 30. Manual Blocks *East Stringtown *West Credit Bureau: 21% Credit Bureau: 14% Credit Bureau: 12% Amount owed: $78,027.50 Amount owed: $65,553.08 Amount owed: $64,586.02 All other manual blocks: 79% All other manual blocks: 86% All other manual blocks: 88% Amount owed: $24,015.71 Amount owed: $28,060.51 Amount owed: $28,713.41 Total amount owed: $102,043.21 Total amount owed: $93,613.59 Total amount owed: $92,759.41
  31. 31. Annual Compilations of Quarterly In-house Usage Stats *East Stringtown *West 2010: 6,487 2010: 6,955 2010: 8,671 2011: 5,824 2011: 3,822 2011: 6,357 2012: 4,514 2012: 3,328 2012: 5,317 2013 (thru Sept.): 2,466 2013 (thru Sept.): 1,752 2013 (thru Sept.): 4,068
  32. 32. Maintenance issues:  Changing BISAC headings  Call numbers in taxonomy  Spine labels  Bibliographic records   No authority records Communicating changes
  33. 33.         Avoid fads Don’t re-invent the wheel Know your ILS Weed heavily Goals and timeline Committee/Team Schedule meetings Delegate!
  34. 34.        Listen! Communicate/Discuss Document decisions Credit/Praise Coordinate Dark chocolate Don’t look back!
  35. 35.         Strength in numbers Organization is crucial Pick your battles Delegate! Don’t judge a book by its cover (or its title on a spreadsheet) Ignorance IS bliss Definition of ASSUME Perfection isn’t the goal!
  36. 36.   Local history collection Other neighborhood branches?
  37. 37. “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible” – St. Francis of Assisi
  38. 38. Contact information: Andrea Kappler Cataloging Manager Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library andreak@evpl.org 812-428-8398

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