Saturday 21st June, 2014
9:15am to 10:15am
Want to know that you have what your catalogue says you have where you say you have it? Many ILS’s don’t have an inventory module or require that you do the entire collection at once. We did an inventory using only a circulation scanner, a tablet and a spreadsheet program.
This session outlines the steps for the inventory including creating a shelf-list, using III’s review file function as an example, importing it into Excel, using advanced features such as filters and conditional formatting to find errors, missing books, and unlinked barcodes. Each section of 2000-2400 records could be scanned in a little over an hour. Importing records into Excel and applying the filters and formatting take only 20 minutes, less with practice.
This procedure can work for small or large collections. Larger collections, ours was a little over 60,000 items, are divided into smaller sections for easier handling.
Like shelf reading or weeding or any other maintenance activity, you must integrate inventory into the regular activity of managing your library collection. Why? In examining just one section of the collection (about 2100 books or so), we came across several missing books, one book that was still checked out to a patron, and seven that had call number or location discrepancies between item and bibliographic record. In addition, there were some damaged books that needed some attention and a handful that were shelved incorrectly.
The librarian responsible for weeding also took this opportunity to pull items for possible deselection. Seeing items in the context of their subject peers made those decisions easier – redundancies and imbalances could be seen at a glance.
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