The staff evaluation process dominated the month for team members who have supervisory responsibility as we wrote and interviewed staff to complete this yearly duty.
Cataloging Workflow Task Force Chair, Pete Wilson, attended a meeting of TechForce to discuss their progress and direction. That group is already implementing changes in workflow. A significant change is the agreement of Order Services staff to research Blackwell and YBP approval materials arriving with no copy. A pilot project conducted by TF members Monica Sanchez and Alice Cunningham found that a significant number of good quality records for these materials is available by the time the books arrive in the library. These records will now be brought into Acorn by OS staff before routing to CAT. Some of the records will be speed cataloged in OS and others will be routed to all levels of staff in CAT. We expect this procedural change will get more materials to the shelves faster and will reduce the number of materials sent for original catalogers’ attention. The Cataloging team would like to thank Order Services staff for their willingness to take this on. Thank you!
Most likely due to the re-searching and subsequent speed cataloging of some items upon receipt, verifier/receivers in Order Services have had a record month for speed cataloging. This month, 1397 items were speed cataloged (the monthly average this year, prior to this month, is 832).
OS is currently re-searching some other items upon receipt to determine the relative efficiency of re-searching various types of materials. Testing continues, and additional procedures may be modified to include the re-searching on a routine basis.
Sue Davis, Charlotte Lew, and Daphne Walker spent much time planning and preparing for Preservation Week, April 7-11. Two small exhibits are now installed in the Central lobby display cases. Lisa Shipman and Elaine Goleski have provided a great deal of support with publicizing the events
PERSONNEL ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS:
TechForce members took a field trip to the Annex where Peg gave us a very detailed and informative orientation and tour.
Zora Breeding attended two meetings of the joint CAG/CAAG Item Types Task Force, where discussion is underway about converting the Central non-book item types from AV and AV- to more descriptive terms such as the other libraries use.
Mary Ellen Wilson attended the Sirsi SuperConference in St. Louis.
Ann Ercelawn taught the Advanced Serials Cataloging Workshop for SOLINET in Fort Lauderdale and was asked by CONSER to join a task group on membership.
Michael Scott has been invited to speak at ALA in Toronto about a mentorship program he participated in while in library school.
Don Jones has agreed to serve on the VU Faculty Staff Campaign for another year.
At the end of the month, Becky Atack began her new reduced schedule. Becky will be working a 30-hour week beginning March 31st. Also in the month of March, Ibtisam Latif officially reduced her hours from 40 to 30 hours per week.
Along with Norman Nash, Sue Davis attended a VUPD training seminar for campus emergency planning. Sue and Norman have begun revising the existing library emergency response plan in light of the new requirements.
Staff attended the Standards of Conduct video. Several also attended a GLB TS meeting to discuss the GLB Security Report.
Several staff attended a demo of SIRSI's Rooms product.
CATALOGING AND AUTHORITIES:
The team was busy with processing new receipts and working on special projects. Jeff Taylor and Mary Charles Lasater continue work on the Peabody Ed.S thesis project. Yuh-Fen Benda analyzed more of the Chinese dynasty book set. Bryan Kurowski and Jeff Taylor cataloged more RIP books. Mary Charles and Chris Benda began work on the Peabody Masters thesis project. Zora Breeding cataloged many Whitesell German gifts. Zora and Michael Scott started on the Past Masters project. Ann Ercelawn helped Linda Davis start on a long-delayed project to shadow records that converted from Notis as unshadowed. Becky Atack started on the Pia duplicate project. Sue Richardson resumed work on the unauthorized list generated from the Early English Books online and microfilm records load (over 50,000 records) from last summer.
Zora Breeding gave instruction to Barbara Clarke of the Women’s Center about creating original records in Acorn. Pete Wilson wrote some instructions for Yuh-Fen Benda and Bryan Kurowski for processing Rand materials, which require special series and call number treatment. He also wrote a procedure for processing gift materials in CAT. Jean Wright corresponded with Jim Noel, of Marcive, and is working on processing guidelines that will allow the Marcive batch records to expedite the creation of Internet locations.
CAT team members cataloged 1912 of the 3501 new titles processed by the libraries.
Working with Harrassowitz, we have made a modification to the way that OS processes German approvals. At the beginning of the month, we received our first file of Marc records for the corresponding batch of approvals. These records were loaded into Acorn upon receipt, with a current location of VERIFICATION. After paying the invoice, we then hold these materials for approximately 5 weeks before searching OCLC for better cataloging records. At the end of this period, records are overlaid if possible, and the materials are routed to cataloging (or, in rare instances, speed cataloged). Two distinct advantages to this process are that the invoice is paid much more quickly, and that there are records in Acorn so that the materials may be requested (and not duplicated) while we search for better copy.
On March 14th, Chris Waldrop, Mary Ellen Wilson, and Roberta Winjum met with Margaret Willingham from Ebsco.
Received and processed:
Firm orders: 1731
Added to Acorn:
In addition, 1816 new orders were placed, and the already mentioned 1397 titles were cataloged.
Monographs and Serials/Periodicals are being received and processed within 48 hours of receipt. Order requests are also being processed quickly - the oldest requests are currently dated April 1.
The special project of the month was Divinity's request for a special box to house a Bible purchased in memory of Anthony Buchanan. The Bible in its new box can be viewed temporarily in the Central Lobby book repair display near the Central Reference desk.
Two representatives from Heckman Bindery visited. Heckman has decided to offer preservation photocopying services, including digital. Sue and Jim Heckman have had multiple follow up conversations about the procedural side of this new service for which Sue offered some ideas that will likely be implemented at the bindery.
Unfortunately, the long-promised, improved binding software will not come to pass. Heckman Bindery has ended the working arrangement with a third party developer because the product never really got very far past vaporware. This will also have an impact on the agreement with SIRSI, one of the ILS vendors contracted to work with the product. The news is quite disappointing since the current LARS system is barely adequate and not user friendly.
1327 volumes total
1307 new Central paperbacks sorted and 548 selected for immediate binding (42%).
85 monographs rebarcoded in preparation for binding
As a result of binding, team members updated 706 Acorn holdings records.
Karen and Machelle are now paying Heckman Bindery invoices received at the end of February.
202 unbound serials
184 RUSH items
43 reels of microfilm labeled
552 microfiche labels created
As of April 3 the oldest items in the marking area date from March 24. The marking backlog has been reduced considerably over the last month.
268 volumes were repaired with 385 treatments
Staff provided repair service for Central, Divinity, Law, Science, and Special Collections. A majority of those repairs were spine replacements with wrapper boxes coming in second.
Currently the wrapper box focus is on Special Collections Memorabilia volumes, many of which are huge, dirty, and heavy. All require cleaning and some were discovered to be quite moldy. Charlotte Lew reports that one volume itself weighs 35 pounds.
During the TechForce’s Annex visit, Sue Davis uploaded PEM data and later generated reports for the Annex. A few days later Sue uploaded PEM data and generated reports for Special Collections as well.