I am retired (November 2016) but I have remained on library listserves and I saw your posting.  At my retirement after 47 years I was the only serial cataloger/problem solver for the university library.  Serial cataloging started out having a section of about 3 MLS catalogers and 3 non-MLS catalogers.  Little by little as people quit or retired the number of staff dwindled until I was the only person left doing serial cataloging.  I started out doing copy cataloging, OCLC searches, etc. with the professional catalogers doing original cataloging and all of the problem solving.  Gradually I began to do some original serial cataloging and then some problem solving.  And then as the last serial cataloger/problem solver I was doing it all.  I assigned LC call numbers, LCSH subjects, did original cataloging along with copy cataloging, and solved any serial problems that others found.  However, I did NOT do any electronic journal work or problem solving.  Everything I did was for print materials.  We were getting more and more electronic journals and less print journals which is why the library could get along with just one serial cataloger/problem solver.

I assume that the reason for your posting to the list is because you are considering having staff catalog/process your serials rather that faculty do the work.  My advice is that with years of experience a staff person can do what a faculty used to do with serials work.  After 47 years (mostly in serials) I was considered a serial expert when I retired.  But over the years I had a lot of training and people checking my work.  Experience and knowledge are the keys to having staff do things that faculty usually do.  I suggest that if you want your staff to do everything that you carefully evaluate the knowledge and experience that various staff members have and choose someone with the knowledge and experience.  And when you start the person doing serial work have someone check their work for some time to make sure that the person is doing the work correctly.  And then when the person has the knowledge and experience hope that he/she doesn't quit or retire.  Serials can at times be tricky.  So many times when I was problem solving I would say that if publishers had ever been serial catalogers they wouldn't do some of the things that they do.  Experience is a huge factor in being able to problem solve.  Many times something I had seen before helped me realize what was going on.

I hope that this helps you with your questions.

Marilyn Miller

On Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 12:49 PM, not available <bellbronte@hotmail.com> wrote:

What all does a staff member in Serials do at your library?  I'm especially interested in any non-financial tasks.   I'm also interested in any tasks that you *wished* were done but currently aren't (for whatever reason).

Additionally, are there any tasks that a cataloguer (a librarian) would normally do but that now a staff member does?  

I'd appreciate any input. 

Thank you.

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