Check-In workflow not based on alphabet -Summary Ann Doyle 20 Jul 2001 02:11 UTC

Subject:      Summary: Getting away from letter of alphabet check-in

Thanks to everyone who took the time and made the effort to respond to my

It's been a week now and I don't think I'm going to get any more
responses, so here's the summary.

Respondents:  11 self-selected SERIALST subscribers (one person reported
on two experiences, so the number of scenarios is actually 12)

(1.)  How do you organize check-in assignments?

5  Students check in everything.  No specialties.  Problems routed to staff.
1  Divided by Vendor &/or Library(location).
2  Divided by format.
2  Available individual (did not designate student or staff).  No specialties.
1  Students do �easy,� and refer problems to staff, who also do �hard.�
1  Divided by topic/publisher.

(2.)  How do the mail people know where to route/how to sort the pieces?

6  No sorting.  Pieces sorted/routed to locations as checked in as necessary.
1  Mail �sorted� into 10� piles (maintained so they don�t fall over).
1  Pieces needing check-in (on serials module) divided from rest of mail.
1  Staff sorts pieces into �easy� or �hard� check-in.
1  Staff rotate mail duty, know complete cycle. Whoever did the mail did
2  Not indicated.

Miscellaneous excerpts:

�Once in an online environment we found it inefficient to alphabetize titles

�Ever since we got rid of the [Kardex] wheels the system has been: as mail
is opened � piles are made � Individuals then take any pile and check each
item in.  When done, they take another pile, until there are no more piles.�

�Having the same person or people doing the entire process from receiving
the mail to checking in and claiming works well.�

�We have re-organized within the department so that there is more
cross-training of daily tasks � in response to increased staff turnover��

�It was very hard to train everyone to be able to check-in all types of
materials under that system [by letter of alphabet], but we had strong
resistance from staff when we tried to abolish it.�

�We did have some bumps at the beginning, trying to make sure everyone had
something of an equal number of titles to work with.�

It worked well because the � individuals [doing check-in] � alternated
weeks of sorting the mail.  Each knew the rules.�

�We do not use the alphabetical method until the materials have already
been checked in and sorted [for shelving].�

�We have surveyed all of our branch libraries (we have 12) to tell us their
most popular/in demand titles.  Then as the students are opening the mail
they sort those titles out into the express basket.  These issues are
checked in first and we try to deliver them inside our building � the same

Ann S. Doyle
Serials Acquisitions Librarian
Young Library Serials                   V: 859-257-0500 x2132
University of Kentucky Libraries        F: 859-257-0508
Lexington  KY  40506-0456               E: