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Re: Mis-addressing of labels (Was: Claiming Statistics) (Dan Lester) SERIALST Moderator 24 Jun 2002 19:22 UTC

Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 10:02:50 -0600
From: Dan Lester <>
Subject: Re[2]: Mis-addressing of labels (Was: Claiming Statistics) (Amy Anderson)

Tuesday, June 18, 2002, 11:11:52 AM, Amy Anderson wrote:
> The whole problem here, as I see it, is the fact that a few publishers
> have gotten the idea that librarians claim issues that actually DID
> arrive in their libraries.  This is simply unethical, and NO serials
> librarian that I have ever talked to does this, or even considers it as
> an option.

I'm a librarian.  I've been a head of Tech Services in a couple of ARL
libraries.  I'm not a serials expert, but after being around them in
libraries for almost 40 years, I do have some experience.  I can
assure you that in two of the seven academic libraries in which I've
worked (and NOT those where I was head of TS), it was not uncommon to
claim an issue that had been lost as much as two or three years after
it had been received.  Yes, I mean it had gone missing in the library
for whatever reason.  Most frequently this was discovered during
binding pickup, and the staff would say "Gee, I guess we never got
that one, the check mark on the card must have been a mistake, so lets
claim it."

Unethical?  Of course.  Wrong? Of course.  But it happened in the past
and I'm sure it happens now.  I know that some staff find it easy to
rationalize such things by saying "Well, that is 'Big Rich Publisher'
who charges us a thousand bucks for their journal and they can afford
it."  And, in some cases I can even sympathize with the staff who
think and feel that way, but I'm NOT condoning such behavior.  I am
pointing out that it happens, though.

I'm not doubting that no serials librarian has ever told you that s/he
does this, or that his/her staff do this.  That is to be expected,
since there aren't many around who will publicly admit to their errors
and sins of commission or omission.

Through all of this discussion we've seen that there are problems with
publishers, there are problems with the postal service, and there are
problems with libraries.  No one category of people is perfect and it
isn't useful to try to put all the blame on the group(s) that we're
not members of, no matter which group we're in.  My office doesn't
have any windows, but I still find it advisable not to throw stones.



Dan Lester, Data Wrangler 208-283-7711
3577 East Pecan, Boise, Idaho  83716-7115 USA  Stop Global Whining!