Summary: Serials Staff Responsibilities Celia Perez 05 Jan 2004 20:19 UTC

Happy New Year everyone!  Several of you expressed interest in the
feedback I received regarding the following message:

The serials staff at our small library is made up of myself and one other
person (a library assistant).  I would like to compile a list of
responsibilities for the both of us so that there is no confusion as to who
should be doing what.  Do any of you (who do not deal with serials alone)
have a list of  serials librarian / serials staff responsibilities that
you'd be willing to share?  I just want to get an idea of who is doing what
in other institutions.  You can post here if you'd like or respond to me
personally by email.  Thank you in advance for your help!

Thanks to everyone who responded.  There are a couple of emails that
included attachments.  If interested in those, email me and I'll forward

Here is the information I received....

(1)  We no longer have a serials librarian, but as the serials
acquisitions supervisor/unit head, I shared responsibilities with our
former serials librarian. Following are the primary responsibilities of
each of our 4 current full-time positions.

Serials Acquisitions Unit Head:

    * Supervise staff and direct work flow of Serials Unit
    * Correspond with vendors concerning problems
    * Interact with Collection Development Unit and subject specialists
      to resolve problems and make decision regarding subscriptions and
      standing orders
    * Process electronic invoices from Ebsco
    * Create and maintain spreadsheets for monographs and binding
      expenses and statistics
    * Maintain serials funds in Millennium
    * Perform financial and budget analyses and forecasting

Bibliographic Assistant:

    * Check-in periodicals
    * Claim issues when needed while in the check-in record
    * Pull issues for binding
    * Count and keep statistics for microfiche
    * Train and oversee student workers
    * Record claim responses

Continuations Clerk:

    * Open first class mail
    * Check-in and process material
    * Process paper invoices for payment
    * Open Worldwide Books (approval plan) and send to BibServices
      following approval
    * Set up serials check-in and order cards and brief bibliographic
    * Correspond with vendors via email
    * Process duplicate material to be returned to vendors
    * Assist in other Acquisitions units as needed

Periodicals Clerk:

    * Open first class mail
    * Sort, check-In, and count periodicals
    * Process paper invoices for payment
    * Ensure delivery of books to the branch libraries

Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Adam Wilder
Accountant I/Serials Acquisitions Unit Head
Temple University Paley Library (017-00)
1210 W. Berks Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6088
215-204-1359 (phone)
215-204-8550 (fax)

(2)  When I first started to work here 5 years ago, there was an assistant
who reported to me.  To make a long story short, he left and we
reorganized, so this structure no longer applies.  However, here were some
of the assistant's duties:

-Open and sort mail
-Check-in materials
-Maintain current periodicals shelving, including pulling items for binding
-Add microform to holdings
-Union listing
-Process materials going to and coming from the bindery
-Process invoices for my signature; keep copies on file
-Place orders for new subscriptions at my request
-Assist the public with requests as needed (e.g. 'Do we have the latest
issue of Nature'?)
-Train and supervise student workers; delegate tasks where appropriate

Some of my job responsibilities:

-Approve new subscriptions (doesn't happen very often nowadays!)
-Review ongoing/current subscriptions (including a recent cancellation project)
-Act as liaison with designated faculty from the science departments
-Serve on electronic resources committee
-Help cover Reference desk
-Student instruction, especially with the freshmen seminars
-Book selection for the sciences

That's all I can think of right now.  I hope this is helpful.

Jennifer van Sickle
Serials Librarian/Sciences Coordinator
Trinity College Library
300 Summit St.
Hartford, CT USA 06106
phone: 860-297-2250
fax: 860-297-2251

(3) I gave my assistant the full responsibility of maintaining the
missing issues list and finding replacement issues. I do not waste a
moment on that. I do all the ordering, claiming and record work to keep
her from wasting time in those areas.That leaves us both sharing
receiving, processing and shelf maintenance. Then we deal with the
special projects as they come.

We have a real team approach and it works well.

Marilee H. Rouillard, Periodicals Supervisor@
Mason Library, Keene State College
229 Main St. Keene, NH 03435-3201
(603) 358-2756

(4)  I am at a University Law Library.  I am the Acquisitions Librarian
and supervisor 3 individuals.  At this time our director does selection of
purchases.  I place order for all library materials.  My fiscal assistant
is responsible for doing the paperwork for payment (according to Univ.
procedures) which I sign off on.  A 2nd individual does government
documents and the 3rd is the serials/bindery assistant.  She sorts the
mail, checks in all the serials and oversees the student who prepares
materials for binding.

Besides supervising these 3, placing orders, and signing off on payments I
also do correspondence with vendors, claim missing items (which I'm hoping
the serials person can eventually do), write donation letter thank yous,
reference, dealing with faculty, etc

Overseeing the budget is a biggie.  Making sure payments are from the
correct line item etc.  I also do anything related to serials.  Such as --
compiling a list of standing order titles by subject so we could evaluate
what we are getting (and then cancelling titles); or looking at the list
of 850 most often cited law journals to see what we subscribe to either
hard copy or online.

I also do misc. purchasing for the library just because I have procedures
in place to do so.

Hope this helps.

Sandra H. Berman
Acquisitions Librarian
UMKC Law Library
5100 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2499

(5)  We have 3 part-time people working on serials. Our clerk does most of
the check-in of journals and legal updates, as well as most of the
claiming. We also have a volunteer who helps with simple check-ins. The
serials librarian takes care of orders, renewals, cancellations and any
problems that arise.  This includes standing orders for books as well. I
used to be the serials librarian and are still involved in making
decisions about orders, cancellations, online subscriptions, etc. I am
also taking care of volume orders for coding books for all the
departments. I hope this helps,

Hella Bluhm-Stieber, MLIS, AHIP
Milton J. Chatton Medical Library
Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System
751 S. Bascom Ave.
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 885-5654
Fax (408) 885-5655

(6) I am the Serials Assistant and well I do all the paper and the person
who is the Serials Librarian does the electronic stuff.  We've had major
shifting in staffing etc. in the past four years.  My original supervisor
retired after 22 years and the person who was hired is now the instruction
librarian and the Reference librarian is now the Serials librarian.  We
both bounce ideas etc off each other and all cataloging is done by the
cataloging dept.

Leah Anderson
Serials/ILL Coordinator
Carl B. Ylvisaker Library
Concordia College
901 8 St South
Moorhead, MN 56562
(218)299-4253 Fax

(7) Here is a list of what each of us does in our area. Good luck! Let me
know what results you hear from others too, please!

Serial Associate Duties
*supply ordering
*duplicate exchange and website for
*physical holdings duties (shifting, making sure current issues are in
alphabetical order)
*serial control creation and prediction of issues
*serial and newspaper checkin, processing and claiming
*student supervision and trainer
*microform processing, printing of copies, machine maintenance
*direct pay requests to Vendor
*various websites like html links for newspapers, missing issues,
duplicate microforms on offer
*serials statistics (fiche/film rec'd, number of volumes bound, etc)

Serials Librarian
-working with faculty and department to order and renew journal subscriptions
-online management of electronic links/resources/databases
-end of year report
-serials cataloging
-cataloging of e-journals
-monthly departmental report
-license negotiations (when needed) with publishers
-consortia agreements

There are two of us in our department as well. We have about 1700 print
titles and quite a few electronic subscriptions and databases as well. As
you can see the Serials Librarian does a lot of work with electronic
resources. I (the Serials Associate) deal a lot with the physical
holdings.  I just summarized our dept's manual and put our duties under
each title.

Deb Ham
Serials Associate
Reinert Alumni Memorial Library
Creighton University
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
402-280-1802 (phone)
402-280-2435 (fax)

(8)  We have several people here at Kansas State University Libraries, but
basically I can break down the jobs.

As the Serials Unit Head, I do original cataloging, resolve cataloging,
serial and series problems. I can do the orders and invoices, but prefer
to have the staff pay invoices.  I would approve all invoices before they
go to financial services.

My staff do member cataloging, receiving, claims, purchase orders and
invoices.  They do most of the vendor contacts, except for electronic
materials.  I handle all electronic problems, but staff do the member
cataloging records.

Database maintenance cleanup is shared- depending on the job.  Most often
we do as a project or team.

Mary Bailey
Serials Manager
Kansas State University Libraries

(9) I'm in a small university library also working 1/2 time as department
head in Periodicals (the other 1/2 time deals with distance students), and
I have one 1/2 time serials assistant, along with about 8 student workers
- maximum of 70 hours per week.  We not only run the department, but also
staff a help desk in the periodicals department.

I have attached both our job descriptions - hope this helps

Marilyn Gane
James White Library
Andrews University
Berrien Springs MI 49104
Manhattan, KS 66506

(10)  I am a serials librarian at a large public library with 10 branches.
We have an assistant, associate and myself that work with serials. The
assistant handles the daily mail and checks in materials. If there are
changes to pub patterns, duplicates or anything out of the norm - she
passes them on to me. I deal with orders, cancellations, claims, changes
to pub patterns, etc. When the assistant is on vacation or sick, I will
check in materials. Our library has a limited amount of space for
periodicals - so we maintain titles from six months to 5 years. The
associate is in charge of pulling titles and updating the holdings on our
computer system. All of us have reference desk responsibilities along with
our serials tasks.

Jane Huwe
Siouxland Libraries
Sioux Falls SD

(11) I am responsible for serials at the Oak Brook Public Library
 and the following division of labor is working for us.

 The circulation staff handles the daily processing of newspapers and
magazines.  They stamp, target, barcode and check in items using the
Dynix serials module, then put the newest items on the display shelves.
They also claim any newspapers that do not arrive.

 Any problems or specially handled magazines are set aside for me.  I
process all serials that are not magazines, order serials, maintain a
budget spreadsheet, create records for the dynix acquisitions module,
get oclc records, setup records for the dynix serials module, prepare
routing lists, update the silo union list, maintain an internal holdings
list, claim missing periodicals, supervise the display and annual shift
of magazines and anything else serials related.

Carol Furlan

(12) I am happy to post my job analysis/description for your use.  I
hope this assists you in determining job descriptions for your
library.   Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding
this attachment.

 Ms. Jay Nordstrom

Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library
Gustavus Adolphus College