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(Previous discussion continued)
Re: dropping serial check-in? Mary Grenci (04 Aug 2004 17:06 UTC)

Re: dropping serial check-in? Mary Grenci 04 Aug 2004 17:06 UTC

If I'm correctly remembering the workshop I attended awhile ago, the Univ.
of Nevada-Las Vegas has very few print subscriptions compared to other
institutions its size. They rely much more on online subscriptions which
(again, if I'm remembering correctly) are checked in. They stopped
check-in of print so they could concentrate on check-in and other
management actitivites for the largest and most expensive part of their
periodical collection: the online subs. Also, I think check-in of print
was taking much more time than it should have, much more than it usually
does at other institutions, and this was one way around that problem.

As for my thoughts on eliminating serial check-in:

* If we rely on everybody in the serials chain remaining honest, you must
still consider all the issues that don't arrive and that currently are
claimed. How many broken runs would you have? Do you care? Would you still
expect to claim things, just at a later date? Not realistic, I think.

* If we consider human nature might eventually take over, what's to stop a
publisher or vendor from simply never sending a few issues here and there,
knowing you won't notice until it's too late and that even then you won't
be sure it wasn't rec'd? On the other side of the coin, how could vendors
be confident that the claims that do come in are valid? They will know the
library trend is to not check things in, so they will know you have no
idea whether something was received. Can we really expect them to continue
to provide claimed issues in that environment? I think not.

Granted, I don't think dishonesty and a lack of mutual trust would be an
immediate problem.  The current environment of honesty and mutual
trust has built up over a number of years and won't immediately go out the
window. I can see it happening in the future, though.

* If it's wanted enough that you pay for it, you should make sure you get
what you pay for. (Gift subs. are another matter and could be considered
separately. Perhaps this is a category where eliminating check-in wouldn't
have dire consequences.) If you don't care enough to make sure you get
your money's worth, stop buying it altogether.

* If you do drop check-in of some or all of your print collection, you
should also drop all claiming of those titles.

* If the unthinkable happens and this becomes a wider trend, don't expect
vendors/publishers to change their claiming policies just because
libraries have tried to streamline. That would just be translating
our savings into added costs for them. It would be unfair to them and
would, in any case, result in higher subscription costs for libraries.

Mary Grenci
Serials Team Leader & Metadata Librarian
Metada & Digital Library Services
University of Oregon Libraries
mgrenci@darkwing.uoregon.edu