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Re: dropping serial check-in? Max Shenk 04 Aug 2004 17:34 UTC

"A little inaccuracy, disorder and instability are not always bad."


Try telling this to a student who has a paper due, who cannot get
online access, and who needs an article in a missing journal NOW.

The main reason we continue to check in is so that there's a record of
our library's periodicals holdings for our students and other patrons.
Other secondary considerations (knowing what to claim, knowing if there
are missing issues come bindery time, etc) all serve that main
objective: having the materials available for students when they need
them, and letting them know if an item is (or isn't) available, and in
what form.

I could be wrong, but isn't that why we're here?

Max Shenk
Periodicals Assistant
Montgomery County Community College Library
Blue Bell, PA

>>> chsieh@PACIFIC.EDU 08/04/04 01:04PM >>>
The main reason for the approach is to transform and downsize tech

My library administration doesn't really think claiming or inventorying
periodical collection is really necessary.  As the administration puts it
"a little inaccuracy, disorder and instability are not always bad."
Personally, I found it is very difficult to persuade library
administration why it is important to be accurate.

>>> RGildem550@AOL.COM 8/4/2004 6:35:06 AM >>>

Could you give the citation to the article?  I hadn't heard about what
seems to be the beginning of another irresponsible management fad.

Until I read the article, I am holding off on giving advice, but I do have
questions and comments.  How, for instance, are you ever going to know
whether you did or did not receive a particular issue?  How can you do any
claiming if you don't know it's missing? What about when you pull a group
of issues for binding?  Is that when you're supposed to find out if a
particular issue arrived?  If you don't have it, are you going to look for
it?  What's the point of looking for it if you may never have had it?

I suppose you can create a situation where *some* serials are still
checked in, as you mention, but then you'll have to look up whether you
check it in or not.  Now where would an item of information like that be
recorded? The check-in record!

This reminds me of the abandonment of authority control in the 70's and
80's.  We didn't really *need* it, did we, until we tried to create an
online catalog from the mess of unlinked names created under a mix of
rules? Then each library had to "clean up" it's database, at a phenomenal
cost.  I would love to see the total dollar amount that had to go into all
these clean-up projects all over the U.S.

People really need to think this check-in business through.  If check-in
is eliminated, you can't get that data back again without re-inventorying
the collection, if this fad runs out of steam.  And it's going to cost ...
I don't know, in my mind the expression is ringing, "There's no free

Rick  Gildemeister