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Re: Citation (RE: [SERIALST] dropping serial check-in?) Rick Anderson 04 Aug 2004 17:38 UTC

> I heard Rick speak on this at NASIG in Williamsburg; it was very
> compelling and provocative. His main points, for those of you who want
> the quick & dirty version, were: they had money for document delivery
> but not more staff; staff was spending 80% of their time on only about
> 20% of the work; some items claimed you never receive or items checked
> in are missing from the shelf, so you have to get by doc delivery
> anyway. (correct me if I'm wrong, Rick).

This hits a few of the points (actually, what I said was that we were
spending 80% of our staff time on the least-used 20% of the journal
collection), but I hope anyone who's interested will take a look at the
whole article.  I've already fielded a number of requests for copies by
email, and will happily respond to any more than come my way.

> Rick, you
> should do a follow-up article, let us know how it's worked out, any
> repercussions, etc.

Actually, the LCATS article was written about 18 months after we started
the experiment, and it ends with a discussion of the results.  A year
further on, our feeling remain the same: it's been a big success.
Branch libraries that were hesitant to drop check-in themselves have
since done so, and are also reporting good results.  Issues get out to
the stacks faster, they are never "out at the bindery," missing issues
can be interfiled when they turn up, we've saved thousands of dollars on
binding and hundreds of man-hours on claiming -- and most importantly,
we've been able to redirect staff time to the management of online
access in a much more proactive and timely manner.  Since online access
to journal content matters much more to our patrons than print access
does (usage statistics bear this out pretty compellingly), this is a
much more effective use of our scarce staff time.  Negative
repercussions have been nil.  The Innopac serials display is
incomprehensible to patrons anyway, so they've never noticed the
disappearance of the check-in box.  Our reference staff reports that
once in a while they wish they could see whether a journal has been
received, but since "received last week" is no guarantee of "on the
shelf today," that never saved anyone much time anyway.

Frankly, we've never looked back.

Rick Anderson
Dir. of Resource Acquisition
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries
(775) 784-6500 x273