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Re: Accuracy (RE: [SERIALST] dropping serial check-in?) Max Shenk 05 Aug 2004 16:15 UTC

Agreed... while I found the article made a good case for a large
academic library, given the size of our library (less than 600 print
periodical subscriptions), I don't see that the benefits would outweigh
the detriments. As I wrote Rick offlist, we spend an insignificant
amount of time on check-in and corollary activities, so it wouldn't be
that much of a time- or effort-saver... additionally, the benefits
outweigh other considerations.

One good point that Rick made: while checking in shows a student-patron
what has been received, that doesn't necessarily mean that the item is
available. Once an item is checked in, it could be anywhere... which is
(mainly) why the SI Swimsuit issue is kept behind the desk (along with
AJN and other frequently used titles with "legs," so to speak).

The example Heather Cannon cited (of a student checking the online
catalog at home to see if a title is "available," only to come in and
find missing issue after missing issue) is pertinent here. Checking in
and having an issue-by-issue record of our periodicals holdings in the
online catalog at least enables me to tell such a student "We receive
this title and this issue has been checked in; sorry, but it's being
used; check back." That still seems to me a better answer than "We
receive this title, but I don't know if we got this issue or not. If
it's not there, someone might be using it... but we also may not have
received it... I have no way of knowing." They often have the option of
online access, but also, they often don't. What then?

For instance.

All in all, an interesting debate, whatever side you fall on. Or
whichever. Whatever.

Regards, all!

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

"What is truth? I don't know, and I'm sorry I raised the
point."--Edward Abbey

>>> Abbott_Kent@GSB.STANFORD.EDU 08/04/04 05:47PM >>>
This discussion sort of reminds me of when outsourcing cataloging in
academic libraries was first started. A number of negative comments were
made by people who hadn't actually studied the situation. In this case,
I think people should read our esteemed colleague's paper before
commenting. He did say, either in the paper or in an e-mail message,
that what they did at RENO, might not be for everyone.

I found the article, which I have in a pile somewhere, to be quite
thought provoking. We haven't implemented it ... yet. But, it is
something to think about for our periodicals (issued more than once a
year), or some variation of what they did at Reno. In fact, we have
stopped claiming for daily and weekly publications for which we have
limited retention, most, or all, of which are probably available online.
But, we wouldn't consider it for our serials (issued once a year or less

I look forward to reading more articles like this about creative
solutions other libraries have taken.

Kent Abbott
Head Technical Services Librarian
Jackson Library
Graduate School of Business
Stanford University