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Re: Value of Periodicals Rick Anderson 05 Aug 2004 21:13 UTC

> But how much time is
> actually saved by not "checking in" the issue once the record
> is on the screen?

A substantial amount, since routine check-in was much more than a simple
matter of looking up the title and clicking on a box.  It meant
monitoring and registering changes in publication patterns (surely one
of the most useless pieces of information ever doggedly pursued by a
library staff), watching for issues that arrived out of order, etc.  The
primary time savings comes not from changes in the students' practices,
but from changes in staff practices.  We used to have a full-time
serials clerk who spent the majority of her time trying to resolve
problems that arose in the check-in process -- figuring out whether a
journal had really changed publication interval or pattern, nailing down
title changes, following up on issues that came out of order, training
students in the arcana of check-in practice and reviewing the students'
work, etc.  Because we no longer worry much about those things, the
person in this position now has time to do things that really have an
impact on our patrons' access to journal content: registering online
access, following up on access problems, providing the Catalog
department with needed information about online journals for the OPAC,
like that.  Of course, we've also saved hundreds of hours in routine
claiming (another activity that, in most cases, is both unnecessary and

But it's much more than just a time issue.  We've also saved thousands
of dollars in binding costs, since we now put older issues in boxes
instead of binding them.

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