Re: Creating checkin records Marcia Tuttle 03 Feb 1992 22:00 UTC

Date:         Mon, 3 Feb 1992 08:28:00 PST
From:         Karen Darling <KDARLING@OREGON>
Subject:      Re: Creating checkin records

        Although a number of people have submitted comments to the list about
the pros and cons of where to start to create checkin records for the
online system, there is one consideration which tipped the scale at the
University of Oregon which I have not seen mentioned by anyone else.  At
the University of Oregon we created our records as pieces came in.  We
did it that way because our manual files were not in the best of order
and we knew that we had "dead" records in the file.  We were not able to
afford to purchase unlimited space for checkin records and did not
(still do not) have the staff to do all the needed evaluation of the
records prior to input.  So, by adding records only for those for which
we had a piece in hand, we were sure that we were creating records only
for those titles currently being received.  As time permits, we return
to the manual file of cards without online checkin records and try to
determine if the title has ceased, we dropped off of a gift mailing
list, etc.
        Another thing I have not seen mentioned as people comment on
this subject is the need for a definite plan regardless of which method
is chosen.  The mistake that I believe was made at the University of
Oregon was that there were few firm definitions of what belonged in the
records.  We have had to return to many of our records to add fields,
codes, etc. later because the uses for the fields and the extent of what
we wanted included in our records had not been well enough thought through
prior to beginning input.  The most useful document the terminal operators
could have had in front of them while inputting would have been something
which told them exactly which fields, etc. had to be present to make the
record complete.  And there needed to be firm guidelines for where
certain pieces of information should be recorded for consistancy.
For example some records were input without binding and claim parameters
and some were input without the order portion of the record, just the
checkin portion.  The system works for checkin without these
elements but it doesn't work well and we had to go back and complete the
incomplete records.  There were reasons things were done this way, which
I will not go into here, but hindsight tells me that we would have been
ahead to prepare such documentation before we started.

Karen Darling     
Head, Serials Dept.         kdarling@oregon.bitnet
Knight Library              (503) 346-3063 voice
University of Oregon        (503) 346-3094 fax