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West reporter series advance sheets Pamela 25 Feb 1992 21:57 UTC

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After converting over 2000 titles for serials check-in, the Marshall Law
Library is beginning to convert the more difficult titles, including the
advance sheets of the national reporter series published by West Publishing
Company. Many of you are probably familiar with the way the advance sheets are
issued, on a weekly basis, but without a definite number of issues per volume
and, almost always with the last issue of one volume and the first issue of
the next volume in one physical piece. I would be interested to know how many
libraries who have converted to online check-in have had problems with the
reporter series, and others like them? We considered checking them in here by
their running issue number, but our public service staff felt that was not
helpful to users because there is no connection between the weekly running
number and the volume numbers which are used on the bound volume. In an effort
to find a workable solution to this, I contacted West Publishing to learn the
history of their numbering scheme and ask whether they would consider a change
in light of the electronic environment many of us are using. I received an
answer yesterday from Donna Bergsgaard which said "The advance sheet numbering
system has been in place for almost 100 years. Other publishers of advance
sheets have adopted similar systems. Our customers are familiar with the
system and it is comfortable to them. While it may be easier to track advance
sheets on a computer with a different numbering system, librarians throughout
the country have easily adapted our numbering system into their computer
programs." I would be interested in hearing from you whether you have "easily
adapted" the numbering scheme, or whether you have concerns, as I do, about
this material. (and none of this speaks to the problems shelvers have when
they must discard advance sheets when bound volumes are received and often
discard the issue with the split volume!). I'm thinking of following up on
this, but only if there is support out to do so. You may reply directly to me
if you wish and I will summarize for the list. Thanks for your help.

Pamela Bluh, Marshall Law Library, University of Maryland,