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Re: Pulling Serials/Binding Priorities October Ivins (23 Sep 1992 15:08 UTC)

Re: Pulling Serials/Binding Priorities October Ivins 23 Sep 1992 15:08 UTC

At LSU we had one half of our binding budget of $150,000 cut 6 weeks into
FY 87/88; it would be harder to do it later in the year.  At the same time,
we lost one of our binding unit positions.

  Here's what we did immediately:

SERIALS
-- Assign quotas to each area that sent material for binding based on
their percentage of total binding in the previous year.  We tried to avoid
returning material if locations went over quota by using left-over space
from another area.  This was announced to areas in a memo I ghost wrote
for the library director.
-- Suspend binding for most foreign language periodicals, particularly
non Roman alphabets.  We just left materials on the current shelves since
we had no room to store.  (We keep "current year and two previous years",
bound and unbound, in the Serials Display area)
-- Change composition of binding units to bind more issues in a volume.  For
example, if we had been binding two years of a semi-annual, we went to three
years if the spine thickness was under 2 inches.
-- Government documents are second in volume to Serials Display, but they are
in closed stacks, so we backlogged them.

MONOGRAPHS
-- We had one high level support staff member, who is responsible for in
house repair, review all new monographs.  Only the 10% anticipated to have
very high use were commercially bound.  Others were "stiffened", a process
of applying posterboard to the inside covers and reinforcing the spine.
We set the "circulation" flag in our online system (NOTIS) for these so
Circulation staff could examine volumes being discharged and route them
for repair.  We had few problems.

ONGOING CONCERNS/OBSERVATIONS
-- SERIALS Our budget has remained depressed; it was initially cut from
$150,000 to $75,000; it is now $85,000.  We have gotten several supplements to
help catch up with Display titles, but still have a backlog.  This creates
associated problems of incomplete binding units, etc, which we do store
and note in our OPAC. (We caught up non Display areas first; Documents
is still somewhat backlogged too.)
MONOGRAPHS
-- Stiffening worked, but we have replaced it with Easy Cover, a commercially
produced mylar cover.  At a cost of about $1 per volume, it is cheaper in
terms of material plus labor than stiffening.  We now commercially bind
very few books-- mostly oversize and art books.  Easy Covers are very
popular for high use reference titles which will be superseded and not
permanently bound as the original cover can be viewed.  We do more
commercial re-binding for older books as a form of repair than new binding
of monographs.At some point we need to study a sample of volumes and
determine how they're holding up.
-- THESES and DISSERTATIONS We too charge students.  The requirements are
enforced by the Graduate School who collects the money and deposits it
into our account.  We charge $10, too (I think) and our binder will also
do personal binding which is mailed directly to the patron but picked up
with library shipments.
-- GATHERING FOR BINDING  We have been so far behind, until this semester
we just had students bring in what was overflowing from the Display shelves.
We are now resuming our old system of having check in staff fill out a
form noting what can be bound when the first issue of a new volume or new
binding unit arrives.  Our old system also bound immediately on receipt
of a new issue, leaving only one issue on the shelf.  I had many complaints
from faculty and students in the sciences with some of those 2 per week
titles.  We now wait until the newest issue of a binding unit is 3 months
old before binding.  I am considering changing this to two months.
   We have an ad hoc "rush" binding list that has been created as we
receive complaints and holds, but it too could use some work to be more
effective.
   Best wishes on surviving your cut, and let me know if I can help more.

October Ivins, Head, Serials Services, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge LA