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Re: Serials Responsibilities (Crystal Graham) Ann Ercelawn 25 Aug 1995 12:38 UTC

Date: Thu, 24 Aug 1995 20:12:52 -0700
From: Crystal Graham <cgraham@GORT.UCSD.EDU>
Subject: RE: Serials Responsibilities (Kathleen Thorne)

UCSD has eliminated most MLS professionals from cataloging.  Not counting
special collections, we have only 3 librarians left -- the head of the
dept., me (head of serials cataloging, as well as serials liaison to
outside agencies and chair of the Cataloging Committee for the campus),
and the computer files cataloger (who also does some serials and books
subject analysis).  Our staff is classified from library assistant 1 (a
position usually held by experienced students working part-time) through
library assistant 5 (an exempt category considered professional, altho no
MLS is required).  We also have student assistants.  In serials
cataloging, I have:

1 student assistant (SA)
1 library assistant 1 (LAI) -- held by a student who has been twice
promoted from student assistant positions
1 library assistant 3 (LA3)
1 library assistant 5 (LA5)

All work under my supervision, although it ranges from close supervision
of the student to a collegial relationship with the LA5.

In answer to your questions (letters match those on your list):

a.  New periodicals:  Straightfoward serials with perfect copy -- LAI;
Difficult copy -- LAIII, Original cataloging -- LAIII.  Of course it's
not that easy to differentiate, for example with a title change, one
cataloger does all the records regardless of quality.  Original
cataloging of "similar" serials is done by the LAIII.  And we
try to give 1-3 day turn-around so we pitch in for each other when one is
absent or overwhelmed.

b.  Title changes.  Mostly done by LA3.

c.  Cessations -- we don't generally do them.  Serials acquisitions staff
close out the holdings when a serial stops coming.  Most of them are
LA2 or LA3.

d.  Cancellations -- Same as #3.

e.  Inventory -- Mostly student assistant, although we all have occasions
to check out problem situations.

f.  Cleaning up recon --  LA3 on systematic basis, although we all clean up
problems as we encounter them.

g.  Same as f.  Actually almost all the recon problems are yucky.

h.  Union list.  LA3 and I have done this in the past; this year we are
going to try having the LA1 do it, bumping the problems she can'tsolve.

i.  Holdings.  All of us do this in association with whatever else we're
working on.  Our holdings have been online since 1963 but are in a local
and unintelligible format.

j.  Subject analysis.  LA5

k.  510's -- We do not add these.

In addition to the things you listed:

l.  Treatment decisions -- LA5, with me as backup.

m.  Series clean-up -- LA3.

n.  ISSN's.  This involves adding ISSN's to records that don't have them
for automated checkin and hook to holdings of periodical databases.  This
is our biggest project right now.  Student does the initial searching &
input and I do the problem-solving (which can involve contacting vendor
of periodical databases, NSDP, NLM, etc.)

o.  Sending serials for off-site storage and problem-solving of those
records.  LA3.

p.  Deletions review.  We've had problems with accidental deletion of
records, so I run a quality control check to make sure all serials coded
for deletion are legit.

q.  Major microform set clean-up.  Student with me doing problem-solving.

r.  Preservation microform cataloging.  LA5 and me.

s.  Liaison to CONSER, statewide participation, etc. -- Me.

t.  Liaison to Systems for serials programming -- Me.

u.  Training -- LA5 and me.

v.  Addition of notes about cumulative indexes, adjustment of retention
statements, etc. -- Student assistant and LAI.

w.  Liaison/trainer to serials catalogers in other branches -- LA5.

x.  Policy decisions, procedures and documentation -- All (but mostly me).

I'm sure we do other things I've forgotten, but this gives you a good
idea.  In sum, I do management stuff and outside liaison, LA5 does
original cataloging and subject analysis and treatment decisions and
LA3 does problem-solving and difficult copy cataloging; LA1 does copy
searching, easy cataloging, and union listing; student does ISSN and
projects and clerical work.  But I want to emphasize that we are very
user-oriented and fill in for each other.  We try to respond immediately
to outside queries and keep up with new titles.  We all answer questions
for each other and from each other.  And if you are thinking that this
staff sounds like a Dream Team, you are RIGHT.  Highly motivated,
knowledgeable, responsive, and enthusiastic.

Crystal Graham (