Re: Help for new serials librarian (4 messages) Birdie MacLennan 05 Feb 1999 18:59 UTC

4 messages, 166 lines:

Date:         Fri, 5 Feb 1999 12:02:39 -0600
From:         L H. Kevil <KevilL@MISSOURI.EDU>
Subject:      Re: Help for new serials librarian

Hi Bruce,

The classic book is Marsha Tuttle's _Managing Serials_ (1996.) Others
books of interest are Jean W. Farrington, _Serials Management in Academic
Libraries_ (1997) and Thomas E. Nisonger's _Management of Serials in
Libraries_ (1998.) _Buying Serials_ (1990) by N. Bernard Basch & Judy
McQueen has some helpful points, despite its age. There is no shortage of
articles; just look in the bibliographies of any of these books.

I use Microsoft Access quite a bit. It is a wonderful tool, particularly
if you can take the time to learn how to use its advanced features and
Visual Basic. However, it is a supplement to our automated system
(Innovative Intefaces,) not a replacement.

If you were to ask me for something approaching a pearl of wisdom, it
would be this suggestion. Adopt a user-oriented perspective regarding
everything task your department performs.  Take on a staff-centered
perspective when dealing with how work is performed, by whom, and under
what conditions.

Let me expand on this a little bit. First of all identify what you
absolutely must do with your serials to satisfy user and administrative
needs. Boil the list of tasks down so that your department's fundamental
goals are crystal clear. Take your time with this step. Once this has been
completed, pinpoint what blocks and what enhances fulfillment of your most
important goals. Let these goals, not anyone's preconceptions, and
especially your own, determine what is "efficient" and what is not.
(Management literature tells us we should be concerned with
"effectiveness,"  not "efficiency.") In other words, since our goals
determine what our problems are, and not vice versa, concentrate at first
only on your most important goals. From experience I can say that it is
tempting to get distracted by less important issues, to the detriment of
the "assembly lines" that provide the output our users see and the human
or organizational issues all this creates. I would also suggest that if
yours is more than a one-person department promoting a healthy worker
culture should be one of your fundamental goals.

Good luck and have fun,


L. Hunter Kevil,
Head, Serials Dept, Ellis Library,
University of Missouri-Columbia,
Columbia, MO 65201
Voice:  573-884-8760
Fax:    573-884-5243

Date:         Fri, 5 Feb 1999 11:10:44 -0500
From:         Terence Rose <trose@LIBOFMICH.LIB.MI.US>
Subject:      Re: Help for new serials librarian


     I also am a new serials librarian.  Since, our library place a heavy
emphasis on Michigan Newspapers.  Many of these newspaper we have
subscriptions directly with the newspapers.  However, our III system was
not giving us information about the subscriptions without generating lists
that may get some or most of the newspaper susbcriptions.  We discovered
that we were missing renewal dates which caused laspes in our

      What I did was take the information generated from III and create a
Access database listing all the Michigan newspapers we receive.  The
datebase contains renewal dates which is the most important data for us, I
add tables for example: Did I request renewal information?, Has the paper
been renewed?, and I recently added a table for new subsciptions.  The
table also includes phone numbers for each paper, and do we pay the
newspapers subscription via subscription agent.  Using the database we can
plan ahead and renewal susbcriptions without laspes in coverage.

If you would like futher information, you can e-mail me.

Terence Rose
Serials Librarian
Library of Michigan

Date:         Fri, 5 Feb 1999 11:25:35 -0500
From:         "Crystal D. Lee" <>
Organization: Nicholls State University
Subject:      Re: Help for new serials librarian

Dear Bruce,

I've been working in the Serials Department at Nicholls State Univ.
in Thibodaux, LA. for nearly three years, during my time here I
commuted to Baton Rouge for my MLIS and just recently graduated in
Dec. '98.

I don't know of a book, but a rather helpful journal is The Serials
Librarian published by Haworth Press, Inc. 10 Alice St. Binghamton,
NY 13904; phone: (607) 722-2493.  It is published 8 times a year at
$280 per year.

In regard to your question about Microsoft Access and managing
serials titles - Our Serials dept. has approx. 3,000 titles of which
approx. 1,700 are current subscriptions.  We created a database file
in Access with the following fields: Title, Dewey, Cutter, Current,
Comes With, Object Code, Price 1996/97, Price 1997/98, Price 1998/99,
Subscription, Binding Pattern, Membership, and  Format.   These
fields can contain pricing information, yes/no answers, or numerical
information which can all be sorted and retrieved in reports.  We
have found this method very helpful for requests by Faculty in
various departments on campus, who are interested in how many titles
are available in the library or for info. needed for SACS, and many
others.  I would recommend using ACCESS for managing titles because
of the ease of report generation.

If you should have any other questions about the ACCESS file just let
me know.

Crystal :-)
Crystal D. Lee <>

Date:         Fri, 5 Feb 1999 10:33:00 -0800
From:         Marcella Lesher <acadmarc@STMARYTX.EDU>
Subject:      Re: Help for new serials librarian

You might try an ALA publication entitled Serials Management A Practial
Guide by Chiou-Sen Dora Chen, 1995.  It provides a nice basic overview
of serials issues.

Marcella Lesher
Academic Library
St. Mary's University--San Antonio

-----Original Message-----
On Thu, 4 Feb 1999, Bruce Bumbalough <bbumbal9@AIRMAIL.NET> wrote:

> Hello!
> I am a librarian who has been responsible for the library's
> subscriptions, etc. for about six months.  I need some help and advice.
> Will somebody out there give a newbie a suggestion for books which might
> provide me with the basics of how to manage serials?  A title or two
> would be sufficient.  Second, has anybody developed anything in the way
> of a Microsoft Access application useful in monitoring serials and
> improving efficiency?
> Thanks in advance.
> --
> Bruce L. Bumbalough
> Reference Librarian
> Grapevine Public Library
> 1201 Municipal Way
> Grapevine, TX 76051
> Voice: (817) 410-3404
> Fax:     (817) 410-3080
> E-mail:
> If you have ever flown in or out of Dallas-Fort Worth International
> Airport,
> you have been in Grapevine.  Stop and say howdy next time.