serial shelflists (Kathleen Thorne) Marcia Tuttle 16 Feb 1999 00:01 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 10:27:31 -0700
From: kathleen <kathleen@SJSUVM1.SJSU.EDU>
Subject: serial shelflists

I'm not really sure we're doing ourselves a favor by discarding serials
shelflists -- maybe I'm overly pessimistic because of abuses I see
happening here in my library, but I find myself wondering whether we may
be setting ourselves up for some problems further down the years...

Our serials shelflist was summarily tossed when I was relieved of my
serials cataloging duties nearly 4 years ago -- my leaving of the
shelflist (for the next cataloger[s]) was seen as an indication of its
lack of value.  Since then, there have been many instances where either
a call number is known but can't be located in the online catalog or on
the shelves (and many of us are positive we owned the item); or the call
number has been changed in the catalog by the new catalogers but the
items have not been re-labeled & remain lost somewhere in the stacks
under the old, now unknown call number; or... numerous other little gems
of the same general kind. In a couple of instances, electronic records
were apparently accidentally erased of necessary elements or completely
deleted in error.

Unless the staff who build and maintain the electronic records are
meticulous, it won't be many years before our electronic catalogs and
our collections are completely out of sync with each other. We may be
able to do a little backtracking if there are backup tapes, but with no
permanent records it may prove to be too big a problem.

Surely I'm not the only one who finds it embarrassing when faculty or
students can't find materials they used only a semester or two before;
somehow the answer of "yes, you may have used it here, we may have had
that title then but maybe we've since discarded it" is as unacceptable
to me as it is to them.

Please, my friends, assure me that I'm totally silly to worry about
these problems, that such things can't happen -- this is certainly one
case where I will be delighted to be proven wrong!!

Kathleen Thorne
still a serials cataloger...?...
Kathleen Thorne
Serials Cataloger                                       Creator of the world, keep me sane
San Jose State University                               Keep my sense and my wisdom
San Jose, CA 95192-0028                                 until you come for me.
ph: (408) 924-2826   fax: (408) 924-2701