Routing summary (Mary Iber) Marcia Tuttle 22 Apr 1999 18:11 UTC

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 11:55:41 CST
From: Mary Iber <Iber@ACT.ORG>
Subject: routing summary

Summary of Routing Responses

I received 38 replies in mid-March 1999 regarding the routing of
journals. Since the questions I asked were open-ended, people
could send me information on any aspect of the subject. Keep this
in mind when you look at the tally. Not all categories were touched
upon by each person, but I found it very interesting that so many
people mentioned similar patterns and experiences. Thanks to all who
shared their experiences. I was thrilled to get so many from such a
variety of libraries.

Our library has begun to implement some of the suggestions (like
having people review the routing lists they are on to see if all
are still relevant). We are also looking into Table of Contents
Services, circulating issues rather than routing, etc. Depending on
the size and type and budget of your library, you may find some
suggestions here that will work for you.

Mary Iber
ACT Library
Iowa City, Iowa

Type of Library Represented :
 Public   3
 Special  12
 Academic 23

Number of Libraries that still route : 29

Number that mentioned routing Table of Contents : 9

Number that mentioned routing to staff only : 18

Number that mentioned routing to faculty : 6

Number that mentioned the Copyright Clearance Center : 1

Number that mentioned using a Table of Contents Service : 1
(with an additional 1 thinking about using CARL, and another
who suggested this option)

Number that mentioned circulating the journals (checks them in
and out one at a time to individuals rather than routing to a list) :  4

Number that said they stopped routing : 3

Number who mentioned doing their own study : 4

Here are some restrictions/creative solutions libraries mentioned :
 >asking routees to keep the journal for a maximum of 1-3 days
 >establishing a maximum number of routing lists a person can be on (e.g. 3
        or 5)
 >limiting the number of people who can be on a routing list (e.g. 1-6)
 >routing newsletters but not journals
 >routing selected journals only
 >buying a 2nd copy for the shelves so it is available while the other copy
 >routing the table of contents and letting patrons request copies of
        articles or come into the library and copy the article themselves
 >not routing the current issue until the previous issue has returned to
        the library
 >one routes directly from the mail room, so can never claim an issue because
        they're never sure if it got lost routing or if it never arrived
 >stopping routing during the summer
 >subscribing to a document delivery service
 >subscribing to electronic delivery of Table of Contents service
 >using neon pink routing slips on time sensitive material
 >asking staff to go through their list every year and take themselves off
        any lists they are no longer interested in
 >requiring staff/faculty to come to the library to sign up to be on
        routing slips during a certain time each year and having a limited
        number of slots on the slip available
 >have staff sign a support statement for each periodical as well as a route
 >include a handwritten, date-stamped, initialed post-it note on all routed
        materials containing the route statement
 >move key offenders (the slowest ones) to the bottom of the list, or
        remove them
 >if a time limit on routing is imposed, send an email out to the entire
        list if the issue is late
 >have Professional Reading boxes for the latest professional journals (for
        staff) in a Central location

Problems mentioned related to routing :
 >it's too slow
 >some issues never return to the library
 >not knowing exactly where the journal is while it's out routing
 >*political* problems with asking faculty to be accountable
 >missing issues when it's time to bind -- very costly and time-consuming
        to replace
 >possible copyright violations
 >embarrassment if you have to tell a patron that it's the librarian who
        has the issue