(Previous discussion continued)
Re: Quit Checking in Journal Issues? (7 messages) Rick Anderson 13 Aug 2002 21:38 UTC

Re: Quit Checking in Journal Issues? (7 messages) Rick Anderson 13 Aug 2002 21:38 UTC

> Rick, would you be willing to elaborate for the group?

Okay.  I can't really go into all the details here, of course, but I'll
happily talk with anyone who wants to call or e-mail me.

First of all, I should refer you to a brief (and very badly edited, grrrr)
piece I wrote on this topic in the May issue of Library Journal ("A sacred
cow bites the dust," Library Journal v. 127 no. 8 [May 1 2002] p. 56).  My
boss and I are also preparing a more thorough treatment for a future issue
of LCATS.

Here's the long and the short of it: At the University of Nevada our print
journals represent the least-used 20% of our journal collection.  Yet with
traditional check-in, we were devoting the majority of our student time and
a significant chunk of our classified staff time to the management of that
least-used 20%.  If check-in is necessary, why were we only doing it for the
least-used segment of the collection?  And if it's not necessary, why were
we doing it at all?  (Our Dean of Libraries actually posed this question to
me when I first arrived at Nevada, and I laughed it off.  It took me seven
months to suddenly realize that he was right.)

We decided it's not necessary.  It's now been a year since we stopped
check-in, and the results have been great.  We claim only selectively, we
box instead of binding, and we do a much better job of maintaining our
online offerings, which are heavily used.  I think the liberating
realization for me was that there was no way my small serials staff was
going to be able to closely manage 15,000 journal subscriptions.  That meant
we were going to have to prioritize.  In the past, our default setting had
been to manage print carefully and to manage online sloppily; that's an
increasingly goofy way to offer information to patrons.  Doing away with
check-in basically meant switching those priorities, and so far it looks
like our patrons have benefited significantly from that decision.

-------------
Rick Anderson
Director of Resource Acquisition
The University Libraries
University of Nevada, Reno      "I'm not against the modern
1664 No. Virginia St.            world.  I just don't think
Reno, NV  89557                  everything's for sale."
PH  (775) 784-6500 x273             -- Elvis Costello
FX  (775) 784-1328
rickand@unr.edu