MONOGRAPH ACQUISTIONS ANNUAL REPORT 2001-2002
Monograph Acquisitions processed 9,118 firm orders, 12,189 approval orders and received 30,731 items this year. This in itself is quite significant, since the staff complement has been reduced by 2 and everyone catalogues half time. The figures are up this year because
increasing numbers of orders are being faxed, e-mailed, or processed on-line. This is the first year our statistics have been amended to more accurately reflect the department's activity.
During the year Monograph Acquisitions staff catalogued a total of 18,305 items. The backlog of cataloguing in Bibliographic Services has been identified as a priority and Monograph Acquisitions staff is continuing to upgrade their cataloguing skills to help make progress
in this area.
We were able to make several purchases in areas of specific research such as Slavery & Abolition collections and miscellaneous manuscripts from 1780-1860; ACT UP – the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power, a collection from the New York Public Library; back files of
the Chicago Defender from 1930-1947, which build upon volumes already owned; a collection of CD's, Black Gospel for the Golden Era of the 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's as well as several titles in British history.
Open Order Report
An open order report was generated at the end of the fiscal to clean up any orders outstanding for more than six months. When this eport was run we had 4500 such orders. In May of 2002, we had reduced that number 2870. This is a very labor-intensive job. It includes racking down vendors, checking availability, reordering some items while canceling others. However, the effort is worthwhile to obtain materials for the library and to free up monies for other purchases. Our goal is to further reduce this number to less than 1000.
Routine vendor visits from Coutts, Everetts, and V&L were dominated by discussions about services, discounts and their new and improved web sites, some offering web-based book purchasing similar to amazon.com and chapters.com. Many of their sites offer on-line
status of open orders; therefore, the issue of claiming in SIRSI may be a mute one. Unexpected visits from a delegate from the Asian evelopment Bank, Elmer Fernandez, and B. Tierney from HMSO were fruitful for both parties. We were able to discuss mutual concerns and resolve some outstanding issues.
YBP continues to provide excellent service and is constantly upgrading and enhancing their system and services. In the fall, Bob Nardini and David Swords, our new representative, met with first time subject specialists to discuss the approval process and profiles. We
continue to find the range of management reports offered by GOBI on-line to be extremely useful and easy to generate on demand. We lso discussed ways to further reduce our already low rate of rejects in preparation for shelf ready expansion. An approval plan, which mirrors our YBP plan, was established with Lindsay & Howes, YBP's British affiliate. We were able to negotiate a 5% discount. This is somewhat of a coup as discounts are almost unheard of in Europe.
Despite considerable upgrading and development of their web site, Coutts' service is not what might be expected. Their ability to supply local materials in a timely fashion has not been proven and their UK service is cumbersome as is Blackwells'. We decided to use V& L
Information Services for the local items and have had a favorable response during this year with a much faster turn around time. We have ad better success purchasing UK material through Everetts and Lindsay & Howe.
Weeding, Gift Processing and Bibliographic Maintenance
We have been fortunate to have the assistance of a student during the summer and throughout the school term. Weeding was carried out in Frost, Steacie and Business and Government Documents as well as in the S's, T's, and Q's in Scott. Incoming items from the Canadian
Institute of International Affairs continue to be processed along with added copies and current imprints from other donations.
There is a large backlog of records to be dropped from A-G Canada, which needs to be tackled as staff time permits. Updating Yorkline records for lost/missing items reported by Circulation continues. Using keyboard express, macros were created and a large number of
commonly misspelled words were corrected in Yorkline records.
Weeding statistics are included in the Bibliographic Services Annual Report.
Out of Print Books
Periodically our out of print "wants" list is checked against several sources on the Internet. We do have a fair success rate and enjoy the ability to comparative shop for the best price. However, due to lack of staff time, we have not been able to pursue this to the degree we ould like and we currently only investigate items that are specifically requested.
We had a successful financial year, managing to expend our budget in a timely fashion. Due to the foresight and acumen of Bruce Dugelby in the Treasury Department, we fared well with foreign currency again this year. Of course, with more and more commitments to electronic resources and data files, less and less monies are available for the purchase of monographs. We worked diligently to manage the budget cuts announced last year.
Linda Gamble and myself attended an intensive two-day workshop on FHRS sponsored by the Finance Department. We were able to learn a few shortcuts and ways to check for information that will be helpful for staff. Due to the many changes in personnel in the Finance Department over the past year, we may have lost momentum in the discussions to pursue an interface between FHRS and Yorkline. We still plan to pursue this with verve and will seek avenues of discussion with new personnel. This is a most desirable project from the Monograph Acquisitions standpoint, as this would eliminate duplicate processing and possible errors for U.S. and Canadian invoices and
of course ultimately save money.
In September we revised our workflow to truly reflect the multi-incumbency of the order processing/cataloguing assistants. Everyone in the position now handles every aspect of the job. We also have now incorporated all aspects of government documents ordering and
processing into our routines. November saw the implementation of SmartPort in Monograph Acquisitions and Bibliographic Services. Heather Fraser and myself worked closely with LCS staff to set up profiles for various utilities and to test. Linda Gamble, Linda Smith and Doug Adams worked diligently to prepare documentation and carry out training. SmartPort has enabled us to import catalogue copy at point of ordering when available. As the importing is dynamic, there is reduced risk of errors and omissions as occurred when importing from A-G Canada. The procedure also reduces handling of the item at time of receipt.
From July to December, we ran a pilot project of shelf ready materials for Steacie science books. The materials were received on the Steacie approval account from YBP and arrived with all physical processing except a spine label done. They also had a cataloguing record. These
items required shelf listing and minimal checking of authorities to be processed. The time for items to get to the shelves was greatly reduced and the project was quite successful. Discussion and consultation resulted in a decision to expand the shelf ready project to include Scott and Reference as well as the production of spine labels.
As processes and changes move along, the flow of work demands more and more interdependence and cooperation with other areas. We work in close alliance with Bibliographic Services and have experienced a strong sense of cooperation towards a common goal. We are
learning much from them and they understand more of our processes as well. We also have experienced a prospering relationship and spirit of cooperation with LCS as we work more closely with them in implementing SmartPort, other database related issues and the upgrade to our workstations. Year after year, we continue to enjoy the support and cooperation of Scott Facilities in our daily operations.
STAFF AND TRAINING
Again retirements are being felt throughout the system. Teresa Dornan retired from Monograph Acquisitions after 30 years of service to the Libraries. This position was not filled. The department has been reduced by 4 in the past two years. To help cope with the workload,
Rosy Go was trained to input serials invoices in FHRS.
Training was ongoing this year as we took over all areas of government documents, launched the use of SmartPort and the shelf ready project. Additional training to upgrade cataloguing skills continues. Linda Gamble, Linda Smith and Doug Adams designed and carried
out training for SmartPort.
CHALLENGES AND PLANS
The plans for an FHRS interface have been on the table for a number of years. We made headway this past year in a meeting with the omptroller and the manager of accounts payable. They were supportive of the idea and did a cost benefit analysis and sent recommendations to Gary Brewer. This was followed by several staff changes in the Finance Department. We find this state of affairs very frustrating but will endeavor to keep our interests in the fore. Perhaps this will be the year we succeed with the interface.
Many conventional vendors now have web sites that offer a variety of possibilities, which bear investigation to refine our processes and take advantage of any time, and cost savings that are available to us. Although we have made some major changes and improvements
with vendors this year, vendor performance needs a more systematic evaluation process in place. On-line ordering and order records needs to be looked into as well with particular attention to record keeping, statistics and invoicing.
Technologies are changing rapidly offering a vast array of new tools to do our job better. As a result we now use SmartPort, Validator is now networked and soon we will be taking advantage of LC classification schedules online. We face the challenge of coping and managing extensive budget cuts in a unit that generates no income. Technical Services, along with all library departments, will continue to meet that challenge.
A pilot project for shelf ready science books from YBP was quite successful. Extensive work has been done to prepare for shelf ready books from Steacie, Scott and Reference. The process for Frost will remain unchanged. Technical specifications have been finalized and tested and we look forward to receiving our first books. We hope this step will increase efficiency, demonstrate some cost savings and provide a better, faster service to the end user.
We are excited about the forthcoming content management software and training. We have long wanted to have the Monograph Acquisitions procedures manual mounted on the Technical Services web page. This will give us the tools to do so. We still feel a web page for subject specialists with pertinent information and tools for them would be beneficial. This idea has been pushed forward for several years because time has not permitted its pursuit.
Linda Gamble and Nancy Hall attended a two-day intensive workshop on FHRS sponsored by the Finance Department.
Nancy Hall received an award from the CPM Association of York University in recognition for leadership and service to the association and the university community.
Nancy Hall hosted a site visit for twelve librarians from the University of Toronto to explore our use of SIRSI