Monograph Acquisitions processed 11,802 firm orders, 18,934 approval orders and received 39,619 items this year. Staff placed 22,244 orders. This in itself is quite significant, since the staff complement has been reduced again this year by one retirement. The figures are up again this year as increasing numbers of orders are being faxed, e-mailed, or processed on-line.
During the year Monograph Acquisitions staff catalogued a total of 29,056 items. The backlog of cataloguing in Bibliographic Services continues to be a priority. For cataloguing statistics see the Bibliographic Services Annual Report.
An open order report was generated at the end of the fiscal to clean up any orders outstanding for more than three months. When this report was run we had 2870 such orders. In May of 2003, we had reduced that number to 1425. This is a very labor-intensive job. It includes tracking 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 500. Because of staff time restrictions, claiming has virtually ceased. The open order report accomplishes this. Specific items are handled on an individual basis if an item is requested.
YBP continues to provide excellent service and is constantly upgrading and enhancing their system and services. We continue to find the range of management reports offered by GOBI on-line to be extremely useful and easy to generate on demand. In June we began to receive our shelf ready stream of approval titles from YBP. There was an initial period of refining specifications until things were as we intended. Over the year we received 17,721 approval titles (excluding Frost which is not in the stream). Approximately 23% of titles have no catalogue copy and proceed through the regular cataloguing stream in-house. However, 13,645 titles arrived here ready for the shelf and were available to patrons within one week. One area that remains problematic is the selection of an item for Special Collections after receipt rather than at time of order. These items have arrived ready for shelving with barcodes and property stamps not normally used in Special Collections. This needs to be kept to a minimum and items identified at time of order as much as possible.
Peggy Warren and Nancy Hall met with Kathryn Paoletti of Casalini Libri to initiate an approval plan for Italian literature and linguistics. Casalini also provided two years of retrospective titles for the profile. After the first year, the plan seems to be meeting Peggys expectations.
Due to poor service over a number of years, a decision was taken to change our approval plan vendor for French Canadian literature from Renaud-Bray to Coutts. Peggy Warren and Nancy Hall met with Ann Bird to set up the profile. After several months with the plan in place, the jury is still out on its effectiveness. We also met several times with our representative, Jim Winterbottom, to discuss Coutts services. We are still not convinced they can or do deliver as promised. More systematic and detailed analysis is underway.
Bibliographic maintenance, weeding and transfers have been extensive this year and will continue to be so well into next year due to all the changes and moves in the library system. We have been fortunate to have the assistance of two students during the summer and one throughout the school year. Extensive weeding was carried out in Frost, Steacie, Business and Government Documents and Scott. 15,659 items were transferred and 14,592 items were weeded. Updating Yorkline records for lost/missing items reported by Circulation continues, as does the processing of incoming gifts and items from the Canadian Institute of International Affairs. Records were loaded and /or deleted from A-G Canada and OCLC for these items, a time consuming but necessary process.
For a detailed breakdown, see the statistics in the Bibliographic Services Annual Report.
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 would 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 with prospects over the coming months bright. Of course, with more and more commitments to electronic resources and data files, less and less monies are available for the purchase of monographs.
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.
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.
Again retirements are being felt throughout the system. Letty Luke retired from Monograph Acquisitions after nearly 30 years of service to the Libraries. This position was not filled. The department works diligently to cope and maintain the status quo.
Training was ongoing this year as we continue to upgrade skills as new databases become available. All staff attended WHMIS training offered by DHOS. Linda Gamble and Nancy Hall attended an additional session of Conducting Office Inspections that are now incorporated into our monthly routines. Donna Munshaw-Sepper attended a two-day session for certification as a Red Cross First Aider. Nancy Hall had initial informal training for CMS. She also attended update sessions for managers on the new YUSA contract and a session on E-reports offered by the Finance Department. Nancy Hall attended a two-day session on Human Resources Management that provided useful insight into the arbitration process and many facets of employment at York in a union environment.
The plans for an FHRS interface have been on the table for a number of years. Although we are somewhat frustrated, we 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. We have made some major changes and improvements with vendors this year, but need to continue evaluation. On-line ordering and order records needs to be looked into as well with particular attention to record keeping, statistics and invoicing in order to take best advantage of available technologies and cope with staffing issues.
We are excited about the content management software and plan 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.