Serials and Electronic Acquisitions Annual Reort 1999-2000


I. Information Technology

Electronic resources

There was a lot of activity this year with electronic journals, databases, indexes, etc.Lists of free electronic journals were received from several of our serial vendors, and these were added to our holdings provided they were available through ip access. Some publishers continue to provide access only with a user name and password, and we are not currently making these titles available.We registered with Catchword and added many titles from several publishers.Many new databases were ordered throughout the year. As well, we continued to switch some of our standalone CDROM products to networked versions.

Our goal to develop an Access database for electronic products has been met with the launching of the first phase.I worked with Doug Fenwick, Heather Fraser and Catherine Davidson to develop a database that would encompass all of our needs and allow us to easily mount the information on the library website.By the end of the fiscal, most providers and titles were loaded or keyed into the database together with full acquisitions information including funds, expenditures, order numbers, vendors, etc.Reports such as expenditure by fund, lists of titles by provider, statistics, etc., are now easily available.This was and continues to be a challenging project. Working with this team has been a pleasure.

Our list of electronic journals has grown from 2477 at the end of last fiscal, to 3762 at the end of this fiscal.Expenditures on electronic products now exceed one million dollars a year; more than double last year's expenditure.


An Acquisitions Task Force was again put into place to prepare for the implementation of the new release of Sirsi.The impact on the Acquisitions module was minimal.There are minor changes to some of the reports, a few modifications to wording on some screens, but most useful, a change in the browse title feature that benefits searching in that the exact match is now the second line (rather than the first) of the results screen.Throughout the year I was available for consultation for acquisitions issues, in particular for running of Yorkline reports and for fiscal rollover.I am anticipating that the major responsibility for the testing and implementation of the Acquisitions module for future Sirsi releases will be taken over by the Head of Monograph Acquisitions so that I can turn my attention to the implementation of Serials checkin next year.

The goal stated last year to work towards an interface between FHRS and Yorkline, remains unmet.

II. Collections


A major project was undertaken to create lists of serials by fund, in Excel, with 1998/99 and 1999/00 expenditures and the percent change.This project was helped somewhat by having electronic lists sent from Faxon and Blackwell that I was able to utilize.It took the whole year to complete the project (with the exception of Government Document titles which have not yet been done), and routines have been put into place to add new titles as they are catalogued, and to delete ceased and cancelled titles.The lists are very useful to subject librarians for the pricing information and as a tool for identifying possible cancellations.However, I very much hope that this will turn out to be a one time project as we look to serials implementation and the possibility of getting such lists out of Sirsi.The creation and maintenance of these lists was and continues to be tedious and time consuming.With the creation of these lists, serial invoices are now being handled in four places: Kardex, Excel, Yorkline, and FHRS.We have been able to eliminate one routine as a result of these lists, however; the vendor file that lists serial titles by vendor, has been closed, as such a list could be created from the Excel files if needed.

A major cancellation project was undertaken for Steacie and for Economics and Business.Overall, we cancelled 241 subscriptions, for $231,806.00.In some cases, we cancelled print indexes and moved the monies into E-RES in order to purchase the electronic products.We are now recording a cancellation note in the Yorkline bibliographical record, in the 593 field.

One of the results of the departmental restructuring was moving the responsibility for ordering serials from the Bibliographic Searchers in Acquisitions, to the In Process Assistant in Serials. This has been a very beneficial change for us.

There have been major changes on the vendor front this year.Faxon was purchased by RoweCom.Swets and Blackwell merged to become SwetsBlackwell.We have so far been minimally impacted by these changes, but anticipate more impact in the new fiscal, particularly with SwetsBlackwell.We have 3 accounts: Blackwell Oxford, Blackwell New Jersey, and Swets, and each of these has had unique invoicing patterns.In addition, annual publications are now handled by the Book Division, which is not included in the merger.We will need to update Kardex records at some point, identifying clearly which vendor is handling each title.

Binding and Labelling

We met our goal last summer to relabel 25,000 books was met with the relabelling of over 23,000 books. We will have the same goal for the new year.

Our goal to produce laser spine labels has been met.In conjunction with moving to laser labels, and the use of a colour laser printer, we also moved to a new method of ordering spine labels using windows.Doug Fenwick wrote programs to integrate the GUI and windows to order labels, moving us away from needing Kermit to order labels from the character version of Sirsi.In addition, the program produces colour coding on the labels, eliminating the need for staff to manually colour code the labels with markers.The standalone workstation for printing spine labels is no longer needed and staff can order and produce labels from their own workstations.


Under the restructuring, I was given the responsibility for handling gifts.I inherited a large backlog of unprocessed donated books in 013 and spent much of the first six months searching these books and either identifying them to be added to the collection, or disposing of them.John Zubal came twice and purchased books from us; on the second occasion, we actually shipped 4 ranges of books to him at his expense.Other books have been shipped to the National Library.Some books have been earmarked for African school libraries and on three occasions outside people came in to select and take away books that they could use.

I benefit greatly from the assistance of Paul Harrison and his staff in picking up books, unpacking and shelving incoming donations, repacking and shipping out unwanted books.Fred Johnson used to do a lot of the packing and unpacking himself.However, Fred did not do any searching in Yorkline or make decisions about what to keep or not keep; I have taken on a lot of searching and some decision making in conjunction with individual subject librarians.I have been able to streamline procedures but my ability to keep things moving depends a great deal on the interaction and cooperation of subject librarians.

Over the last 4-5 months I have been searching the brief listed books (there are over 16000 of them) and weeding books that are not needed either because they are not suitable for our collection, or we already have other editions, etc.So far over 5000 of these books have been weeded and records removed from Yorkline.

Currently there are 2 ranges of books that are awaiting cataloguing, many of which are much needed added copies.

III. Environment

The year was marked by change in the department structure and in a move to new and redesigned space.Technical Services was reorganized from 2 departments into 3 departments with some staff being reassigned to a different Dept. Head and other staff being given increased supervisory responsibilities.In many ways it represents the phrase "what goes around comes around" as we are back to a structure similar to what we had about 20 years ago.In early Spring reconstruction began with the tearing down of walls, installation of new offices and work areas, installation of tile floors and new window coverings etc.Binding staff were temporarily relocated to the first floor.In April and May the move was completed.The change in space has necessitated changes in workflow in Serials, to accommodate having less space, particularly in the sorting area.Staff have been very helpful in working out how to do things differently in the new environment with thespace constrictions.Staff working at Kardex have less than desirable work space for some of their Kardex units since we reduced each section by one table, replacing each with a smaller but awkward table that is difficult to work at. On the plus side, Serials staff have windows for the first time in 30 years.Binding staff also have less floor space and less shelving than before, and Sandra and the Binding and Labelling staff have had to be creative in managing the space that has been allotted.

IV. Staff

For many years, staffing in Binding and Serials has been stable with minimal changes. This year was different.There was a great deal of movement in both units throughout the year, as outlined below.I want to thank all of the staff for their flexibility, cooperation, patience, assistance etc. in the midst of many changes: the overall reorganization of Technical Services, the changes in staffing, and the move to the new location.A number of Serials staff were involved in training new members of the dept., and this was done smoothly, with cooperation and skill.Staff in Binding worked independently, with minimal assistance from me, while Sandra Smith was on extended sick leave in the fall.

Lucy Scott (Serials Invoice Assistant) accepted a one year position at the Law Library beginning in May.At the end of the year she accepted a permanent job at the Law Library.

Rosy Go (Serials In Process Assistant) replaced Lucy Scott for the year.The change was made permanent at the end of the year.

Samdai Mahadeo Bidhesi (Kardex Assistant) replaced Rosy Go for the year.

Amelia Verna transferred from Facilities in May,to replace Congfang Wang in Binding; Congfang's position had been temporary to replace Nely Atefi.

Hazel Bakhsh transferred from Facilities, in June,to replace Samdai Mahadeo Bidhesi; in Sept. she accepted a permanent position in Binding, replacing Leonard Stanley who retired the previous year.The position was changed and made the same as the other 2 positions in Binding.

Jennifer Berelowitz (Kardex Assistant) took a one year leave of absence beginning Oct 1st.

Linda Hurley transferred from Resouce Sharing in October,for one year, to replace Jennifer Berelowitz.She subsequently was hired into the permanent position, in April,to replace Alison Ball.

Sandra Smith was on sick leave from Oct. 22nd to Dec. 12th.

Teresa Pujdak transferred from Facilities, in October, for the remainder of the one year Kardex Assistant position replacing Samdai Mahadeo Bidhesi. She subsequently was extended to the end of Sept. to replace Linda Hurley.

Alison Ball (Kardex Assistant) took the permanent position of In Process Assistant, in May, replacing Rosy Go.

Deepanand Lachman and Julie Ngoc Tran Thi Man were hired as summer student assistants to replace Leonard and to do the relabelling project.

Karen Cassel Professional Activities

June 1999, Annual CSISAC Spring Forum: Is the Future Perfect: Electronic Publishing in the New Millenium".

Sept 1999, CSISAC round table discussion: "Linking Technologies".

Nov 1999, Access training

Karen Cassel is the secretary for the CSISAC group.