Wednesday, December 10, 2008

From Warehouse to Our House - Part 5

How items are added to the Dick Smith Library Collection
Part 5 - Processing

Items newly added to the collection come over to processing from cataloging with a barcode on them, but they are not quite ready to be checked out. Cataloging Assistant Sharon Alexander and three student workers have a number of steps to go through to prepare items for the shelves.

The first step in processing these items is to create a call number label (also called a spine label) using InfoWorks labeling software. For processing purposes, the call number information comes from inside the book on the page after the title page where it was written by Catalog Librarian Melissa Cookson

Once the call number label is created, it is affixed to the item, usually one inch above the bottom of the spine. If the spine is not wide enough, the label is placed in the top left-hand corner of the front of the item. Then the item is stamped in various locations with the “Tarleton State University-Dick Smith Library” property stamp.

After that, the pocket that has been traveling with the item since receiving is date-stamped with the current date. Reference items don’t have pockets (since they can’t be checked out); instead they have “For Reference Only” stickers, and these are also date-stamped. The pocket/reference sticker is affixed to the inside front cover of the item, except for items with dust jackets, where it goes on the fly leaf (the front of the book before the title page, opposite the inside front cover) instead. It should be positioned so as not to cover up any information if possible – sometimes the fly leaf or inside cover have maps or illustrations. Sometimes this means it has to go to the end sheet (the back of the book before the back inside cover), or even somewhere else if the end sheet has important information.

Protective book covers are then attached to paperbacks and books with dust jackets. Paperbacks are protected with an adhesive plastic cover that also adds strength and stability to the book. The dust jacket is protected with a polyester film layer which is taped to the front and back of the book with acid-free book tape. Books without dust jackets and other items (such as DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks) have a transparent label placed over the call number label to protect it.

When the item has received the proper protection, the next step is to use Sirsi Workflows, our integrated library system (the software that drives our circulation and catalog systems) to change the current and home location of the item from “In Process” to the appropriate department where the item “lives” (Stacks on the third floor, Reference or Government Documents on the main floor, or the various collections on the lower level). The “current” location changes when the item is checked out – but that will be covered in a post on circulation later!

A “FINISHED” sign is placed on top of the cart of completed items for Assistant Director of Monographs and Technical Services Glenda Stone to review. Then they are taken to the various locations in the library to be shelved for our patrons to enjoy. New items for the Stacks on the third floor are displayed temporarily in a new book display on the main floor, near the Library Instruction Classroom.

[This concludes the series on how items are added to the library's collection. Wednesday blog posts next semester will feature circulation, periodicals, book repairs, systems, and other library departments.]

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