Are you thinking of moving to shelf-ready? Do you truly believe that shelf-ready means the book is ready to be shelved upon unpacking? Do you want to build collaboration with your cataloging department? Does your acquisitions staff want to learn new skills?
Stacey Marien, the Acquisitions Librarian and Alayne Mundt, the Resource Description Librarian at American University Library will discuss how acquisitions staff was trained on rapid copy cataloging of shelf-ready approval books by following a checklist developed by cataloging staff. When American University Library started shelf-ready approval books, we were surprised with the number of records that needed cataloging intervention. The acquisitions staff reviews approval shelf-ready books and those books that pass a checklist, bypass the cataloging unit and go straight to circulation to be shelved. Those with errors in records that needed review and correction by experienced catalogers-- with problems such as call number issues, "bad" records, needing additional access points, no table of contents, and other problems were routed to the cataloging unit.
The reason why the library implemented this new acquisitions workflow was to decrease the time between the arrival of an approval book and when it went to the shelf. This has freed up cataloging to work on more original cataloging and work that requires in-depth knowledge. With more material going electronic this was also a way for acquisitions staff to acquire new skills. We instituted this new workflow in 2009 and since then the checklist has been improved so that more books now bypass cataloging completely. In 2011, 24% of titles bypassed cataloging and in 2013, 56% bypassed cataloging.
This collaboration with cataloging has led to more projects for acquisitions to participate in such as ebook copy cataloging, report running, and a large “move to storage” directive. The collaboration has also helped with troubleshooting problems with our vendor Coutts/Ingrams.