Chris reported that the interim report of the Inventory and Stacks Automation Working Group (ISAWG) was submitted to Grace Agnew and presented at Technical Services Council on May 1. Additionally he reported that the group was asked to look at the extent of the problem with Missing/Misshelved/Not on the Shelf items and report back to the TSC at its July meeting.
The group then discussed the implication of this. It may have been to evaluate not only those items which are declared missing but also to study the reasons for those items not on the shelf. It was discussed that the instructions may have meant to include a total study: the percentage of items misshelved; the percentage of items not in the library and the correlation between those figures and what is declared missing online.
A discussion of the possible reasons for Missing items ensued. Some facts identified were: 1) the number of missing books reported at RUL is lower than the national average and 2) the highest percentage of missing books was in the Art Library, a collection of mostly non-circulating items.
Farideh reported that a study was done of missing books a number of years ago. The top four reasons cited were: 1) the checkout point was far from the circulation desk and is difficult to monitor, 2) branch libraries staffed with students or voucher employees most of the time, 3) branches with defective 3M security systems, 4) possible theft based on an observation that similar material is missing at different branches if the item is non-circulating.
As ISAWG continued to discuss the characteristics of the study, the group determined they needed more details on its application and anticipated expected outcome. ISAWG will schedule a meeting with Grace to seek clarification of these issues and propose a project plan.
The group discussed the issue of last copies system-wide. Gracemary and Chris will work on producing the spreadsheet dealing with last copies to be used for Camden withdraw project.