Inventory and Stacks Automation Working Group: Charge

PHASE 1: Ends February 6, 2003

GOAL: Explore currrent technologies specific to inventory and collections management, particularly to improve workflow and to automate processes for the following core activities:

1. Retrospective conversion, particularly reconciliation of shelflist cards with physical inventory.

2. Physical inventory and shelf-reading for physical collection management.

3. Weeding, batch withdrawal and batch transfer of collections from one physical or virtual location to another.

4. Management of transient collections such as the cataloging backlog, particularly for time interval management, to develop and improve processing benchmarks and to insure timely cataloging and processing of these materials

5. Improve retrieval of closed stack materials, such as the Annex collection.

These core activities are not prescriptive. You are welcome to add to core activities based on your research.

Current Technologies to Explore:

1. Programming developed by Chris Sterback to utilize a Palm Pilot with attached scanner to transfer a collection for the Camden Library.

2. Reports and batch processes for batch withdrawals, batch transfers, timestamping and tracking.

3. The SIRSI inventory program and any other processes and routines in SIRSI that support collection management.

4. "Smart" wireless barcodes that allow materials to "self-identify" when a wireless request is issued. This might be particularly useful in closed stack collections, such as the Annex, particularly as that collection grows and also in collections of heavy use, where materials are frequently browsed, such as bound periodicals. Given the expense, it may not have widespread use in the libraries, but the potential to make selected collections more useful is very compelling.

Required Process: The only required process is a requirement to consult the library directors at Camden, Newark and each of the New Brunswick Libraries (except for Alexander), and the Cataloging Department Manager concerning their collection management, inventory, uncataloged/ unconverted collection needs and priorities that might benefit from these processes. Gracemary and Farideh will represent the needs of the Alexander Library.

Expected Deliverables:

1. Report with recommendations presented to the Technical Services Council at it's February 6, 2002 meeting.

2. Implementation recommendations for each recommended technology, to include at a minimum for each recommendation:

A. Development requirements--staff member(s), tools and timeframe required to develop the technology

B. Equipment/software/supplies required and cost (such as Palm Pilots, scanners, computers, barcode reading software, barcodes, etc.)

C. Dependencies--hardware and software compatibility issues (such as updated 3M security stations, Windows OS version, SIRSI Workflows version, etc.)

D. Workflow diagram showing the process

D. Testbed--controlled test of process and timeframe

E. Recommended uses--recommended uses across the three campuses and their libraries

F. Training and documentation needs

PHASE II: Development and Implementation of one or more testbeds

Phase II will be based on the recommendations from Phase I. Membership on the working group, with the exception of the Chair, Chris Sterback, may change, based also on the recommended testbed activities from Phase I.

Last updated October 29, 2002
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