Item Type Task Force: Charge


In a Unicorn bibliographic item record, the 'Item Type' field is designed to identify an item's characteristics for circulation and statistical purposes. It is also a primary element in a number of Unicorn policy tables. Typical 'Item Types' suggested by SIRSI documentation or in use at peer institutions are BOOK, E-BOOK, PERIODICAL, and VIDEO.

At Rutgers University Libraries, the 'Item Type' has evolved into a field that duplicates information from the item's sub-location field, such as STACKS, REF, and ARCHIV. This practice has served us well over the years but, as the Unicorn software and RUL evolve, it has become clear that our divergent definitions are affecting our abilities to make full use of the software.

If we were to redefine our 'Item Type' policy as developed by SIRSI, it would allow us to take advantage of software features that would benefit us now and also prepare us for the future. There are multiple benefits to this change.


The Item Type Task Force is charged to redefine the Unicorn `Item Types` based on the following criteria:

Expected Deliverables:

Report that defines the new 'Item Types', the rationale for the choices made, and the tasks needed to implement the new 'Item Types' with an expected time frame for completion. The Task Force should complete its work by the end of calendar year 2007.

Last updated September 6, 2007
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