Monday, May 30, 2011


  • The systematic removal of materials in a library’s collection either by discarding or transferal to storage
    • storage items no longer circulate

Weeding policy
  • Statement of purpose
    o for policy
  • Criteria to be considered in weeding
    o no longer needed for library
  • Methods to be used for disposing of weeded materials
    o is it appropriate for another library?
Reasons for weeding
  • To save space
  • To improve patron access
    o Patrons will see good/interesting materials
  • To make room for new materials
  • To improve library’s appearance
  • To provide feedback on strengths/weaknesses of the collection
Subjective criteria for weeding
  • Poor physical shape
    o Either rebind or throw
  • Obsolete items
  • Inappropriate items for a specific collection
  • Duplicates
Objective weeding criteria
  • Age of form
  • Length of time on shelf between uses
  • Number of uses within a specified timeframe
Factors discouraging weeding
  • Sacredness of the collection
  • If I weed, they will come syndrome
  • Lack of time
  • Political considerations
  • Size and prestige of collection
Assigning criteria by classification number range
  • By subject matter, determine oldest acceptable age of material
    o Computer books will go out of date quicker than literature
  • May be combined with circulation figure
Weeding resources
  • Calgary Board of Education. “Weeding the School Library Media Collection: A Systematic Approach to Strengthening the Library Media Collection.” School Library Media Quarterly 12 (Fall 1987): 419-424.
  • Segal, Joseph P. Evaluating and weeding collections in small and medium-sized public libraries: the CREW method. Chicago: ALA, 1989.
CREW method
  • Continuous
  • Review
  • Evaluation &
  • Weeding method
    * Build weeding into yearly work calendar
    * Guidelines for weeding based on DDC
    * Uses age of publication, circulation data and MUSTIE
  • Misleading (and/or factually inaccurate)
  • Ugly (worn beyond repair)
  • Superseded (by new edition or better book)
  • Trivial (of no literary or scientific merit)
  • Irrelevant (to the interest needs of the community)
  • Elsewhere (can obtain through document delivery)
From: Segal, Joseph P. Evaluating and weeding collections in small and medium-sized public libraries: the CREW method. Chicago: ALA, 1989.

Sample CREW formula
  • 320 Political Science 5/3/MUSTIE
    o first number represents the age of the item
    o second number represents the number of years since the last circulation
  • Items removed from shelves are double checked against a standard list, if on the list item will be kept
Sample from Calgary Board of Education
  • 320 Political Science
    o information dates quickly. To be weeded after 10 years, if not replaced sooner
What not to weed
  • The “classics”, award winners, items which appear on standard, current core bibliographies
  • Items which may be out-of-print and which may still have some possible use
  • Materials of local interest, local history
  • Resources, in the absence of which may skew the balance in a subject area and may result in a biased representation
Methods of disposal
  • Recycle
  • Exchange
  • Sell
    o proceeds can go towards purchasing new materials
  • Destroy (sometimes in the dead of night!)
Some Internet sites

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fund accounting exercise

The next two spreadsheet examples highlight how the bookkeeping equation will appear when more than one fund is used. This is a library which has chosen to make separate allocations within its fund to purchase books (2450-BK), CD-ROMs (2450-CD) and periodicals (2450-PE). The total allocation for library materials is $12,000.00. $6,000.00 will be spent on books, $5,000.00 on CD-ROMs and $1,000.00 on periodicals.

The first spreadsheet shows that seven items have been ordered (note the encumbrances), but no invoices have been paid for. It could be near the beginning of the fiscal year, where items have just been ordered, but not yet received.

The second spreadsheet shows that some items have now been received and invoices paid. By comparing the two spreadsheets, answer the following questions.

Fund # Allocation PO#EncumberancePaymentUnencumbered balance
2450 $12,000.00 $632.99 $0.00 $11,367.01
2450-BK $0.00
$6,000.00 1 $85.00 $5,915.00
2 $95.00 $5,820.00
3 $125.00 $5,695.00
Total $6,000.00 $305.00 $0.00 $5,695.00
$5,000.00 4 $200.00 $4,800.00
5 $22.99 $4,777.01
6 $50.00 $4,727.01
Total  $5,000.00  $272.99 $0.00 $4,727.01
2450-PE  $1,000.00 $1,000.00
7 $55.00 $945.00
Total $1,000.00 $55.00 $945.00

Fund # AllocationPO #EncumberancePaymentUnencumbered balance
2450 $12,000.00 $230.00 $403.98 $11,366.02
$6,000.00 1 $0.00 $78.99 $5,921.01
2 $0.00 $100.00 $5,821.01
3 $125.00 $5,696.01
Total $6,000.00 $125.00 $178.99 $5,696.01
$5,000.00 4 $0.00 $199.99 $4,800.01
5 $0.00 $25.00 $4,775.01
6 $50.00 $4,725.01
Total $5,000.00 $50.00 $4,725.01
2450-PE $1,000.00 $1,000.00
7 $55.00 $945.00
Total $1,000.00 $55.00 $945.00

1. Which purchase orders have been shipped with invoices?

1, 2, 4 and 5

2. What has happened in the payment columns?

shows various payments have been paid

3. For each purchase order which has been received, calculate the difference between the estimated amount and the actual amount. Round off your answers.

Purchase order #Difference
1 $6
2 $5
4 $0
5 $2

4. How did you calculate the difference?

estimated price – actual payment

5. In the second spreadsheet, the unencumbered balance was calculated by taking the total allocation and subtracting the total amount of the encumbrance and total amount of payments.

For the fund 2450-bk this was $6,000.00-($125.00+$178.99)=$5,696.01

6. What was the equation for 2450-cd?


7. What would the unencumbered balance for fund 2450-pe be if an invoice arrived for po#7 in the amount of $45.00?

$1,000.00 – ($0.00+$45.00) = $955.00

8. What would the unencumbered balance for fund 2450-bk be if an invoiced arrived for po#3 in the amount of $1,000.00?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Accounting procedures

4 questions answered through the accounting process
  • Allocations
    o How much money is there to spend?
    Starts from the beginning of the year
  • Encumbrance (Commitment)
    o How much will a purchase probably cost?
    o Orders not yet received, over estimate rather than under estimate
  • Payment
    o How much is actually spent
  • Unencumbered (Uncommitted Balance)
    o How much money is left?
Typical fiscal years
  • April – March (government and public libraries)
  • January – December (corporate libraries)
    o Lots of work
    o Budget needs to be spent in its entirely by December 31
    o If the budget isn’t used in its entirely, it could be cut the following year
  • July – June (academic and school libraries)
Reasons for practicing good accounting procedures
  • Stay within the budget
  • Provide assistance in the budget planning process
  • Create a clear audit trail (all transactions from PO to final payment tracked)
    o Don’t rely on a parent organization to keep track of budget thoroughly
  • Good relations with the finance department and vendors
Reasons for monitoring library’s finances
  • Basis for preparing next year’s budget
  • Information needed for annual report
  • Provides factual background for purchasing decisions
  • Allows comparison with other libraries
Types of allocations/expenses
  • Capital allocations/expenses
    o usually used for items such as equipment which are considered assets by an auditor
    o furniture
  • Operating allocations/expenses
    o used for consumables, e.g. supplies, books, films
Acquisitions cycle

The vendor has a record of estimates and encumberates. The approved invoice needs to be initialed by a library worker to say it is okay and that it can be authorized.

Encumbering (Committing)
  • Placing a hold on funds needed to pay for items when they arrive at a future date
    o set aside, don’t spend on anything else
  • Funds which are encumbered can be released only when
    o item is received and paid for
    o order is cancelled
       * The money is taken out of one column and placed into another.
Fund accounting
  • Accounting system based on collection of separate funds
Maintenance of accounts
  • Expenditures are tracked for each fund account
  • Totals are updated for the following
    o encumbrances
    o payments
    o free balances
    o allocation usually remains the same for the entire fiscal year
Bookkeeping equation
  • Allocations = Liabilities + Fund Balances
  • In library acquisitions, this translates to:
  • Fund allocation = Encumbrances + Payments + Unencumbered balance

Beginning of year

Allocation = encumbrances + payments + unencumbered balance

$12,000.00 = .00 + .00 + $12,000

* At any time of the year, in an ideal situation, encumbrances, payments and unencumbered balances will equal up to the total allocation.


$12,000.00 = $3,000.00 + $4,000.00 + $5,000.00

End of fiscal year

$12,000.00 = .00 + $12,000.00 + .00

Fund accounting
Fund # Allocation PO # Encumberance Payment Unencumbered balance
2450 $12,000.00 $632.99  $0.00  $11,637.01 
$6,000.00 1 $85.00  $5,915.00 
2 $95.00  $5,820.00 
3 $125.00  $5,695.00 
Total $6,000.00  $305.00  $0.00  $5,695.00 
$5,000.00 4 $0.00  $199.99  $4,801.01 
5 $0.00  $25.00  $4,775.01 
$50.00  $4,725.01 
Total $5,000.00  $50.00 $224.99  $4,725.01
2450-PE $1,000.00  $1,000.00
7 $55.00 $945.00 
Total  $1,000.00 $55.00 $945.00 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Order procedures


  • Selecting a supplier
  • Assigning a fund
  • Preparing the order
  • Maintaining files and records
    o usually easy in automatic setting, not in manual
Purchase orders
  • Format
    varies in libraries
    o Checked list
    * list of titles
    * can be available online
    o Single sheet
    o Multiple part
  • Method of production
    o Typed
    o Computer generated
  • Method of delivery
    o EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)
    o Phone call
    o Fax
Item-related information to be included
  • Author
  • Title
  • Publisher
  • Date of publication
  • Price
  • Edition
    o if available
  • ISBN
  • Format
    o hardback
    o paperback
  • # of copies
Library-related information to be included
  • Order date
  • Order number
  • Supplier’s name
    o may vary from publisher if not acquired through them
  • Type of order (e.g. RUSH)
  • Fund to be charged
  • Special instructions
    o Quick delivery?
    o Order/receive addresses differs
  • Name of requestor
  • Authorization signature
Multiple part forms
Assume each copy is filed separately. There is up to 8 copies, differently coloured, to indicate the copy.

Send 2 copies to vendor. Own the order files copy. Separate the claiming copy if item is late arriving.

Vendor’s copies
  • First 2 copies sent to vendor
  • Vendor retains one slip as the PO (purchase order)
  • May use the other slip to report on status of an item not immediately available if not able to email or fax
On-order file copies
On-order file copies are used in a manual setting.
  • Alphabetical order by title and author
  • Numerical order by PO
  • Alphabetical by vendor name and date
    o date is the subsort
  • Alphabetical by title and author in public catalogue
    o The OPAC can state that a item is on order
Claiming copy
  • Slip retained by the library to be sent as an inquiry, when an item is late in arriving
    o Send to the vendor for information. Enquire as to their average turn around time.
  • Has printed status categories for the dealer to check and return to the library
    o on multiple copies.
Reporting abbreviations
  • OP – out of print
    o double check if acquiring through a jobber
  • TOP – temporarily out of print
    o publisher’s expectations may have been low
  • OS* - out of stock (see below)
    o lots of reasons
    • TOS - temporarily out of stock
    • NYP – not yet published
    • NOP – not our publication
    • NE – new edition
       * check which edition is needed
    • NEP – new edition pending
       * can you wait?
    • NCR – no Canadian rights
       * to distribute the item
Out of stock reports
  • OS * will follow
    o The moment item is received it will be sent on
  • OS * back ordered
    o Item not available due to popularity
  • OS * ship when available
  • OS * cancel: order after _______
    o don’t submit the order because they can’t receive it
  • OS * cancel: order later _______
    o ordered cancel if it’s not received by a specific date
  • OS * available after __________
  • OS * holding on back order
Order completion
  • Assigning a purchase order number
    o Make sure that there is a purchase order number
    o Most vendors want to see a unique order number
    o Some libraries use one order number per item
  • Preparing the order
  • Assigning a fund
  • Obtaining authorization to send out order
  • Sending out the order
  • Updating on-order file
What is EDI?
  • Exchange of information between computers without human intervention
  • Programming language in vendors module to communicate with all vendors
Six benefits of using EDI
  • Less paperwork
  • Fewer errors during the exchange of information
    o Once information is correct everything can be manipulated
  • Improved information flow
    o immediate communication between everyone
    o order and receive within days
  • No unnecessary rekeying of data
  • Fewer delays in communications
    o any network communication problems are not good
  • Improved invoicing and payment process
    o same processed used repeatedly
IFLA. Electronic Data Interchange: An Overview of EDI Standards for Libraries (1993), Introduction. January 10, 2000.

Segments within an EDI purchase order
  • UNH Message header
  • BGM Beginning of message
  • DTM Date/Time/Period (Message date)
  • NAD Name and address
  • RFF Reference
  • CUX Currencies (Order currency)
  • LIN Line item
  • PIA Additional product ID
  • IMD Item description
  • QTY Quantity
  • DTM Date/Time/Period (Delivery dates)
  • FTX Free text
  • PRI Price details
  • CUX Currencies (Price Currency)
  • RFF Reference
  • LOC Place/Location ID (Place of delivery can be multiple locations)
Two major EDI standards
  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) EDIFACT
Sample lines within an EDI record
BGM+224+967634+9’ Rush order 967634 (224=rush)
DTM+137:19960820:102’ Message date (102=date format)
CUX+2:GBP:9’ Order currency is pounds sterling (9=order currency)
PIA+5+0856674427:IB’ ISBN is main product identification (IB=ISBN)
DTM+61:19970820:102’ Cancel if not delivered by 20 August 1997 (61=order to be cancelled if not delivered by a specific date, 102=date format)

The computer needs to see the EDIFACT Line to understand. The user keys in the information on a template. Not all libraries use EDI. There is also BISAC (for books), SISAC (serials) and CSISAC (Canadian). BISAC is used a lot by vendors.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bibliographic searching

Three functions of a bibliographic search
  • To check for duplication in library’s collection
  • To locate sufficient bibliographic information to select an appropriate vendor
  • To obtain reliable cataloguing information
Two elements of bibliographic searching
  • Verification
  • Duplication check
Search procedures
  • Receiving requests
  • Pre-search sorting of requests
    o ensure that there are no duplicates
  • Searching the library’s records
  • Checking bibliographic sources
  • Recording the search
    o where did you look?
    o where was the title found?
  • Returning requests
    o return to user to show request has been acknowledged
Receiving requests
  • Forms used to encourage requester/selector to provide as much info as possible
    o Information should be in a consistent place
  • Forms can be created or brought
  • Encourage requester/selector to include photocopies of source where the citation was found
    o Saves time for the selector, someone who has the authority to order materials
Pre-search sorting Pre-search sorting is important in a large library system as there are numerous requests.
  • Catches duplicate requests
    o streamline all requests
  • Speeds up search process
  • Requests batched by:
    o Age of materials
    * Jobber will only provide materials under 3 years old
    * sort by title and date
    o Language or country of origin
    o Format
    o Completeness of request
    o Series
    * gather together
Searching library’s records
In the following order, check the
  • Catalogue
  • On order files (acquisitions modules)
  • Received, but not yet catalogued
  • Incomplete requests
    o brief
    o Bibliographic verification required before searching library’s records
  • Skill of searcher (search for variations in names, keywords in titles, etc.
  • Briefness of on-order or in-process records
Checking bibliographic sources
  • Accuracy and completeness of information on the form
  • Establishment of search strategy
  • This can be time consuming
Verification answers three questions
  • Does the item exist?
  • How much does the item cost?
  • Is it still in print?
ISBN numbers and LCC numbers are the most specific searches. Titles are more specific than authors. All words should be in direct order or keywords. Check that it is the exact book to be ordered – e.g. the correct edition, paperback or hardback. Some almost identical books may have a different title – e.g. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is known as Harry Potter and the Scorchers’ Stone in the U.S.
Information provided in bibliographic search
What are we looking for? Record the information
  • Full title
    o include the subtitle
  • Statement of responsibility
  • Edition information
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Date
  • Series
  • Standard # (ISBN or ISSN)
  • Price
  • LC Card #
    o catalogue number
  • Notation on sources searched
  • Date of request
    o keep track
  • Date of search
  • Name of requestor
  • Duplicate search
    o Record call number and the fact that it was searched for
  • Fund to encumber
    o what fund do you want the bill to be accounted to?
Recording the search
  • Request form is used to record results of search
  • Space often provided to record sources used
  • Some forms have list of different sources
    o list of major sources and ‘other’
Returning requests
  • Incomplete requests may be returned asking for more information
  • If item not purchased, requestor should be informed of the decision and suggestions made on how to find the information they need
    o out of print, can’t purchase but may be borrowable through interlibrary loans.
    o give alternatives