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Integrating Acquisitions and Cataloging Workflows

Dana Kemp, Mercer University
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Dana Kemp spoke about the integration of the Acquisitions and Cataloging department's workflows. Staff consisted of the Head of Technical Services; the Catalog Librarian; two paraprofessionals in Acquisitions and two in Cataloging and five student assistants between both departments. Mercer placed 8,323 orders last year and received 7,012. The number of new volumes cataloged was 9,666. The number of reclass/recon volumes cataloged was 9,475 and the number of gifts cataloged was 944.

Dana gave an overview of the three different ways to get order records into the PAC:

  1. Keying brief bib and order records
  2. Downloading a brief bib record from a bibliographic utility with an order record attached
  3. Downloading a full bib record from a bibliographic utility with an order record and/or an item record attached

From 1988-1993 Mercer had separate INNOVACQ and INNOPAC systems. Before that time the Acquisitions assistant had always typed up order cards and was not comfortable with technological change. With the addition of the INNOVACQ system, the Acquisitions assistant began keying brief bib record but this produced too many typos and didn't always catch duplicates. In 1993 the Acquisitions assistant retired and a new assistant was hired. Unfortunately the separate systems still limited the department to brief bibs, but now they could be downloaded instead of keyed. This produced more complete and accurate

information on the p.o. However, this process was slower for Acquisitions than keying a record and Acquisitions staff now needed access to OCLC. At this point cataloging procedures stayed basically the same. The only real problem was a double search and export charge from OCLC.

In 1994 Mercer migrated to DEC Alpha which made it possible to download full bib records at the time of ordering. The Acquisitions staff did searching and downloading with some apprehension from the cataloging department. Because of the limitation with labels there was still a double OCLC search charge at the time of cataloging. In 1996 both Acquisitions and Cataloging got together to discuss all steps of the ordering, receiving and cataloging processes. The goal was to find solutions for the double search charges, problems with printing labels and how and when to set OCLC holdings. It was decided that cataloging could do the receiving and a one-month trial began. With the addition of two printers they could also print labels from INNOPAC resolving that problem.

Everyone was happy with the results. Cataloging now opens the boxes and has cut the receipt time for books to reach the shelves from seven to three days. The only drawback is that the cataloging workflow is a little more difficult to organize. Cataloging has to work around the number of boxes that arrive per day. The Acquisitions staff has realized the least change in procedures. Records are ftp'd to OCLC monthly to set holdings.

Some factors to consider when implementing an integration such as this include:

All in all the integration of these procedures has shortened the number of steps for ordering, cataloging and processing materials tremendously.

A question and answer period followed the presentation.

Recorded by: Jill Holady, Lewis & Clark College

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