University Publications - UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes

[UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes] Jun 10, 1954

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 MINUTES OF MEETING OF DIVISION HEADS       No. 72
HELD IN THE LIBRARIAN'S OFFICE ON
THURSDAY, JUNE 10, 1954, at 2:30 p.m.
Present: Fir. Harlow, Mr. Rothstein, Miss Lanning, Fliss Mercer,
Miss Alldritt, Miss O'Rourke, Mr. Lanning, Miss Fugler.
UNION LIST OF SERIALS
Four copies of the supplement have arrived, three for
the Library and one for Bio-Medicine* The cost will be apportioned
by agreement between the Library and Bio-Medicine.
MATERIAL FROM IOWA
Fir. Rothstein reported that further correspondence with
Iowa had resulted in a revised estimate of the cost of packing and
shipping of the material wanted by UBC, from ^250 to about $150.
INVENTORY
Miss Lanning reported that it is proceeding; the section
on Medicine has presented some difficulties, and the whole picture
will not be evident until the checking is complete. About 60
faculty members and 5 library staff members have not returned all
their books. Fir. Harlow asked Miss Lanning to supply information
about books held by library staff members to the Division Heads,
who will prod the delinquents.
Fliss Alldritt said that she is convinced of the value of
inventory—it has brought to light the weak spots in the cataloguing
routines and indicated where changes and improvements should be
made.
MEDICAL RECLASSIFICATION
The Catalogue Division has completed the reclassification
of all medical serials from R to W.  A number of books still remain
to be similarly treated.  The next major undertaking for the
Division will be the cataloguing—in some cases, re-cataloguing—of
material in the Medical Branch Library.
CATALOGUING BACKLOG
Miss Alldritt reported that the backlog x^rhich existed
some weeks ago has been greatly reduced, but that new additions
to it have kept the cataloguing arrearage almost constant at
3500 volumes.  It becomes evident that there is more cataloguing to
do than the present staff can handle. Books continue to arrive in
a steady stream. Miss Mercer said that there has been almost no
slackening of the pace in Acquisitions.
GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS
Flore than half of the 1000 volumes of government
publications which were to be bound for Reference by the end of
August have been completed.  The unavoidable absence of one member hf
-2- /
of the Bindery staff has not yet made itself felt there, but its
effect will certainly show up within the next few weeks.
SEDGEWICK READING ROOM
There are about 50 books missing from the collection of
some 800 volumes. Most of the losses occurred last summer when the
front doors were kept open, and Fir. Harlow has decided to have clear
glass put into the doors.  Another possibility is to make a
circulating collection out of the Sedgewick stock, lending the books
on 1 week loan. Miss O'Rourke said that experience has shown that
the librarian in the Fine Arts room can not serve the students
working there and also supervise the Sedgewick Room, much less operate a loan service.  The difficulty is that the Fine Arts librarian
has to spend much time in the Fine Arts stacks, and people, instead
of waiting for her to get back to the desk, simply walk out with
books.
Mr, Rothstein believes there should be identification
marks on the outside of the Sedgewick books.  As it is, there is
no evidence that they belong to the University.  It was recognized
that, since the books will eventually go into the general stackroom,
and will then be catalogued in the usual way, whatever marking is
done now will have to be limited by this probable future requirement.
In considering the staff problem, it appeared that there
are well-defined rush periods, notably during the noon hour.
At present a student assistant is left in charge during the noon
hour, and the possibility of giving a circulation service with
additional student assistants was considered. Miss O'Rourke said
that two more student assistants would be needed for two hours
each daily, a total of 20 hours a week (based on five days).
Miss Mercer pointed out that the shelves are not full
even now.  If the Sedgewick Reading Room is to serve both as a
browsing room and as a circulating collection of general reading
materials, many more books will be needed.
Mr. Harlow said that care must be taken that another
"library" is not set up, making three collections in all ("Stacks"
and Reserve being the other two) in which faculty will need to look
for material.
After general discussion it was agreed that the problems
of identifying the books, accumulating a larger stock, and administering the collection as a loan collection would be given thought
by all concerned and reconsidered at a later meeting.
CENTRALIZATION OF SERIALS RECORD
In an effort to save time in cataloguing, it has been
suggested that the visible file ("Kardex") maintained by the
Serials Division serve as the central information source for
location and holdings of serials. Under the revision proposed,
the catalogue card would indicate only the title of a publication
available in the Library and refer the user to the Loan Desk for -3- /J0
other information. The elimination of "Library has" cards would
save the time of two members of the catalogue staff for other work.
The user could go to the Loan Desk and have desk attendants call
Serials to ascertain where the material is, or there could be house
phones for the use of the public so that patrons themselves could
call Serials directl}'. If the Loan Desk gets the initial inquiry
it has extra work to do; if the initial call is made at Reference
that division will have to handle it. In any case, more telephone
work will be to be done and more time spent by Serials answering
inquiries.  The crux of the question, then, is how much more time
would be involved in this telephone work, for it is clear that no
advantage will result if the time saved in the Catalogue Division
is counterbalanced by increased work loads for Serials and
Circulation.  The entire scheme also hinges on the adequacy of the
telephone system to cope with the probable volume of calls.
However, it was stated that the University of Oregon and the
Washington State College libraries use roughly similar systems, and
find them efficient.
Miss O'Rourke suggested moving the visible file from
Serials to a central location on Floor 5, having Serials mail
checked in there and then sent to Floor 6 or elsewhere.  Usually
there are two persons working at the visible file under present
conditions and very often others of the Serials Division are trying
to get at it.  Further use would add to the congestion. Fir. Harlow
questioned the Library's ability to give adequate service by this
means and thought that a separate serials catalogue would solve the
problem in part at least.  He also wondered whether the Kardex files
in Serials were complete enough to record all titles, and      .
Fir. Lanning thought they probably were> l/kf^ //L Lb-   UrtksrvjLd iftial' \A^t&-
Mr. Rothstein pointed out that the Catalogue Division
spends a lot of time putting information on the cards but that
that information is insufficient for many users' purposes. Only
the Serials record gives all the details up to date, and he
suggested that the patrons themselves be referred immediately to
this complete record.  He pointed out that there is already someone
at the visible file who could deal with questions. Mr. Harlow said
that the person is working on a job there. Fir. Lanning said that
all receipts are checked in daily, but he was doubtful whether this
job could be done by someone who was also required to answer, say,
100 questions each day.  It was agreed-that while the "Library has"
record is of use to staff it is not^PWc^Aa^^^tudents and the
public, whether they would be better off with a separate serials
catalogue is not certain: it presupposes that they know whether
what they seek is a serial or not so that they can consult the
proper catalogue. With only one catalogue they look in only one
place. Miss Alldritt outlined the several operations involved in
adding "Library has" information, and stated that the "Library
has" cards duplicate information already available in Serials.
Miss Lanning remarked that she is not anxious to have a telephone
in constant use at the Loan Desk added to the present conditions
there. Fliss Mercer would prefer to have the visible file on
Floor 5 to making more use of telephones.
After further general discussion Mr. Harlow asked each
person concerned in a possible change to think over the pros and ///
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cons and he requested Mr. Rothstein to discuss the problem with
each of them.  He said that Mr. Lanning would probably be most
affected by the proposed change and should give it careful
consideration. Mr. Rothstein will summarise the ideas and opinions
and present them at next meeting.
EXPRESS AND CARTAGE BILLS
Mr. Rothstein has discussed this problem with Miss Mercer
and Fir. LeFIarquand and it appears that the time lag between
receipt of goods and payment of the bill is the main difficulty.
What happened and what specific shipments were received are
forgotten.  The Acquisitions Division now keeps a record of what
is received and files delivery slips.  It ascertains immediately
(while the information is still readily available) the proper
account to which the cartage bill is to be charged.  Then, when
Mr. LeMarquand is doubtful about a bill he will refer to
Acquisitions who will be able to supply date, name of shipper, and
general information about the shipment.  It is expected that by
these means the record can be kept straight.
INFORMATION RE BOOKS RECEIVED
cil^Cu*\fa*Ji*JLodL  oJUiA- 0 ClMsr^si
It is proposed to set up a system of notifying faculty
members when books which have been ordered on department funds are
received in the Catalogue Division.  The new proposal would involve
removing the jackets as soon as the books got to the Catalogue
Division, filing them for examination by faculty members, and
giving "rush" treatment to any books asked for. Miss O'Rourke
pointed out that the jackets are used by Reference for displays;
they are marked with the call number and filed by Reference in
classification order since the display approach is ordinarily by
subject. The difficulty then is to reconcile the conflicting
needs:(1) to have jackets filed promptly (i.e. before cataloguing)
for faculty examination and (2) to get the call numbers on the
jackets (for display use).  One suggestion was that instead of a
complete call number, a general classification number might serve
Reference's purpose.  Another suggestion was to post the book
jackets after they have been numbered.
Mr. Harlow asked the Division Heads to consider the
matter and make suggestions at next meeting.
FINES
This will have to be considered very soon so that
recommendations can be made to the Administration and put into
effect for the Fall Term.
•PENGUINS-
Miss Lanning displayed a collection of "Penguins" and
asked whether they should be held for binding or put into use as
they are. If the latter is done, the books will wear out fairly
quickly and have to be discarded.  Their initial cost is small, but 1(2-
-5-
some of the material may not be available in other forms, and when
the "Penguin" edition goes out of print the material is irreplaceable.
Some of the paper backs are sewn and have reasonably good margins on
the binding edge, others are only glued and have narrow margins.
The Library does spend time and money to catalogue this material,
and the cost of flush binding should be considered in relation to
the purchase cost and difficulty of replacement.  This matter also
is to be settled at a later meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
PERSONNEL
Miss Mary Thompson will leave the Reference Division at
the end of June, and Miss Mary Ross is resigning from her position
in the Librarian's office at the same time.

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