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FY01 Acquisitions/Binding Annual Report

JULY 1, 2000 - JUNE 30, 2001

(prepared by : Lisa German)


Summary of the Year’s Activities

Core processes

Services and Access

"We want it fast, right, and cheap, and if we can’t have all three, we want it fast and right," said Sue Searing, Library Science Librarian, at our first Technical Services Forum. Acquisitions staff heard her loud and clear and we worked through the year to acquire materials faster, more accurately, and as cheaply as possible. Certainly we acquired more – 20% more items than we did last fiscal year – more books, more serials, and more electronic resources. We did this with a dedicated core group of excellent staff, superb extra help, excellent student assistants, and grad assistants beyond compare.

In order to provide better service to the departmental libraries, we set goals to meet standards that we knew were important. We vowed to place an order and have it appear on DRA within 10 days of receipt. We also worked to process monographs within 5 days of receipt. We established a turnaround time of one week for cataloging approval plan materials. Over the course of the next year, with the new Innovative acquisitions module, we’ll be able to test whether or not we are able to meet these goals.

Twice in FY01, the Technical Services Division held Open Houses so that the staff in departmental libraries could see what we do, meet the staff who service their needs, and ask any questions that they might have or talk about any problems they were encountering. It also gave us an opportunity to show people the new Innovative acquisitions system. As a follow-up, we had a forum with staff in departmental libraries to hear their needs, concerns and suggestions. All of these were done with the goal of providing more communication between the Tech Services teams and our users.

This year, our staff processed more materials than ever before. The statistics show that monographic firm orders increased by more than 20%, new serial orders almost doubled, monographic title receipts increased almost 20% and so did the number of materials sent to the commercial bindery. All this was accomplished with no additional staff dollars. With the advent of the new III system for acquisitions, we should be able to work more efficiently with a better system.

Collection Development

The approval plans continue to be underfunded. Fund managers have identified additional new publishers that they would like covered on the plan which would result in a needed increase of $700,000 to the approval plan budget. These are important publishers for which we are not currently receiving books. We expanded the profile so that fund managers could select books in the areas of medicine and law, areas that were formerly excluded from the plan and since more than $30,000 worth of books were chosen, this points to a real gap in the approval plan profile.

In order to get these highly desired books into the collection as quickly as possible, staff in Acquisitions cataloged and marked these materials within seven days of their selection. More than 6,000 books were sent directly to the libraries from this Fastcat process.

We began writing a draft of an RFP for French materials. Working with Tom Kilton and Mary Stuart, we have a draft that we can discuss with the newly formed EBO task force and can work on with the Campus Purchasing department.

Support/Ancillary Activities

All Acquisitions work can fall under support activities. Lisa Fielder worked with departmental libraries to assist them in connecting to electronic journals. Acquisitions students assisted the Women and Gender Resources Library by helping search materials acquired through the Tinker grant project. We provided support to the Asian Library to identify serial titles in DRA that needed to be loaded into the Innovative acquisitions system. The Aces Library decided to transfer the responsibility for serials checkin back to Acquisitions for more than 200 titles that they had been checking in directly. Acquisitions personnel coordinated the Annual Library Booksale, which netted more than $5000.00 for the library. Beth Trotter and Katie Clayton worked hard with fund managers to claim or cancel older orders before we converted to Innovative.

With the departure of Annie Copeland as the Serials Team Leader, the staff who check in serials began once again reporting to the Acquisitions Team Leader. This responsibility was not new; this was the responsibility of Acquisitions for many years prior to the team structure.

Karen Huffman and Erich Burkhardt worked very hard in the Binding Unit. These two people are so dedicated to providing excellent customer service to the departmental libraries. When materials were returned from the bindery in a less than acceptable condition, they returned them. When departmental libraries had a complaint about the quality of binding, they shared that with Binding Unlimited and the Acquisitions Librarian. They participated in the binding forum in the Spring of 2001 and listened to the concerns of library staff. These two staff members will begin reporting to the new Preservation Librarian in FY2002. Enough cannot be said about their dedication to hard work.

Training and Staff Development Activities

With the implementation of the Innovative (or III) acquisitions module, staff throughout Acquisitions received training on the new system. Each staff member worked with Stephanie Baker and not only learned how to use the new system, but, in many cases, received a refresher on how to perform their jobs. The system is leading to several changes in workflow. Since we are downloading bibliographic records at point of order, Beth Trotter and several other acquisitions staff members attended a training session on OCLC searching conducted by a staff member in the Illinet office. Additionally Beth received excellent OCLC searching training from Stephen Smith and Karen Dudas from the Rapid Cataloging Team. Since this will lead to having full bibliographic records in DRA for newly ordered materials, this is a wonderful access enhancement for our users.

Innovative Ideas, New Initiatives, and Successful/Failed Examples

FY 2001 was full of new initiatives for the staff in Acquisitions. In November, we worked with Karen Schmidt on the first annual promotion and tenure bookplating initiative and ceremony. All newly tenured and promoted faculty were given the opportunity to select a book for the library, explain why the book was important to them, and then be honored at a recognition ceremony held in November at Grainger.

Much of the year was spent planning and training for the Innovative Millennium Serials and Acquisitions module implementations. We worked with the ISCC III Serials and Acquisitions implementation teams and the Systems Office to make sure that the systems were set up correctly and that staff were trained in both their areas of expertise and given an overview of the whole system. Stephanie Baker, the Technical Services Research Programmer, was essential to the success of this training. She produced the training materials, conducted the training sessions, and worked with the Acquisitions Librarian to learn all facets of acquisitions and serials checkin work. We gratefully acknowledge her contribution.

Along with planning for the new system was the planning to convert the data from the accounting System 36 machine over to III. This was an enormous task that would not have been accomplished without the work of Jeanne Grzelek as our consultant and Peggy Steele in the Library Systems Office. We worked with Janis Pilch in the Slavic Library and with Karen Wei in the Asian library to identify tasks that each would need to do in order to acquire materials with the new system.

One of the major benefits of III will be the ability to attach bibliographic information to order and payment information. We will have individual records for all of our approval plan materials along with materials received on the European blanket order plan, Music plans, Africana, Art and Architecture, and Latin American Blanket Order plans.

This will provide better access to these materials from the point of receipt and before they are cataloged so that we can avoid duplicating orders.

Public Relations and Promotional Activities

Acquisitions staff spearheaded both the Quad Day Booksale and the fall Annual Booksale. Combined, these two events netted more than $6000.00 for the Library.  As mentioned in the earlier paragraph, Acquisitions staff worked with the AUL for Collections on the promotion and tenure ceremony for newly promoted or tenured faculty.  We also hosted two open houses and a forum for staff outside the Technical Services Division.

Goals and Planning

Last year’s plans and goals


Strategic Plan: Develop up-to-date and meaningful tools for monitoring and analyzing the Library’s activities so that Library resources for services can be allocated strategically and tactically.

My goals:

We are in the process of finishing the III implementation. This involved creating new vendor codes for more than 3300 vendors, new fund codes for 572 funds, coordination of communication within the library, rethinking workflows and tackling some difficult workflow issues. Deloris Holiman, Annie Copeland, Lynda Wirth, Kevin Butterfield, Janis Pilch, Peggy Steele, and Stephanie Baker did a superb job working with me on planning and coordinating these efforts.

We have written a draft of an RFP and will begin working later this summer with campus purchasing and the subject librarians to begin the process of writing additional RFPs.


Strategic Plan: Create an ongoing internal training and development program for all Library faculty and staff to ensure a basic knowledge of library operations, to impart needed skills and to develop each individual’s skills, gifts and knowledge.

My goals:

As I look back on these goals, I realize that they really aren’t measurable. All Acquisitions staff received retraining to do their jobs in light of the new system. We continue to provide an environment where everyone’s work is valued and where initiative is encouraged. We will continue to do so in the future.


Next Year’s Plans and Goals


Acquisitions and Binding Statistics FY 2001 Comparative Grand Totals

FY 2001

FY 2000

FY 1999

FY 1998

Monographic Firm Orders





New Serial Orders





Monographic Cancellations





Serial Cancellations





Serial Retires





Total Serial Title Change





Monographic Receipts Total Titles





Monographic Receipts Total Pieces





Binding Total





Marking Total





* The difference in the monographic receipt statistic from FY 1999 to Fy 2000

is due to the drop in gifts accepted for the collection.