JULY 1, 2004 - JUNE 30, 2005
Prepared by: Lisa German
Every year brings new challenges and FY05 was no different. The Acquisitions Department is in the middle of a transition which will continue as more electronic resources are procured, fewer print serials are received, and we acquire new formats such as electronic books, books on tape and bibliographic records to accompany our purchases. We need to continue to develop and grow the skill set among both the librarians and the staff. Acquisitions personnel are definitely up to the challenge. They are smart, capable, have the desire to do a good job, and are very user focused. As I said last year, they simply are in a league of their own.
Acquisitions continued to implement features of the Voyager Acquisitions System. In September, 2004, Acquisitions staff began creating serial check in records in Voyager for titles checked in in Acquisitions. Led by Maria Porta with a lot of help from Michael Norman, Janice Pilch, the rest of the Acquisitions Implementation Team, and from Acquisitions staff and graduate assistants, we were able to create more than 9000 check in records for our print serials. We began with the English Library as a pilot and then worked through many of the other titles in the various libraries. Kathleen Kluegel has been a very helpful partner in many Acquisitions initiatives. She’s an adventuresome colleague and she’ll speak her mind when there is a problem. This initiative is important because for the first time, a user can see if a particular serial issue has been checked in and where it is located by looking in the online catalog. At the request of Joyce Wright, Acquisitions has begun checking in periodicals located in the Undergraduate Library and will be changing all their received direct titles back to being received in Acquisitions. We partnered with Joyce to have a staff member come in to Acquisitions and learn how to set up the serial check in records. This is working well for both units.
We began receiving Blackwell book invoices electronically this year, in the same fashion as we receive the Ebsco periodical invoices. Stephanie Baker trained the monographic receipt staff how to process these invoices. This is a huge timesaver for the Library Business Office which had to create a payment line for every book received. They were very happy that we were able to implement this feature during FY05 and it should provide a bit of relief to Duane Kearney and Tiffany Tsou, our partners in the Library Business Office.
Partnering and collaborating with other units and with our suppliers will continue to be important. As an example, we taught an Acquisitions staff member how to catalog and a Cataloging staff member how to receive and approve book invoices. It was a good experience for both staff members and we’ll need to expand that initiative over the course of the next year. Providing job variety in the workplace for those who like it is going to be very important in the future. We partnered with Undergraduate, English, Cataloging, the Library Business Office on several initiatives during the year. Collaboration activities work well in this environment and I would hope that they will continue in the future.
Electronic resources procurement and access provision is taking up more and more time and this will continue in the future. Establishing a robust access provision infrastructure will be very important to the users of the UIUC Library. We have made great strides in this area this year. Wendy Shelburne leads up a dynamite team. Lisa Fielder’s responsibilities have shifted so that she is working solely with electronic resources. Wendy led a review panel to examine the resources being paid for on central funds and produced a report for the Collection Development Committee. Our focus has been very user centered so we answer hundreds of reference questions per month as they pertain to electronic resources. Users what access anytime, anywhere and we are trying hard to support them. We will need additional resources in this area in order to fulfill this mission.
Due to our primary book vendor’s disastrous system implementation, we had an awful time procuring monographs. We ended up canceling more than 800 orders from Blackwell and having to revend them in order to get the materials here at the library. We saw and up close picture of a bad system implementation and watched as they struggled to overcome all their challenges. We have been assured that they are “back to normal” now, but this has tested all of us.
I spent some of the spring working with Tom Kilton to write an RFP for Western European monographs. Larry Scherer in the French Department was very dissatisfied with the quality of books coming on the French blanket order plan. This RFP has been delivered to Campus Purchasing and Lynn Wiley will be working with Tom and Purchasing as we look for a new vendor for these materials.
Since this is the last annual report I’ll write as Head of Acquisitions, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of the Acquisitions Department. I say each year that they adapt to change better than any group I’ve ever worked with and they’ll need to adapt once more as I move on to another opportunity at Penn State . They work hard to provide the resources that you want and that the students need. They have a great attitude, and to them I say thank you for the opportunity to work with you.
Some areas of the library are really underfunded. We continue to have one of the best engineering programs in the country without a library budget that is large enough to support it. The electronic resources budget is severely strained along with some of the monograph areas. The approval plan could easily be expanded to include more publishers if the dollars were available. The weak dollar against the Euro has meant that our money does not stretch as far as it used to. Karen Schmidt serves as the heart and soul of this collection and I can’t imagine how this library would function without both her heart and her mind to steer the course of our collection development policy.
All Acquisitions work can fall under support activities. Lisa Fielder and Wendy Shelburne worked with departmental libraries to assist them in connecting to electronic resources. I attended several division meetings and work to support the other library faculty to help manage the funds for which they have responsibility.
As a part of last year’s staff evaluation, we asked each staff member in the division to take the following NetG classes:
From the feedback that I received from the staff, the classes were beneficial.
In addition, staff participated in Excel and Word classes offered by the Library. We began participating in the Performance Partnership Program with our Library Technical Assistants and Specialists.
We provided several training sessions to the rest of the library on Voyager Acquisitions, Collection Manager, fund management, and electronic resources use.
Each of the examples above are new initiatives for the UIUC Library. We implemented a new serials check in system, a new method for detailing electronic resources opportunities using the forum software, and a new mechanism for answering electronic resources problems. We began electronic invoicing with Blackwells.
Acquisitions staff worked with the AUL for Collections on the fourth promotion and tenure ceremony for newly promoted or tenured faculty.
These goals are a mixture of both tactical and strategic goals