The following document outlines the reasons and procedures for establishing the serials binding
quota approved by the Administrative Council on January 7, 2002. It provides the number of serials
permitted for each library per month and outlines proposed methods for improving the turn-around
time for materials sent through Receiving and Shipping from those facilities external to the Main
Library Complex (Main Library and the Undergrad Library). Note that the quota does
NOT apply to monographs.
Why are we having a quota?
The quota is currently viewed as a necessity because the workflow for Bindery Preparations has
been completely fluid in the past, ranging anywhere between 1,200 and 4,000 serials per month, plus
monographs. Many libraries sought to send the vast majority of their serials binding during
academic holidays, etc.... As a result, the volume of material sent to Bindery Preparations doubled
on a regular basis. This resulted in incredible backlogs of binding and dissatisfied customers
throughout the library system, as their binding frequently took twice as long as they thought it
should. The binding quota will help alleviate the problems of backlogs by providing a more
regulated workflow and should provide a more uniform turn-around time. Additionally, a more
regulated workflow will likely reduce the number of errors from throughout the process - the
bindery, Bindery Preparations, and the libraries.
What is my library's quota?
That information is available on the accompanying sheet entitled: "Library Serials Binding
Quotas" or from Tom Teper.
What materials does the quota apply to?
Currently, binding quotas apply only to serials binding units, i.e., each set of issues to be
bound into one physical unit. Presently, staff secure these items and send them to Bindery
Preparations with a serials binding streamer.
Where did the quota numbers come from?
The quotas were generated from the number of serial titles bound during the 2000-2001 fiscal
year. The total number of serials were added, divided by twelve months, and increased by 20%. The
20% increase above and beyond the average permits libraries to have some flexibility in what they
are sending and permits them to play a little catch up during holiday periods and other slow times
without falling into the traps that resulted in 4,000 pieces being received in a single month.
The numbers will be adjusted at the close of each fiscal year, and an announcement will be
What should our library do if we believe the numbers are way off?
The first thing that you should do is talk to the Head of Preservation, Tom Teper. There are at
least three libraries that did very little binding during FY2000-01. These libraries have either
(a) already notified the Head of Preservation of the issue, or (b) been contacted about the fact
that they bound very few serials. If this is the situation with your library, then the Head of
Preservation and the branch library can work together to generate a reasonably sound number to
reflect projected volume.
Periodically, the Bindery Preparations staff receive items for which they have no record. This
means that the title has not been bound in some time (generally about four to five years). If you
are a library that has been doing binding regularly but has neglected to bind numerous titles for
some time, these will affect your quota numbers. Please talk to Tom Teper about these situations.
Determining approximately how many titles and how many binding units this will equal beforehand
will help prevent later headaches.
Is the quota going to negatively impact my working life?
It depends on your perspective. Overall, it is believed that this will severely impact
relatively few branches. Those that will be impacted disproportionately will be those that
traditionally bind very large amounts of materials during selected periods rather than managing
their binding throughout the year. Those that will be impacted little will be those that have been
actively been managing their binding program on an ongoing basis.
Will the quota negatively impact my library's service capabilities?
Again, that depends upon your perspective. A more regular binding volume will mean that
turn-around times should be improved. Rather than having some items sent to the binder upwards of
four weeks after receipt in Bindery Preparations, they should go out within two weeks. Rather than
having it take anywhere between one week and over two weeks to unpack an entire binding shipment,
it should take about the same amount of time each time a shipment is returned from the bindery.
There is a possibility that sending some items for binding during peak use periods might make
them unavailable. However, the quotas have a twenty percent increase above and beyond typical
binding levels built in for added growth and flexibility. Libraries can make the choice to send
fewer items some months. However, since this is a quota system, there is a maximum number of units
permitted per month.
Who is responsible for keeping track of whether or not my library is approaching
The individual library is responsible for maintaining this information. Binding tracks it as
What's this I hear about "Binding Bins"?
Working with Receiving and Shipping, Bindery Preparations has determined that one of the
greatest time-wasters in the binding process is item-level handling in transit from branch
libraries to the Main Library. Presently, Receiving and Shipping typically looks at the streamers
for each and every item that comes via a mail bin. The logical conclusion is to decrease shipping
time by reducing handling. How?
In answer to that, Bindery Preparations will be purchasing bins for dedicated binding transport
between branch libraries and the Main Library. Each bin should hold between 22 and 25 serial
binding units. Once these are acquired and marked, branch libraries will be able to request bins
based upon their projected need from Receiving and Shipping, and the items can be sent to Bindery
Preparations as one shipment.
Please note: Once the bins are obtained, the materials in them will not be sorted
by Receiving and Shipping. Therefore, it will be important that non-binding items not be mixed in
with partially-full bins.