Sender: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re Cataloging and Selection Committee in Hawaii
To: "Karen G. Schneider" <[log in to unmask]> VIA
Patricia Wallace <[log in to unmask]>,
FROM: An anonymous Librarian in Hawaii
Subject: Cataloging and Selection Committee in Hawaii
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 1997
Selection Advisory Committee consists of the following:
Caroline Spencer - in charge of the 49 libraries
Diane Eddy - Project Officer of the B&T contract
Claire Ikehara - Branch Manager of Salt Lake PL
Brenda Freitas-Obregon - Children's Librarian of Kalihi-Palama PL
(Until "re-engineered," she was head of YA programming development
services. She went from a Lib V to Lib III position)
Two members of this committee provide direct customer service everyday.
My understanding is that B&T sends the committee a list of anticipated
buys. I have no idea whether this covers a week, month etc. The
committee then has a week to review it and inform B&T of their
decisions. I do not know whether the information is relayed in the
weekly conference call, fax, or e-mail.
Is it working? Beats me! We received FY 95-96 (FY starts 1 July)
materials until the end of December 96. It doesn't take a great
mathematical genius to figure out that we got an awful lot of junk for
six months after the new FY began. I guess that B&T just started
expending FY 96-97 funds. I have seen little change in materials we have
received. Too many things are still coming in that I would not waste
limited resources on.
Our lack of cataloging and lack of bibliographic control is a major
problem for us. The original "re-engineering" plan was to let B&T do it
all. All people in CPC (Central Processing Center) were deployed to
public service positions. All selection, acquisition, cataloging, and
processing people left CPC in November 1995. The B&T contract kicked in
in March 1996. We, technically, had no cataloging done between December
1995 and July 1996. I say technically only to illustrate the far
thinking of our leaders. Actually, four of the deployed catalogers
provided some cataloging. An additional part-time cataloger does only
government docs. Those four brave souls were told that their primary
duties were providing customer service in the new re-engineered libraries.
Just last week - the powers to be decided to add a full time cataloger.
The contract says that B&T would provide cataloging for 200 books that
were not purchased directly by and from B&T per year. I think the powers
to be miscalculated the number of donated items that could or should be
added to the catalog. Very little cataloging was done prior to this year.
We sent in our requests for cataloging as needed. We seldom saw anything
come out of this deep dark hole. I think everything was stacked up on
someone's desk waiting to see how much came in. Then a decision could be
made about whether to send it to B&T per the contract or catalog it in
house. The super powers finally decided that something needed to be
redone. There had to be well over 200 requests for cataloging.
Much like your experience, the quality of our records is deteriorating
rapidly. B&T does too many "quick and dirties." Video cataloging, as
specified in the contract, I think, is a major disservice to our
customers. Bare minimum information is given -- Title, publisher, and
Dynix #. It really makes finding new non-feature films next to
impossible. Too many portions of the collections are getting scattered.
Under the old CPC, we had the ability to keep subjects together in spite
of revisions in LC or Dewey decisions. It looks as though we will be
doing a lot of physical and mental gymnastics just to locate materials in
the same subject groupings.
Karen -- I agree. This cataloging problem with Hawaii outsourcing
deserves a great deal more attention than it's getting.
Anonymous:-- These opinions and observations are strictly my own.