Monday, 25 November 2013

Not for the want of ideas ...

Please accept my humblest apologies for it being ages since I last blogged. As the title of this post implies, it's not for want of ideas, but more due to lack of time, or, I suppose, if I were being honest, I've chosen to spend my time on other activities - like my other blog, going to lectures and events and generally trying to spread myself as thinly as possible!!

So, some of the things I thought I might blog about included:
  • annual development reviews
  • one2one meetings
  • evaluation (or so it appears, having read my last but one post!)
  • RDA - adoption of, or lack of adoption of!
  • volunteering in public libraries
  • local studies collections
  • my team's READ-ability Initiative and PIC Project
  • process reviews
  • project work
  • how cataloguers are a public good
  • the super-library concept
  • CILIP involvement
  • library budgets
  • customer service
  • e-book collections

but I'm having difficulty choosing and honing in on just one idea! So, what shall it be? For a blog entitled "Blogging Cataloguing" I seem to be veering away from the topic, but that could be because I actually haven't done much cataloguing for quite a while now, as our backlog receded and the cataloguers are generally able to keep up. Having said that, I have been reliably informed that we have doubled the number of orders we would normally place in November, this year, so I'm expecting a flood of new books to come in, and I might just have to dust off my Dewey login, and update my RDA knowledge!

Actually, new books have already started to roll in to the office, and are causing quite a stir. The "holding" shelves are stuffed, the trolleys are teetering and there are enough cardboard boxes to build a substantial dwelling.

The way we work is to split the acquisitions/cataloguing process into small parts, and have staff working on different bits at the same time, in order to ensure a steady flow of new books through the office. However, if one person is opening boxes, then this person can't also be doing spine labelling, or if another person is paying invoices, they can't be jacketing new books. So, we're ending up robbing Peter to pay Paul, and then robbing Paul to pay Peter, clearing a blockage in one part of the system and then creating a blockage in a different part of the process!

Still, it's only a temporary blip! We seem to be keener than ever to spend our money as quickly as possible, so I'm sure it'll soon run out, and we will be able to reinstate all those database maintenance jobs that we try to do in the background, those little things that can make the user experience so much better. Things like, improving the quality of LCSH in our records, improving the quality of our name headings, updating our classification numbers to reflect the latest edition of Dewey, ensuring that all our hotlinks still work and generally improving the quality of our bib records.

As you might expect, all this frenzied activity on the new book front is coinciding with other work which is to do with upgrading our OPAC, introducing a discovery product, introducing new software which will help to improve our ways of working, particularly in the field of ordering, and working out how best to integrate a new-to-the-team, but established operation, and the staff associated with it.

Personally, although it's still November, I'm looking forward to the Christmas vacation!