Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stocktake - why we did it.

Over these summer holidays the Library Assistants at Discovery College have been undertaking a library stocktake. This has been the first stocktake completed since the school started as Bauhinia in 2002, and then reborn into a new school - Discovery College in 2008. We inherited many resources and bad records from the old school when it was open and have been working on correcting records and re classifying, relabelling, and weeding the collection for the past two years. The stocktake took about 3 weeks and over 21,000 resources were scanned.

The aim of the stocktake :
* To reduce the amount of overdue loans by scanning all resources in the library effectively to clean up the returns which were a major problem.
* To identify the amount of loss.
* Identify resources that had incorrect records and fix them.

Results :
* We have about 700 resources missing from the collection. (3.3% loss rate - apparently an 'acceptable' loss is 4%, good to see we are under that especially seeing we hadn't done one before)
* A number of resources needed their records fixed.
* About 100 resources had the status of overdue, but then were scanned and became available - or returned.

Benefits to us?
* We know that the 500+ resources that are currently on loan and overdue have not been returned. (makes it hard to fall for the puppy eyes "but I returned it"....when we know they haven't)
* We can work on replacing the missing items if we need to.
* We can work on deleting the records of those resources we will not be replacing.
* We can work on making the records in the OPAC consistent and correct.
* We have a true reflection of the collection.
* The collection is shelved in order. It is nice to have everything in its place at least once a year.

Why do a stocktake?
I found a couple of well written articles on the reasons behind a stocktake (see below for the links). Both have some excellent points on why a stocktake should be undertaken. Some of the main points are here -

The Library Stocktake :
* provides an accurate record of library resources held is required for purposes of accountability.
* provides information on the resource collection so that it may support the achievement of student outcomes within the school, and assists with planning for future collection development
* provides a check on the library holdings and assists library staff in identifying missing items.
* ensures that items are labelled correctly and housed in the appropriate collection, which assists accessibility.
* ensures that at least once a year everything is in its right place.
* ensures that the database reflects the actual collection.

I will be writing a formal report about the stocktake, highlighting where most of the losses are and what we believe is causing the loss and ideas for reducing further loss. Being able to use the statistics in this way is productive.

I know at least one librarian who prides themselves in having never conducted a stocktake in their professional life. I think stocktakes are important in making sure everything is sorted, we will probably do another major stocktake in two years just to see how we are faring with those losses!

Do you do stocktake? Why or why not? How often do you do them? Are there any other excellent articles on why stocktake is important? Please share!

Secret Library Business part 1. Renate Beilharz, SCIS Connections Issue 62, 2007
Taking stock
Barbara Braxton


Jeff said...

I work in a local secondary school library. We do stocktaking once a year. It help us to maintain a more "accurate" resources record. And it help to reduce the "disappointent" of users since you don't need to keep on explaining why resources are showed as available in OPAC but they disappear when users go to the sheleves.

TkR said...

Hi, every one, im looking for a sample of stocktaking report