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Bibliographers' Handbook

Overview   |   Subject Area Budgets   |   Selection   |   Liaison

I. Overview

The primary task of a bibliographer is to oversee collection development in his or her assigned subject area(s). To carry out this task, the bibliographer must:

  1. Be bibliographically knowledgeable about assigned subject areas, and thoroughly familiar with ISU's curriculum and faculty research interests in those areas.
  2. Wisely select monographs for purchase on the basis of this knowledge. In this document, the term, "monographs" is used to refer to all types of monographic material, including print books, videocassettes, DVD's and other material that is consistent with the Library's collection development policy.
  3. Facilitate faculty-initiated acquisitions of both monographs and periodicals. Monitor and assess those acquisitions.
  4. Communicate with faculty regarding Library policies, procedures, goals and objectives, and respond to faculty questions on any of these matters.
  5. Conduct analyses of relevant portions of the collection, as required.
  6. Contribute to the formulation of collection development policies and procedures.

II. Subject Area Budgets

  1. How Are Allocations Arrived At?

    In April of each year, each subject area receives an annual allocation from the Library. The allocation is calculated on the basis of the total funds available for subject area support for that year, multiplied by the subject area's assigned percentage. At present, this percentage figure is derived from an estimate of overall expenditures for subject areas during the 1991, 1992 and 1993 fiscal years.

    The allocation to a subject area must pay for all monographs, periodicals and standing orders received by the subject area during the year, hence the allocation is divided into three parts. The Head of Collection Management estimates, in June, what a subject area's expenditures for periodicals and standing orders will be in the next fiscal year, based on current subscriptions. These estimates constitute two parts of the next fiscal year's allocation. The sum of these estimates is then subtracted from the total allocation and the result is the subject area's monograph budget for the next fiscal year, the third part of the allocation. This part of the allocation is subdivided: one half of the monograph budget is assigned to the academic department which corresponds to the subject area, and one half is assigned to the bibliographer with responsibility for that subject area.

  2. How Might Allocations Change Over Time?

    The total allocation for a subject area is a fixed amount, but the allocations for periodicals, standing orders and monographs may change during the course of the fiscal year. If, for example, a periodical is canceled, the periodical allocation will be reduced by the estimated amount of the subscription renewal cost and that amount will be added to the total monograph allocation--half to the department's portion, half to the Bibliographer's. Or if, at some point, expenditures for a subject area's standing orders exceed the estimated amount, money will be taken from that subject area's monograph allocation to cover the added charges.

    It may happen, late in the fiscal year, that periodical or standing order expenditures exceed estimates and there is insufficient money in the subject area's monograph account to meet the need; in that case, money will be taken from a special reserve account and the subject area's debt to the Library will be paid out of the following year's allocation.

    It may also happen, late in the fiscal year, that there is an excess of funds in a subject area's periodicals and standing orders allocations. In that case, the unused funds will be shifted to the monograph allocation, half to the Department's budget, half to the Bibliographer's.

    The Head of Collection Management makes fund shifts, of the kind described above, at intervals during the course of the year. Bibliographers are always informed of these changes.

  3. Keeping Track of Allocations and Expenditures

    Bibliographers can check the status of the monograph budgets for each subject area (i.e. the department and bibliographer portions) by accessing the Voyager acquisitions module. Voyager contains current financial information for all monograph budgets, expressed in terms of: the original allocation; the amount expended to date; the amount encumbered to date (i.e. funds committed but not yet actually paid out); and the balance of the account. Each bibliographer may search Voyager to access this information. For details, contact the Head of Collection Management.

III. Selection

  1. "Selection" vs. "Collection Development"

    By "selection" is meant the routine, day-to-day process of selecting monographs to buy for the collection from among the seemingly endless supply of new or recent publications. Ideally, selection should be part of a larger, more complex operation called "collection development", in which the selector confronts every new publication notice armed with a thorough analysis of the relevant sections of the collection and a detailed policy for how to build and sustain that collection to insure its maximum utility for potential users.

    Most of us engage in genuine "collection development" rather rarely, due to the amount of time and effort that must be expended to do so. There are, of course, times when the effort must be made. If a new program is initiated, or an accreditation study is in process, or the opportunity (and money) arise to create a new subject collection or significantly deepen an old one, then one must carry out as much of the process as time and resources permit. It is then that one applies the tools of the trade and ascertains such things as the currency of the collection, how it stacks up against standard bibliographies, how it compares, title for title, with peer institutions' collections, and how readily users can gain access to the materials which are not and never will be in our collection, and so forth.

    Engaging in this sort of real "collection development" is not only highly beneficial to the collection, but personally very rewarding; yet, for most of us, given our other obligations, it is something of a luxury. Most of us must carry out our selection duties in a state of considerable ignorance and uncertainty. Monographs must be bought, and, in the time available, we must do our best to buy the right ones, even though we know that we could do a lot better. If a genuine collection development project comes your way, please consult with the Head of Collection Management for assistance and advice. To deal with the challenge of selection, read the remainder of this section.

  2. The Basic Responsibilities of Selection

    There are essentially three areas of responsibility connected with selection for an assigned subject area:

    • the (wise) expenditure of the annual budget for monographs;
    • the assessment and monitoring of periodical subscriptions;
    • general liaison with the relevant academic departments.

    These areas of responsibility overlap. The annual budget for monograph purchases in a subject area is divided into an amount to be spent at your (i.e. the Bibliographer's) discretion, and an amount to be spent at the discretion of the department. With regard to the amount put into the department's hands, you are responsible for the facilitation of its expenditure. Furthermore, you must keep the departments informed of how their money is being spent. Details of how these duties are to be discharged will be found later in the Handbook, under the section entitled "Liaison".

    The selection of subject-area periodicals is largely in the hands of the departments, though the Library retains final authority over all subscriptions. Although the Collection Development office leads an annual review of department periodicals subscriptions each spring (see III. H. Periodicals Adds and Drops, Item 2.), the bibliographer should be familiar with its departments' subscriptions and needs and should be prepared to act on publisher-generated changes throughout the year. Other changes that can affect a subscription list include staff changes or shifts in the direction of research. It's particularly important to focus on periodical lists if the department has allowed its periodical expenditures to eat up its monograph budget. The Library must seek to protect the interests of all patrons. In the sciences, faculty depend more upon periodicals than monographs; with undergraduates, the reverse is true. Hence, unusually low monograph budgets in the sciences, which produces serious deterioration of the monograph collection within a few years, affects undergraduates more adversely than faculty.

  3. What You Should Know in Order to Select Wisely

    Wisely spending the money allotted to you requires, ideally, that you have a thorough knowledge of the subject area and of the department's character, research interests and curriculum and a good sense of what the department is likely to buy for itself with its own discretionary funds. None of us will be able to achieve this ideal, of course, but we can do our best.

    You can attempt to keep au courant with the field by browsing in the periodical literature. It is important to have a general awareness of what issues and topics are currently being discussed and written about. Remember, monographs go out of print surprisingly quickly, often within a few months of publication. If the Library is to acquire a useful sampling of publications on an issue that is currently stimulating debate, it should acquire while the topic is hot.

    It is particularly important for you to have a good grasp of ISU's curriculum in the subject area. Consult the university's catalogs of both undergraduate and graduate offerings. Try to notice areas of the subject that are not dealt with, as well as those that are. Be aware that upper-division and graduate level courses require, generally speaking, more support from the collection than undergraduate courses. Not only must there be more materials and broader subject coverage, but the materials must be written at a higher level and more narrowly focused.

    You should be aware of the research interests of the faculty. This can be accomplished in several ways: 1) Notice, as monograph requests come from the department, what subjects specific professors seem interested in; 2) Search appropriate periodical indexes and find out professors' publication histories; 3) Talk to the professors about their work and interests. (see the "Liaison" section for more discussion of this tactic).

    Keep in mind, however, that professors have a natural tendency to see to it that the Library has the monographs that they need for their own research. In other words, it is often unnecessary to spend your funds for these research materials because they will be acquired through requests from the department. The other side of this coin is that you cannot have the same confidence that department requests will suffice to acquire materials useful to undergraduates. It may, therefore, be wise to spend a substantial proportion of your budget on lower division level materials and, in this way, assure that collection development in the subject takes place in a balanced way that will meet the needs of all potential users.

  4. Publication Materials

    Bibliographers can set “notifications” in the GOBI database to receive electronic notices of recent monographs from YBP, the Library’s primary vendor. The notices can reflect the subject collecting profile registered with YBP or the bibliographer can set other parameters for notification. Subject collecting profile notices constitute what is generally known as a slip approval plan. It would be advisable for you to check the profile that generates the notices in your subject areas, especially to familiarize yourself with the exclusions in that profile.

    The subject area profiles can be viewed on the YBP’s GOBI website at http://www.gobi3.com . Select the Library tab then Approval Profile from the option list. All material available from YBP-whether consistent with the ISU Library profile or not-can be viewed from GOBI. Profiles can be altered, if you feel that they are inappropriate. If you wish to change a profile, please discuss the matter with the Head of Collection Management.

    The Library also subscribes to the Choice service, which delivers to us bibliographic information and prices of recently published monographs, plus short reviews of them by variously qualified reviewers. The information is available in hard copy and electronic format.

    Advertisements and publishers catalogs constitute another, almost inundating, source of information about recent and upcoming publications. Be properly wary of information conveyed by these materials. There is no monograph that a publisher can't get someone to say something good about.

    A more focused and in-depth source of notices and reviews is the professional literature. Unfortunately, reviews in the subject area periodicals often appear long after the monographs reviewed have been published, and the reviewers can be highly tendentious. Nonetheless, it is valuable to make it a habit to browse at least one professional periodical in your subject area on a regular basis.

  5. Procedures for Reviewing Publication Materials and Placing Requests

    1. Review Materials:

      All review materials received by the Library are distributed to Bibliographers by the Collection Development Department. Choice slips and cards, and publishers' advertisements and catalogs are all placed in a wooden pigeonhole cabinet in the Collection Development office, above each Bibliographer's name. Remember to visit the CD office regularly to retrieve, inspect and pass on, such materials.

    2. Making an Order Request:

      Printed order requests may be made using the Choice cards, print-outs from Barnesandnoble.com or Amazon.com, or indications made on publishers' catalogs. All requests must indicate 1) the subject area for which the monograph is being purchased, or the allocation code, 2) whether the fund to be expended is the D (department) or L (library) fund, and 3) the initials of the ordering Bibliographer, when required. Please circle these three bits of information. Requests should be delivered to the Library Assistant II in Acquisitions.

      Electronic order requests may be made using YBP's GOBI and may be sent by email to the Library Assistant II in Acquisitions.

      The order request is the optimal mechanism for bibliographers to use to note such information as location, "Route to Sally Doe when cataloged" notes, and any useful ordering, pricing assistance that is not otherwise evident on the request. Please note that if no location is noted, "Main" will be assigned as the default location by Acquisitions staff.

    3. Requests for Reference Monographs:

      If it is your intention that the monograph you order should go into the Reference Collection, place an "Ref", circled, on the request. If the request is being made through Collection Manager, put this note in the location field.

    4. Rush Orders:

      You may place Rush orders for either Library or department requests. To do so, write "Rush", circled, on the request and place it in the box designated for Rush items located on the desk of the Library Assistant II in Acquisitions. If the request is in electronic form, this information should be noted prominently. The effect of designating a request as "Rush" is that it will be processed in the usual way, but before other requests that are on hand in the Acquisitions Department. In the two weeks immediately prior to a monograph request deadline (see below), there is no guarantee that Rush requests will be honored. Please show caution in asking for Rush treatment; don't abuse the procedure. There should be a compelling reason, e.g. a faculty member's immediate and unexpected need for an item, to use this ordering mode.

    5. Sale Deadline Orders:

      If you wish to place requests from a monograph sale catalog, they must be submitted to Acquisitions at least one week prior to the sale deadline. They will then be given priority over existing requests. As in the case of Rush orders, during the two weeks immediately prior to a request deadline, Acquisitions may not be able to fill such orders, especially if there are many items.

    6. Pre-publication Orders:

      Orders for materials not yet published will normally be placed with reputable publishers only. All others should be discussed with the Head of Collection Management.

    7. Default Ordering of Paperback Editions:

      Unless a bibliographer specifies otherwise, the Acquisitions Department will order the cheapest edition of a requested title that is available. In most cases, that means that a paperback edition will be ordered, if one has been published. It is only if the cost of the hardcover edition is less than $5 more than the cost of the paperback that the hardcover edition will be ordered automatically. If you definitely feel that the hardcover edition is preferable, due to such factors as anticipated high use, or the need for uniformity in a series which the Library already receives, you may indicate on the request that you wish the hardcover edition. To do so, simply write conspicuously on the request, "Hardcover". In the past, the Library has made use of "pre-binding" services, whereby vendors send monographs to a binder prior to their arrival at ISU. This option is no longer being offered, as is explained below.

    8. Out-of-Print Orders:

      Requests for out-of-print monographs should include the basic order information noted in item 2, above, as well as an indication of the source (the out-of-print dealer) and acceptable condition(s) of the monograph being requested. Sources are often noted during the course of a search in Amazon.com, or include dealers such as Advanced Book Exchange at http://www.abebooks.com/, Alibris at http://www.alibris.com/, and Bookfinder.com at http://www.bookfinder.com/. It is the practice of out-of-print dealers to note the condition of the monograph being offered, and it is the bibliographer's responsibility to consider which conditions are suitable for library use and to note that condition on the request being submitted to Acquisitions.

    9. Credit Card Orders:

      The Acquisitions Department is authorized to use a university purchasing card for monograph purchases only. The card is used in cases in which a vendor/dealer will accept no other means of payment, for most out-of-print requests, and for RUSH orders. The university imposes additional tracking expectations on the use of the credit card, and Acquisitions Department policy is therefore normally not to use the credit card for routine orders.

    10. Request Deadlines:

      In an effort to even-out the work load of the Acquisitions Department and encourage Bibliographers and faculty to give regular attention to the selection of monographs, the following deadlines for ordering have been established:

      Deadline % of Allocation To Be Spent
      8/1 10%
      9/1 20%
      10/1 30%
      11/1 40%
      12/1 50%
      1/1 60%
      2/1 70%
      3/1 80%
      4/1 90%
      5/1 100%
      11/1 35%
      2/1 70%
      4/15 100%

  6. Reviewing New Book Arrivals

    Every Friday, newly cataloged books are moved to Circulation where they are shelved in the new books area on first floor and in IHSL new books on third floor. You can browse the shelves for newest arrivals or obtain a list of specific titles to look for by using the "New Books" search in Voyager.

    It would be a good idea if all bibliographers were to form the habit of looking at the new arrivals every week. There are several good reasons to do so:

    1. It's fun to look at new books, especially the ones which you, yourself, ordered.
    2. You will be able to judge whether the books that you and your department ordered look as good "in the paper" as they did in the advertisement or review. You will be forced to face your mistakes, and be empowered to feel smug about your good picks.
    3. You will learn things about your subject area, even if you only look at tables of contents.

  7. Monograph Request Returns

    Requests for monographs will normally be submitted to YBP. If YBP is unable to fill the order within the three-month window specified by the Library, or for other reasons, Acquisitions staff will submit the order to Amazon. If Amazon is unable to supply the identical item, the request will be returned to the bibliographer for further consideration. Requests submitted to suppliers other than YBP will be handled in a similar manner.

  8. Periodical Adds and Drops

    All periodicals subscribed to by the Library are assigned to subject area lists associated with academic departments, except for those to be found on the General Collection list, the Library list, the Tools list, the Idaho Health Sciences Library list, or the Idaho Falls list.

    In all those subject areas which are associated with academic departments, the final decision to add or drop periodical subscriptions lies with the Library, but the departments' wishes are ordinarily carried out. Circumstances could arise, of course, in which the Library would have to drop periodicals against the wishes of a department, e.g. if, in a given fiscal year, the allocated budget for a subject area were insufficient to pay for anticipated subscription costs and the department refused to select titles to discontinue, then the Library would have to act on its own to cancel.

    Due to various factors associated with vendor practices and the needs of the Serials Department, it is necessary for the Library to set certain deadlines governing when requests for adding and dropping periodicals may be received and acted upon. These deadlines, with accompanying explanations are as follows, as sent to the faculty in the Spring of 1994:


    1. Requests to ADD subscriptions.

    Requests to add subscriptions must be submitted to the Library prior to OCTOBER 1, in order to insure that periodical subscriptions will begin with the January issue of the following calendar year. Subscription requests received after October 1, unless there are extenuating circumstances which justify the late submission, will result in a delay of the start date until the next January, e.g. a request received during the period from Oct. 1, 1994 to Oct. 1, 1995, will result in a Jan. 1, 1996 start date for the subscription.

    Departments can also request format changes for titles on their subscription lists. Due to the complicated electronic subscriptions options available, the Library asks departments to propose format changes during the spring periodical review. The Library will research availability, price and access options, then supply the information to the departments for consideration.

    2. Requests to DROP Subscriptions.

    Departments will receive from the Library, in late-March, a list of the periodicals to which they currently subscribe. The list will indicate the current year's cost of each periodical and the vendor with which the Library places the order for that title (see below for the relevance of this latter information.) Also, the Library will make an estimate of the department's budget for the coming fiscal year, and inflationary increases in the cost of the department's periodicals. These estimates will only be educated guesses, however, because the Library will neither know its overall budget with certainly, nor have dependable information on subscription cost inflation, until sometime toward the end of April.

    The Library will submit all proposed periodical cancellations to a review by the general faculty. A list of those cancellations will be distributed and, after the faculty has had time to respond, the Library will enter into negotiations concerning any titles whose cancellation has been disputed. All concerned parties, i.e. the department which submitted the title, those which objected to its cancellation and library representatives, including the Bibliographers of relevant subject areas, will be involved in the attempt to reach a solution that is mutually satisfactory.

    Publishers, and the vendors who handle their periodicals, require that certain deadlines be observed in submitting cancellation requests. After that deadline has passed, a cancellation order will not take effect until the following year, and the Library must therefore pay for another year's subscription.

    Subscriptions to periodicals which the Library receives via any vendor other than Harrassowitz can be canceled by the Library at any time prior to October 1, but, because of the need to perform the review mentioned above, and to allow time for the processing of cancellations by the Serials Department, September 1 is the deadline for submission of requests for cancellations of all "non-Harrassowitz" titles.

    Periodicals which are handled by the vendor Harrassowitz must be canceled by August 1. In order, to allow time for the aforementioned review process and to conduct that review while all faculty are still on campus, April 11 is the deadline for submission of cancellation requests for all periodicals which we receive via Harrassowitz.

    The Library subscribes to several periodicals package subscriptions. Often, the agreement inherent within these subscriptions is contingent upon the Library maintaining a certain base amount of periodicals subscriptions from the publisher providing a given package. This may affect a department's ability to cancel a particular periodical, although often publishers will accept "trades," i.e., the cancellation of a periodical in exchange for the addition of a periodical or periodicals of equivalent price. Such conditions are noted during the annual periodical review.

    Unfortunately, as noted above, by April 11, departments will not know their allocations for the coming fiscal year with complete certainty. Therefore, the Library suggests that if a department feels it likely that it will need to cancel an Harrassowitz title, but would prefer not to do so if its allocation turns out to be sufficiently large, it should submit a conditional and prioritized list of Harrassowitz cancellations which can be acted upon by a designated department member after the end of the semester, when the subject area's allocation is known. Of course, if the department is certain that it wishes to cancel an Harrassowitz title, or any other title, for that matter, it may submit an unconditional request to do so prior to April 1.


    Note that all requests for cancellation of periodicals, whether submitted by departments, or by Library staff (from the four non-departmental lists), must be submitted to the entire faculty for comment. This is done because it is occasionally the case that a periodical on one department's list is heavily used by faculty in another department. Without the review process, the Library might carry out a cancellation unaware of the extent to which the periodical in question was used by the academic community as a whole. All information concerning a department's intention to drop and/or add periodical titles should be given to the Head of Collection Management.

  9. Special Kinds of Monograph Requests

    1. Reference Monographs:

      You, and your subject area department, are free to order reference works from your respective budgets, but it may be more appropriate for a given reference work to be ordered from Reference Department funds, in which case, you should submit a filled-out request form to the Head of Reference, accompanied by the information described below. When is a reference monograph appropriate for purchase from Reference funds? Not to put too fine a point on it, if the work seems to you to qualify as a "basic", rather than a narrowly-focused or esoteric, reference resource, it is probably worth calling to the Reference Department's attention.

      However, when you submit requests to Reference, whether they originate with you or with your department, please provide some justification for the request. This justification should take the form, minimally, of one or more evaluative reviews which make clear the utility and importance of the item in question. Descriptive or advertising copy will not be sufficient.

      You may, if you wish, ask your department to supply this kind of supporting material with their reference requests, or you can prepare it yourself.

      This may seem like a lot of bother, but keep in mind that Reference is in the position of having a limited budget, like the rest of us, and a long list of standard reference items that must be purchased -- the general encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories, etc.-- before it can entertain requests for more specialized materials in specific subject areas. Because of its limited discretionary funds, Reference is unlikely to be able to buy all the titles that bibliographers request, so it must exercise care in deciding which to accept.

      Be aware that many of the requests Reference receives will be held for a time to enable the department to assess its overall budget commitments. If Reference rejects a request that you have passed on to it from a department, you may either return that request to the department or buy the item yourself out of your own monograph funds. The latter option is obviously open to you with regard to any of your own reference requests that are returned.

      Please take note that the Head of Reference, as custodian and shaper of the Main Reference Collection, has final authority over what belongs there. If the Head of Reference feels that a monograph that you have purchased for the Reference Collection does not belong there, he/she has the right to redirect it to the Main Collection, after explaining to you the reason for that decision. This authority extends also to the relocation of materials already in the collection. Therefore, if you believe that a monograph in the Main Collection ought to be in the Reference Collection, you should bring this to the attention of the Head of Reference, who will, if he/she is of like mind, see to the necessary recataloging of the item.

    2. General Collection Materials

      The General Collection monograph allocation is intended to be used for the purchase of general interest materials, i.e. monographs which cover a range of topics and cross academic disciplines and/or are written for the "average educated reader", rather than for subject area specialists. Such monographs may well (but need not) qualify as "recreational reading".

      Since general interest materials are published in virtually all academic subject areas, you are likely to encounter them while perusing your publication information. If you find some such general interest monographs that seem worthwhile to add to the collection, you may submit requests for them to the Head of Collection Management, who will review your requests, decide whether or not to fund their purchase with General Collection funds, and return to you those which are not so favored.

    3. Buying from the "Tools" and "Library" Allocations

      These two allocations are intended to provide materials of special interest and use to Library staff.

      The Tools budget is intended to provide materials which will be used by Library staff to assist them in carrying out their normal duties; materials of the sort that must be readily available or at hand, and are of little or no interest to the general public. Materials purchased with Tools funds will be cataloged and should then be checked out by the Library staff member who intends to use them.

      The Library budget is intended to make available materials that provide scholarly and technical support for staff in performing Library functions, providing service to patrons and carrying out research for publication, presentation or professional development. These materials will not be required for frequent or regular use, need not be unfailingly available to staff, and are likely to be of some interest to the general academic community. They will, therefore, be cataloged and kept in the public collection.

      If you wish to request the purchase of a monograph or periodical that falls within these definitions, provide a request to:

      • The Head of Collection Management, for the Tools account;
      • The Coordinator, Bibliographic Databases, for the Library account.

    4. Replacement of Lost Volumes

      You will occasionally receive, from the Collection Development office, printouts of Voyager records for monographs in your subject area that have been lost or stolen from the collection and their records erased from the online catalog. Accompanying these records will be Books in Print copy, if it is available. It is up to you to order replacements for these monographs, if that it possible and you think it desirable to do so. You must charge the replacement costs to your regular monograph budget.

      If there is Books in Print copy, it will be attached to the record, as mentioned above. To order a replacement, simply sign the BIP copy, as usual.

      A further replacement consideration: You may wish to check our holdings of monograph materials dealing with the subject of a lost monograph, especially if the monograph cannot be replaced, and order a replacement monograph that will provide the collection with better coverage of the topic in question.

    5. Rebinding or Replacement of Worn-out or Damaged Monographs

      Currently, the Head of Collection Management is the first person to review monographs that Circulation has identified, because of their deteriorating condition, as candidates for rebinding or replacement. If the Head of Collection Management has doubts about the worth of a monograph, and hence of the desirability of either rebinding or replacement, it will be given to the appropriate Bibliographer for an opinion. You (the appropriate bibliographer) must make a decision, check the appropriate box ("bind" or "discard") on the pink slip accompanying the monograph, and return both to the Head of Collection Management.

      If the Head of Collection Management feels that a monograph in your subject area is worth keeping in the collection, but could and should be replaced rather than rebound, you will be sent Books in Print copy for that monograph, with "replacement?" written on that copy, or may be asked to consider obtaining a replacement copy from an out-of-print source. Accompanying this information will be the date-due slip from the monograph, as evidence of the amount of circulation it has experienced. If you agree that the item should be replaced, use either the BIP copy to place an order, or provide out-of-print acquisition information (see Out of Print Orders above for details) from your own funds. If you think that the item should not be replaced, return the BIP slip to the Head of Collection Management with your comments.

  10. Bibliographers and Gift Materials

    As described in the Gift Materials Policy, and the Review of Gift and Deaccessioned Materials Policy, Bibliographers may be asked to play a role in the review of donated materials, both monographs and periodicals. If a gift includes a substantial number of monographs or periodicals in your subject area, you may be contacted by the Collection Development office and asked to review the materials. In so doing, you will decide, for each item, whether it should be added to the collection, discarded or stored for future sale. The slips in the items will provide call numbers of duplicate ISU holdings.

  11. Bibliographers and Weeding

    You are encouraged to undertake weeding projects in those parts of the collection that are your responsibility. You should be aware, however, that there is a policy, the Review of Gift and Deaccessioned Materials Policy, which stipulates that all materials selected for removal from the collection must be available for review by Library staff and faculty before they are finally disposed of. Therefore, if you intend to do serious weeding you should notify the Head of Collection Management so that appropriate measures, such as notifying the concerned department, can be taken to plan for the review process.

  12. Bibliographers and Retrospective Cataloging Projects

    Because retrospective cataloging projects provide a good opportunity to review existing library materials, bibliographers are asked to participate in that review process. In other words, they are asked to recommend whether a particular item is worth keeping in the collection. Due to the cost of cataloging, the bibliographer's role is usually performed early in the process. Recent examples of such projects include the OCLC Weeding project and the absorption of the Media collection into the Library's.

  13. Assistance for Bibliographers

    The Collection Development office receives funding for a student worker. This student is available to perform clerical and research tasks in connection with the work of the Bibliographers. If you need help in this way, please contact the Head of Collection Management.

IV. Liaison

  1. Responsibilities for Informing Departments

    In general, it is the Bibliographer's responsibility to keep his or her department informed about all library matters that affect it, except in cases where another Library department (often the Collection Development office) has taken on this responsibility.

    1. Budget Information:

      Bibliographers must inform their departments concerning the state of their monograph budgets, on a monthly basis. If a department seems unlikely to spend the appropriate proportion of its monograph budget by a deadline, it is appropriate for the Bibliographer to inform the department of that fact and urge them to submit requests. Especially toward the end of the fiscal year, the department needs to be reminded that a backlog of requests may be necessary to insure that last-minute transfers of funds to the monograph budget will be spent on the subject area's behalf.

    2. Monographs ordered-and-received Information:

      The Bibliographer should, at least once a year in the fall, provide the department with a report of all monographs acquired during the previous fiscal year. A generic version of this and other reports written in MS Access are available on the Library's shared drive. Two such reports are "Books Received" and "Books On Order". If a department wants more frequent reports of monographs ordered and received, they should be provided.

    3. Periodicals Lists:

      In mid-March of every year, the Serials and the Collection Development office generate lists of current subscriptions assigned to department. These lists include title, current subscription cost, and the code indicating the vendor for that title. Bibliographers should be prepared to be part of the process of consultation with their departments regarding subscription decisions for the department for the coming calendar year. This process is described more fully in III. H. Periodicals Adds and Drops.

    4. Departmental Queries:

      Bibliographers should be prepared to respond to all questions from their departments concerning Library policies, procedures, budgets, or particular matters of fact such as the status of specific monograph orders, etc. If you don't know the answer to a question, or are unsure about it, consult the appropriate librarian or simply bring the question to the Head of Collection Management.

  2. Personal Relations with Departmental Faculty

    Personal relations with faculty members are extremely valuable to the Bibliographer and to the Library as a whole. They improve a Bibliographer's knowledge of the department and the academic and research interests of its members. They establish lines of communication that facilitate faculty-library cooperation, encourage informal feedback, and serve as a means of deepening faculty understanding of library goals, problems and concerns. Perhaps most importantly, they promote trust between the faculty and the Library. It is therefore expected that Bibliographers will establish personal relations with at least some members of their departments and keep in touch with them on a regular basis.


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Pocatello, Idaho, 83209