UCB Libraries Staff Association



















MINUTES: September 25, 1998

Many thanks to those who brought food to share. It was much appreciated.

Curt began by announcing the intention of this meeting was to share information and address issues about Prospector. He introduced Wendy Baia who came to speak to us. She urged us to attend the libraries task force meeting about Prospector. The date for this meeting has not been set. CU Libraries Prospector representatives are Lori Arp, Yem Fong and Bill Garrison. Arp and Garrison are currently on sabbatical, but have agreed to continue to serve on the Prospector Reference/Bib. Task Force.

Wendy gave a presentation and held a discussion about some of the serials cataloging procedures which may be affected by Prospector. Wendy had discussed some of the issues on the Norlin-List prior to this meeting. She explained how she came to make the decision to temporarily stop latest entry serials cataloging and go back to successive entry, even though she personally prefers latest entry. Wendy answered questions from Staff and we thanked her for her time.

Curt gave an example of a journal title search he made in a system similar to Prospector. He looked at a journal title that had changed frequently. The University of Oregon had used latest entry cataloging for the title. Other schools had used successive cataloging for the same title. Curt said it was not a problem for him to understand the holdings on these titles in Orbis. He thought the latest entry record was "cleaner". He noticed none of these journal records had a request function. The Prospector system is not intended to be used for journal volume requests either.

Circulation issues concerning Prospector were discussed. It was announced n the Branch Circulation Department meeting that Prospector patrons can place holds on books that are checked out when no other copies are available. The III system does not allow for hold notification to be sent to the borrower, so our patrons will not know they won't be able to renew. Prospector patrons can also keep a book for three weeks and renew it once for another three weeks. So, it is potentially gone for 6-9 weeks including travel time. We may not be able to call the book back from Prospector once it has gone. Current local ILL practice allows three week circulation with no renewal and ILL does not place holds on books that are checked out.

Prospector type programs in other places have significantly increased lending statistics. We are worried that our own patrons have fewer borrowing privileges than Prospector patrons. All our own patrons have only two weeks guaranteed to keep their books before they are subject to recall; Prospector patrons may have up to six weeks guaranteed. Currently, only our CU patrons can place holds (recalls) which prevent a book from being renewed. We think there may be problems getting books for Reserve which are checked out to Prospector patrons and therefore possibly unavailable for up to 9 weeks. These concerns were brought to Nancy Carter to discuss with the Circulation Policy committee so they can determine suggestions for local circulation procedures to deal with some of these issues.

Someone pointed out that the Dean's mission statement lists our patron priorities as local, then state and finally national. This was mentioned because it seems that some of the Prospector system procedures and policies may privilege state patrons over local patrons ones.

A motion was made to send a memo to our libraries members of the Prospector task force and to Jim, Janet, Scott and Susan. This memo should state that we think Prospector is a great service and we are concerned that our mission to serve CU patrons first might be subverted.

This memo should outline the reasons local cataloging practices serve our CU patrons best and also make the most efficient use of staff time. The memo should also ask for reasons why local cataloging practices might change because of our participation in Prospector. An alternative motion to ask questions about Prospector and make comments about our reluctance to change from latest entry to successive entry cataloging was withdrawn in favor of the first motion. This is not an official motion because we did not have a quorum in attendance. It is a consensus statement based on a straw poll.

Someone mentioned that state politics (influenced by the Alliance) are involved in the Prospector program. Someone else said that Prospector representatives mentioned that some individual libraries are using Prospector as a rationale for changing local practices. The Alliance directors will make the final decisions regarding Prospector.

It was stated that information concerning Prospector seems difficult to obtain. Communication about Prospector has not been as forthcoming as previously with large projects such as the switch to III where Faculty and staff input was requested for all aspects of the decision making process. As a result, there is much confusion surrounding the Prospector project.

A second motion was made to recommend to LAB that when major initiatives are happening that affect all library users and staff, the administration needs to provide avenues for staff input and in fact welcome staff feedback. It was mentioned that this is a communication issue and should be addressed at the Dean's meeting also. This motion passed. Again, due to lack of a quorum, this was the consensus of a straw poll, not an official motion. Staff members of LAB were present and agreed to raise this concern at their next meeting.


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