Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Creating an Un-Library Catalog: A Case Study in Managing Satellite Collections

Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Creating an Un-Library Catalog: A Case Study in Managing Satellite Collections

Article excerpt

Over time, the University Libraries at Bowling Green State University incorporated several departmental or satellite collections into the catalog, only to expunge them later at the request of either the department or the library administration. To avoid past problems, the library took a new approach to a request to catalog a collection of VHS cassettes and DVDs for the Dr Ralph H. Wolfe Viewing Center This paper describes' how the authors used a lightweight content management system to create a video catalog database that the Viewing Center's staff could easily update and manage. The solution presented here might be useful for other libraries facing similar requests.

**********

Academic department and research center libraries and reading rooms often present challenges to the central library on a campus. A common request from an academic department or research center is to include bibliographic records for these independent collections in the central library's catalog. As demands for web visibility grow, departments and research centers might see adding their collection holdings to the centralized library catalog as an obvious way to ensure that students and researchers know these centers hold unique and useful materials. This paper describes a project in the University Libraries at Bowling Green State University that provided a solution that met the needs of one such satellite collection while limiting the effect on the Libraries. Other libraries facing similar requests may find this solution applicable.

The University Libraries (UL) at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) has incorporated several departmental or satellite collections into the UL integrated library system (ILS) over time. Subsequently, the department or library administration decided to expunge holdings for several of these collections. This often has occurred because the department is unable to operate a separate collection capable of responding to the expanded access requests and holdings upkeep resulting from a more visible presence via the library catalog. Eager to avoid the cost in library staff time and processing for such ephemeral collections, the UL took a different approach to the latest request to catalog a collection of videos and DVDs for a newly created film center located on campus. The authors were asked to examine options that would meet the need for cataloging and give patrons access to the information. The goals of the project were to

* increase the campus visibility of a satellite collection;

* use as few expensive, library-specific resources as possible;

* ensure that nonlibrary staff could permanently assume the upkeep of the resulting catalog; and

* develop a solution that could be offered as a standard alternative for such requests.

The solution implemented in this case study can be used or modified for libraries that struggle with finding an appropriate level of service to offer departments and centers with a minimal ongoing relationship with the library.

Literature Review

Several authors have addressed the challenges that satellite collections, often interchangeably called reading rooms or departmental collections, present. According to Kasses, Taylor, and Jones, they evolve "from the book collections of professors, gifts, grant funds, departmental service fees, and a number of other sources." (1) These authors noted that departmental libraries are distinguished from the central library because the supporting department will buy and maintain the items for the sole use of a group smaller than the institution at large.

Moynahan described the two sides of the issue, observing that satellite collections, while inefficient, continue to exist and should be embraced. (2) Bishop and Watts each described the inherent problems of departmental libraries and why they should not be used. (3) Bishop argued in 1901 that departmental libraries cannot handle the issues and intricacies of proper library management because of the collections being spread across a University campus. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.