As we continue to plan for the CLIR grant project how much having the pamphlets cataloged will both impact the workflows of others in the library, as well as require their input and expertise. The collections being cataloged form part of our Special Collections, and we will need staff input from the department on how the pamphlets are currently being accessed, and how having large numbers of pamphlets missing from the stacks can be managed when some of those items are requested by our readers. What’s the best way to let them know which pamphlets are in our department for cataloging, that allows us to efficiently move uncataloged pamphlets out of the stacks and replace them with newly cataloged items, which at the same time allows Special Collections staff to easily find requested items–even those that are currently out being cataloged?
The Martin & Walter bibliography will need to be on hand for the Project Cataloging Assistants as they work with the pamphlets, verifying that the attributed entry to Martin & Walter is indeed correct when entered into the new catalog record. This creates a bit of a challenge for us in that it has been useful in the Reference area as patrons have used it as the only currently available tool to access the pamphlets. There is another copy of the bibliography in Special Collections, so patrons will have access to the bibliography, but they will need to be directed there by Reference staff, creating extra steps for both staff and patrons. However, it’s hoped the ease of access that will eventually be afforded by this project will make the temporary loss of the Reference copy of Martin & Walter worth the hassle.
Conservation as well is involved in the project in as much as when Project Cataloging Assistants believe there is a conservation issue to be addressed, Conservation needs to be notified so that they can do an evaluation and treatment, if necessary. The challenge will be how to manage these potential exceptions for Conservation while maintaining a steady workflow free of too many exceptions or complications.