Thursday, August 7, 2008

Risky Business: Outsourcing Serials Cataloging

"Risky Business: Outsourcing Serials Cataloging" was presented by Faye R. Leibowitz at the 2007 NASIG Annual Conference. Her session was recorded by Michael A. Arthur for publication in the Serials Librarian.

Leibowitz’s presentation discussed the University of Pittsburgh’s experience with outsourcing serials cataloging for a special collection. The collection contained approximately 1, 200 serial volumes, mainly focused on international studies. She outlined the workflow for sending volumes to TechPro for cataloging, including searching for already held titles prior to shipment. The process taught them several things. First, recording holdings in the local catalog requires substantial in-house work after titles are cataloged. Having a stable team to handle this part of the project is desirable and should be planned for. Second, monograph versus serial decisions made by TechPro were not always consistent with how the library had treated the same titles in their other collections. Finally, student workers were not always reliable. In summary, the presentation stressed that outsourcing serials cataloging is a risk. Their project began in 1999 and as of 2007 they were still working on clean-up from the project.

Published in: Serials Librarian, vol. 54, no. 3/4 (2008), pages 253-260.

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