Library Learning Commons

news from WSWHE Libraryland

INVENTORY Screencasts are here!

For many of us, it's now time to begin, or to think about beginning, inventory! OPALS gave us some great resources to refer to, and Sharon, J'aime, and I can answer questions you may have.


Don't have a dedicated scanner for inventory? No problem! One option is to ask Sharon if there are any to borrow, but you can also use a laptop and a scanner as well.


Think you have to scan the entire collection at once? Well...you don't. You do what works for you. Inventory smaller chunks at a time. Perhaps decide that you will do inventory in phases over a period of time. That's okay. While it would be fantastic to be able to inventory your library collection every year, some librarians might find that impractical or unattainable. Consider doing inventory as a 3 year plan, instead, or something like that.


Why do inventory? This is your opportunity to see what is missing from your collection, or to catch other errors, such as books which were reshelved without being returned in the system. "Missing" looks different from "lost" in the collection. "Lost" is a mark you place on an item in OPALS when it has been reported as lost by a borrower. "Missing" means that an item is not scanned during inventory. There are times when the system indicates that an item is available, when, in fact, it is no longer on the shelf. This gives you an opportunity to go look and see if the item can be located (was it found on another shelf? or can it not be found at all?), and if it's truly missing, then you know that you no longer have it, and can make decisions as to whether to remove it from the collection or get it replaced.

About me

Karin Howansky is a K-12 librarian in a small, rural district in upstate New York.