“The LC-Coop workflow we’ve created: it works very well, and it’s well organized. We’ve come up with helpsheets for the project to make cataloging even easier and more accurate. Overall, it’s a smooth process from start to finish.”
– Heather Dukes, Metadata Project Manager
We’ve written about Backstage’s LC Coop service in the past. Recently, one of our library partners noted that July would mark the completion of over 10,000 processed monographs since the start of their project in 2019. The success of that partnership has led to others, and so we sat down with Heather Dukes, the Metadata Project Manager in Utah who established best practices for this and future LC Coop projects, to talk about it.
What is LC-CAP/COOP?
“Participants in the Cooperative Acquisitions Program (CAP, or ‘LC Coop’) regularly receive print publications from around the world, expanding existing library collections and putting a focus on international acquisitions.”
– Theresa Kidd, “Easier LC Coop Acquisitions with Backstage Processing”
The goal of the CAP project is to make unique, international publications accessible to wide-spread institutions, increasing the viewership and circulation of those materials. The benefits of joining the program are immense, but managing it alongside the usual volume of acquisitions can be tricky. Many materials coming out of the CAP project are non-English with portions even non-Roman. What’s a cost-effective, simple way to get these titles into your inventory and avoid a bottleneck?
What’s the overall workflow that Backstage uses to manage a library’s CAP acquisitions?
Check out this infographic for more details.
Backstage’s LC-Coop service supports drop-shipment processing for CAP, just like with our Shelf-Ready service. That means we’ll receive materials straight from CAP offices and eliminate your shipping dock as middleman. Received material is inventoried and inputted into a sharable document along with a timeline as to when materials will be delivered.
The books are divided during the inventory stage between ones that can be done by our in-house cataloging team and those which will need to have a digital surrogate made to send off to our language experts around the world. During the cataloging stage, we’ll make sure you do not already have a bib-record of a given title in your catalog by flagging any titles that show up as “HELD” in WorldCat and setting those books to the side. Then we look for copy records; for any that require original cataloging, we can either set it aside or create an RDA Core record – your choice. Once cataloging is done, materials can get physically processed to your library’s specifications. The books will arrive safely back at your door ready to shelve or store as you see fit.
What level of cataloging do you offer for the LC-Coop service?
The goal of this service is to keep things light and cost-efficient. As such, we’ve made it a point to check for duplicates first. For copy level records, we only target the following when enhancing any existing descriptive metadata:
- Classification number. This allows the book to have a dedicated place of its own in your catalog.
- Subject headings. If they weren’t in the record before, they are now – and now, the resource has a greater likelihood of being accessed by the patron that needs it.
- Vernacular script additions. We can take care of this step for you so that you don’t have to outsource the titles, again. Of course, if you have a language expert on your team, this part of the service can be optional.
And original records? We can take care of those for you, or we can send them back for your team to complete.
What are some things that Backstage has learned along the way to make a successful LC-Coop partnership?
According to Heather, the biggest key to success on these projects is great organization. Maintaining a shareable spreadsheet with inventory counts, dates received, and anticipated dates delivered has led to consistent and agile communication between her team and her clients. She’s established set turn-around times with exceptions when a received shipment is larger than normal, such as 300+ titles at once.
“It’s also very helpful when the shipping labels are clear,” Heather adds. This discussion happens when drop-shipping is established and during the “pre-production” stage of the project. If a library is able to apply simple labels to each box that state where the materials are going, and from whom, nothing is left to guesswork when managing multiple LC-Coop projects. Heather also records the origin of shipments from the original shipping labels, such as “from Bangkok” or “from Cairo”, as well as the language content of the shipment. Her reporting is clear and detailed while remaining concise, and the inventory spreadsheet she uses is an extremely helpful guide for keeping her clients and team on the same page.
In addition to confirming the shipping details, Backstage will also do a sample of the work to be completed so that you can see exactly what kind of work we do and test the delivery workflows. Whether it’s .MRK for MarcEdit review, or a .MRC file drop in your FTP for automatic batching, we can work with you to make record ingest as simple as possible.
The strong foundation that Heather and the Metadata Department at Backstage Library Works have laid, with tried-and-true workflows, clear communication, and clear expectations, has allowed our LC Coop projects to be very successful. If you would like to learn more about our pricing and how Backstage can help you with your LC CAP acquisitions, you can call us at 1.800.288.1265, visit us online at www.bslw.com, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.