Notes from the Dean on the recent integration of Pittsburgh Center Library books…
“Last week two important milestones occurred as we reached the end of the Pittsburgh Center Library closing project.
On Thursday, the records deletion project of withdrawn books from the Pittsburgh Center was completed. Approximately 12,800 records were deleted from OCLC (our
bibliographic utility) and ROBCAT (our online catalog). This was a herculean effort accomplished in a relatively short period of time.
On Friday morning, the last box of Pittsburgh Center books that were in storage was unpacked and all books are now on “a” shelf. Ninety percent of all Pittsburgh and Moon books are on their correct shelf and by the end of this week all
circulating books will be in their new home. There are no more books in
When we began this project in October it seemed as if it might take years to get all the records updated and everything back in its rightful place. But with the help of some very talented and dedicated people, what could have taken years only took months; and very few months at that.
Librarians love library-speak and love to talk shop and tell you how many records we’ve added/deleted suppressed, etc. We love to talk about location codes, date-source-cost information, 245 fields, 090 field, local rules, and all sorts of things it takes to put a book on the shelf or take a book off the shelf. And to the
ordinary user, it should and does look seamless. But it’s not. I’ve never counted them (and maybe one day I will), but I suspect that if we did a flow chart of how many steps it takes to process a book purchase, from beginning to end, it would be well over fifty. (It may even be closer to one hundred). This was one of those projects with copious library-speak and while it may sound boring to the average Joe, it sounded pretty nifty to all of us.
To update the records in ROBCAT and OCLC to reflect our holdings in both databases and to be able to process over 30,000 items in less than ten months is nothing short of miraculous given our staffing levels. The Pittsburgh Center book collection was a treasure and many of those treasures are now sitting on the Moon Campus books stacks. You won’t be able to identify them in ROBCAT, but you will be able to identify them as you take them off the shelf and look inside the back cover. Once you see the PGH stamp you’ll know that this was a book whose noble life has been happily extended.”