I'd like to report a disturbance....

Good Morning, Collectors! Reflectors? Collectibles? Reflectibles?

I'll work on that.

Anyway, good morning! Let's talk reports today. We use a variety of reports here and it's interesting to see how they shake out among the selectors. Some people really use the Deleted Items report which tells when an item has been deleted. (we're so clever naming our reports here.) There is also the last item report, which tells you when the last item has been deleted from a bibliographic record in our catalog. Interesting information, but time is extremely limited for looking at a variety of reports. When choosing which reports to look at, it's often a choice between the reports about the living and the reports about the dead. While I would love to analyze the things that have been discarded (and I admit I do it from time to time) reports that tell me what people want are more important. Those are what I consider "the living."

Holds no items

A report bib records where all the items are gone, but the record has holds. I told you we were clever with the naming, right? The list is generated every two months and, as you might imagine, is heavy on music cds and DVDs (feature and non-feature). But, a fair amount of books appear on it as well, and books on CD. The May 1st list was 1,143 items, which is a tiny part of the collection, but a lot of stuff when you're looking through it. But these are the things people want, things they're actually waiting for, that they will never get unless we know about it and get more copies. And, if it is out of print, we delete the record (and the holds) Because who wants to wait forever. Patrons can then do an interlibrary loan for the item, or scour used bookstores, ebay, amazon sellers, etc. Chances are good that SOMEONE out there has the book (CD, DVD) that they want.

Purchase Alerts

The other report is the purchase alerts. These are items where the number of holds exceeds the ratio we have set for number of items. When I started here, we had a 2:1 ratio. 2 holds for every 1 item. As you might imagine, the purchase alert reports were much longer. But, there were also 20+ selectors, so it was more evenly distributed. (yet, still only 1 fiction selector.....) Now there are 5 selectors, so the workload is more condensed. However, as budgets have decreased, the ratio has grown. At one point, it was 5:1, but I think the "official" purchase alert report runs with a 4:1 ratio. The report lists a lot of new things, as you might imagine. The new James Patterson will almost always show on at least one PA report. It is when older things show up that the list shows its value. Some things from the May 1st list: Gabaldon's Drums of Autumn, Ellis' American Psycho, Childress' Crazy in Alabama, Puzo's The Godfather and Tom Robbins' Jitterbug Perfume. Some things we likely would have caught eventually, but it's better to know now. I don't know that I ever would have thought to check Jitterbug Perfume.

The Purchase Alerts list is separated into print and non-print. The non-print list is twice as long and includes books on CD as well as music CDs and DVDs.

The last report I look at (usually daily) is the Overdrive Current Waiting list report which is run whenever you click the link. It is sortable by any number of ways, including hold ratio, and usually results in me spending money.

So, those are my reports. What reports do YOU rely on? Or do you forgo them altogether? Talk to me.

What reports do you get at your library that I need to have at mine?


Helgagrace said…
Believe it or not, I have a lot to say. Mainly:

I <3 reports!!!

I love statistics. I use them quite a lot. I'll work on marshaling my thoughts into a post-friendly format.

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