The Great and Powerful INVENTORY

In my mind Inventory (always to be spoken of with respect) is like the Great and Powerful Oz. It looks daunting but is really a harmless creature hiding behind an intimidating reputation.

Which is why I cannot express enough joy over doing a rolling inventory versus the traditional Inventory. Rolling inventory is the process of conducting your Inventory in small batches throughout the year instead of doing it at the end of each year all at once.

There are pros and cons to both types of Inventory, but for me rolling inventory is the better match for me. Rolling inventory allows me to find misplaced books before the last week of school. I can’t tell you how many times a Kinder has gestured wordlessly to the Everybody books indicating that his or her book is somewhere on one of the shelves with neither of us having a clue where it was left. Rolling inventory allows me to do other things the last week of school. I like that! There are always other things I want to do with my time. Rolling inventory allows me to see the collection in a different way during the year. I tend to weed more during or after Inventory. Finally, I like the idea of making Inventory less work. If I scan the books during the year then I don’t need to scan the ones that are checked out to patrons.

Each month I plan a section or two to inventory. I plan it all out in advance because it keeps me organized and on track. Otherwise I end days, weeks, months thinking “oh, drat! I should have done that today!” With it on the calendar then I’m more likely to get the job done. 

October: Professional
November: 100-499
December: 500-599
January: Everybody
February: 900-999
March: Fiction
April:800-899 & Biography
May: 600-799

 There are a few tricks to the scheduling. Plan to weed the sections you inventory. You’ll have the most up-to-date data to weed after inventory. Plus you put your hands on every book and can easily see the condition of it. Also, plan to inventory sections that might have a window of high traffic. I always inventory the 800s during April because the poetry books are checked out and accounted for. I don’t have to scan as many books! I don’t usually inventory Professional books first  during the year, but this is the section I need to weed first this year.

In Destiny you can break the inventory of your Dewey into small pieces, but you cannot break your Fs, Es, or any other alphabetical call numbers into pieces. These you have to do the same day. Numbers are different. You can do just a shelf or two at a time and that is legitimate inventory.

Because there are two of us in my library and I won’t always be the one doing the Inventory this year, I created a quick sheet to document the work.

Destiny Inventory @ Google Drive

So, connect your scanner to a laptop and get to that Inventory!

August 17, 2012
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  • Reply Mrs. Husketh

    Why can’t you break up your Es, Fs, etc. into small pieces? Doesn’t Destiny track the percentage of inventory completed?

    September 8, 2012 at 2:46 pm
  • Reply Carolyn

    Mrs. H–it’s a great question. Destiny does track the percentage of the Inventory completed, but if you tell it to do the Es and then just have time to scan the A and B authors, what good was the inventory? You can finalize it and not mark anything lost, but to me, the point of the inventory is to locate which items are lost. So, if you finalize and mark items lost it will mark ALL the copies from the C-Z authors as lost. Yikes! Destiny just doesn’t differentiate once you put a space in the call number–which is why the numbers come out fine but the lettered sections do not.

    September 8, 2012 at 7:25 pm
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