Accessing In-Process Materials

Information for Library Staff

Rush Processing

Rush processing is done for items which need to get to a patron for immediate use, including items needed for course reserve. All Rush requests are made by library staff on behalf of library users. When working with users on Rush requests, library staff are urged to search the library catalog carefully to make sure that another copy isn't available, or seek alternatives such as Borrow Direct when applicable. The procedures detailed below allow the materials to be available for use within a very short time. Some aspects of processing (full cataloging, binding) may be deferred until after the materials are returned (or removed from reserve).

Cataloging and Metadata Services is committed to providing rapid access to all in-process materials to all library users, while ensuring the protection and long-term use of those materials. Many variables apply to the complex path of processing new materials, so it is difficult to state a single timeframe in which Rush materials can be delivered. In general, we strive to make Rush materials available within 2-3 working days.

If acceptable copy is available, cataloging will be done by Acquisitions Services. If acceptable copy is not available, Acquisitions Services will deliver the items to Cataloging and Metadata Services throughout the day. Cataloging and Metadata Services will determine whether the piece can be copy cataloged or if temporary cataloging is preferred, and will process the item using one of those procedures.

Rush requests will be sent to Cataloging and Metadata Services (either by using the In-Process Web form, or by emailing Library.In.Process.Requests@Dartmouth.EDU) by bibliographers and other library staff. Cataloging and Metadata Services staff will retrieve the items from the in-process area, will determine, based on availability of copy, whether to fully or temporarily catalog the item, and will process the item using one of those procedures.

Because rush items are needed immediately, they may be circulated to the patron "as is" and any binding treatments applied after the items are returned. Preservation Services may apply in-house binding treatments possible within the time constraints of Rush processing. For fully cataloged materials, if Preservation Services determines that further treatment of a particular piece is needed, they will add a note to the pink flag inserted in the item: "Return to Preservation". This note will alert Access Services to place a Hold on the item so it goes back to Preservation when it is through circulating.

Binding/packaging decisions for reserves materials will be made by Preservation Services in consultation with reserves staff.

Twenty-four hour turnaround time is required in order to produce spine labels. Preservation Services staff attach spine labels to Rush items on the same day that the labels are produced and drop the items in the appropriate courier bins or deliver to appropriate circulation site in Baker. In the event of a labeling error, Preservation Services consults with Cataloging and Metadata Services about the error, and then creates a correct label manually on the same day, if necessary, rather than waiting to call for new labels for the following day.

For tempcats, in most cases a single label is generated, since the items will not be shelved by tempcat number. Labeling and packaging should be adequate to support a single circulation of the piece, but should be as simple as possible. Full cataloging and end processing will be completed after the materials are returned.

All rush materials are ready to circulate as usual when they reach circulation points. Materials which are fully cataloged and processed prior to circulation can be returned to the stacks after circulating; materials which are fully cataloged but which require further processing are sent to Preservation Services for binding as needed.

Tempcats present special processing problems. Because no classification number is assigned prior to cataloging, Innopac order numbers are used in the place of call numbers. These items cannot therefore be shelved in regular collections and should be returned to Cataloging and Metadata Services when no longer checked out to a library user. These items will be refiled in the in-process area for subsequent cataloging. Libraries should not maintain "tempcat" shelves. At the time the items are returned to Cataloging and Metadata Services, they can be added to the Priority processing procedure if the bibliographer requests. Special cataloging needs will be accommodated as much as possible, and bibliographers should contact Cataloging and Metadata Services about the cataloging requirements of individual titles.

If tempcats are re-filed into the in-process area, records are changed to make the status field in the on-line catalog read "in process" again. The item record is deleted. In order to retain circulation statistics, and to simplify work flows, any materials for which multiple tempcat circulations are required (excluding reserves) will be considered for full cataloging once the materials are returned from circulation.


Priority Processing

Priority processing is done when a bibliographer identifies a title of high interest that should be processed for the collection in a timely manner. This is the primary way for bibliographers to provide input on cataloging priorities to Cataloging and Metadata Services. Cataloging and Metadata Services relies on bibliographers to provide this input in order to establish work flows that best meet the needs of library users.

Priority processing is defined as a commitment to complete cataloging within a maximum of six months from receipt. Most materials flagged for priority processing are cataloged before the six month period is up

Because a large percentage of new books are cataloged on receipt in Acquisitions Services, no attempt is made to mark materials for priority treatment until after "fastcat" has been attempted. Materials not cataloged in Acquisitions "fastcat" are transferred to Cataloging and Metadata Services for shelving in the in-process area and for subsequent cataloging. Priority items are identified at this point by the following means: each month, Cataloging and Metadata Services generates a list for bibliographers of items in their areas that were received during the previous month but were not cataloged in Acquisitions "fastcat." Bibliographers may select titles from these lists for which they would like Priority processing and send these requests to Cataloging and Metadata Services either by mailing marked printouts to Cataloging and Metadata Services or emailing the department in-process box (Library.In.Process.Requests@Dartmouth.EDU). Any individual requests that need to be made between lists may also be sent to Cataloging and Metadata Services, at any time.

Cataloging and Metadata Services will mark Priority items with a goldenrod-colored flag, and add traveling slips to a Priority searching box (for books only). They will search these slips monthly, and catalog as copy becomes available. After six months, the remaining slips will be pulled and the materials cataloged.

Non-book materials are not searched from slips, but from the flagged materials themselves. All other cataloging procedures are similar to the priority procedures for books.

Regular labeling and binding procedures and turnaround time apply.

Materials are delivered to circulation sites following standard procedures. Materials receiving Priority processing will be ready to be added to collections, and will not need to be routed back to Collection Services for any subsequent processing.


Hold For Procedures

A "hold for" note can be added to any in-process item by sending Cataloging and Metadata Services the title of the in-process item and the name of the patron who would like to see it when processing has been completed. Access Services or other library staff should fill out the "In-process Requests" form and mail it to Cataloging and Metadata Services, or email Library.In.Process.Requests@Dartmouth.EDU .

An item with a "Hold for" note will follow normal processing procedures, but will carry a green flag with the waiting patron's name to alert Access Services staff to notify the patron once the item is fully processed. Asking for a "Hold for" note will not affect processing time at all; to request that an item be processed outside of standard processing routines, follow the Rush guidelines detailed above.


Exceptional Requests

When the above procedures are not sufficient to handle a particular title, bibliographers are encouraged to call a supervisor in Cataloging and Metadata Services to discuss options for exceptional treatment.

For detailed information on Rush processing see: Rush Processing Comprehensive Guidelines - For Collection Services