The University Libraries have begun placing orders electronically with our major U.S. book vendor and books are added to the libraries’ collections faster than ever before.
In December 2002, library staff embarked on a journey into 21st century materials ordering with our major U.S. book vendor, YBP Library Services. When we first approached YBP to set up electronic ordering, they suggested that we beta test the major upgrade to their online system, Global Online Bibliographic Information, Edition 2 (GOBI2) simultaneously with setting up the electronic ordering process. We were quick to take advantage of this offer and avoid set-up on YBP’s old system and transfer to the new system. Our beta test participation gave YBP feedback on GOBI2 functionality and provided library staff the chance to learn the new procedures on the new vendor system.
Currently, book orders for scholarly U.S. publications are sent electronically to YBP. More than half — 58% — of items ordered electronically in 2002-03 were filled by YBP within 30 days; 93% of orders were filled within 60 days. By comparison, orders placed and received in 2001-2002 – when all orders were submitted on paper – arrived much more slowly. Only 8% were received within 30 days; 80% were filled within 60 days.
Electronic orders are less time-consuming for the vendor to handle since no manual order entry is needed. Furthermore, delays for processing paper orders within University Libraries are avoided by placing these orders electronically. Orders are entered directly into GOBI2 and sent electronically from GOBI2 to the library system next business day – no mail service delays. GOBI2 checks for duplication of orders with University Libraries’ purchase records and then sends an electronic file customized to create order records in the libraries’ online system. The library system again checks for duplicates as order records are added. After library staff review, unwanted duplicate orders are cancelled with YBP – electronically.
GOBI2 includes many features that assist librarians in selecting materials. Full bibliographic information and additional descriptive information are provided for each book. Tables of contents and book jacket information are also available to advise selection decisions. As librarians select books for purchase online they can also view BGSU’s and OhioLINK libraries’ purchase histories with YBP for specific titles. This information facilitates cooperative collection development within the OhioLINK consortium.
The next step is to create a means for faculty to electronically recommend books for purchase. We’re making progress on various methods for faculty to submit book purchase recommendations to librarians. When technical refinements have been completed, electronic submission of book purchase recommendations will become an option.
Linda A. Brown, Coordinator of Collections