Thursday, 24 April 2008

Doing less to do more with journals

Ok, I give up. After a month of fully indexing the table of contents of all of the journals that the library takes I have come to the conclusion that it can be done. Sort of. It takes too much time to index every single journal but I think indexing about half of the titles will be achievable. The trick is to find the right vehicle for publishing the tables of contents. I'm pretty sure that blogging these would be ideal as it will constantly generate new potential users and provide an easy publishing platform... but, it's also becoming clear that many of the blog visitors aren't in my user group. The key is to use the easy publishing offered by the blog but also feed it back to the library front page to ensure that it's getting out to the right people. This is going to take a fair bit of development time so I've made the decision to stop doing any journal indexing and spend the time developing the new platform. The current system doesn't generate any requests so it will be interesting to see if anyone complains when I stop indexing (and hence the title doing less to do more).

The experience of indexing everything was interesting. It took probably 1-2 hours a day -too long (especially during heavy book cataloguing times) but it did have some side benefits. I've found my current awareness and general subject knowledge (which helps nicely with another of my objectives!) was much improved by retyping toc's. It also forced me to be focused in order to get all of the work in. Really tiring after a few weeks - not sure I could keep that up for ever but it would be good on a limited basis. The next step is to develop the publishing platform and web site then select a few titles to trial. If I find that it works I might be able to get some other librarian's on board so that we can share the indexing workload.

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