You’ll need to tell people when you’ll be doing the stocktake and how it will affect them.
Try to avoid closing the library during term time. If you must close briefly, let all library users know in advance and offer them alternatives for getting library resources. Most ILSs let you continue normal operations while you’re doing a stocktake.
Get your catalogue up to date
Your stocktake will be easier if your catalogue is up to date and all library items are accounted for.
1. Create catalogue records for any items you’ve recently purchased but not yet catalogued. All items purchased from the current year’s budget must have a catalogue record, with at least minimal information including:
- call number
You can add more information to these records after the stocktake. For audit purposes, what you’ve entered into the catalogue this year must reconcile with what you’ve spent during the financial year to date.
2. To help minimise your missing list, write off any items from the catalogue which you know you won’t find, for example items that were:
- ‘missing at stocktake’ in previous years
- lost or damaged during the year that have since been paid for.
3. Also check:
- that all recently returned items have been checked in and shelved
- that everything is in correct shelf order — this saves you time later when you’re carrying out shelf checks for missing items
- for books set aside in cupboards, drawers and shelves, for example to be mended.
Make a backup
Make sure the information in your ILS has been backed up. You may need to get help from your IT staff or software vendor.
Check your equipment
Check that all your equipment is functioning correctly before you begin, so that you have time to replace faulty items or work out alternative solutions if there are problems. You could do a stocktake of a small section of your collection to test this.