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Missing Status Information Being Added to the ILS

The Collections Access, Loan and Management Division (CALM) has begun a project to add missing item status information to the ILS for volumes missing from certain areas of the General Collections. This work has been performed in conjunction with the transfer of materials to the high density storage facility at Fort Meade, Maryland. The areas of the General Collections that have been selected for transfer to Fort Meade are

PZ 3 - end of PZ
Select items from CALM, the Law Library, Asian Division and AMED Division

*Note: An ambitious project to send additional copies of mongraphs has been initiated in CALM. In cases where mulitple copies of an item exist on the shelf, the lowest numbered copy is left on the Hill and any additional copies are sent offsite to Fort Meade. Certain criteria must be met before additional copies are sent. For instance, no multi-part mongraphs are sent and no items from the current year nor the three prior years are sent (except in the rarest of cases.) This strategy provides an advantage to sending out blocks of materials because it provides more immediate relief to the crowded stack conditions by allowing for thinning throughout the entire General Collections.

Baseline Inventory Program (BIP) staff are currently entering missing status information for items that cannot be located in these areas. The baseline information comes from the Division's Negative Shelflist, which is a card file of missing items that was created during a twenty-year inventory of the General Collections, started in the late 1970s. This information has never been captured systematically in either the ILS or in the predecessor MUMS and SCORPIO systems. Examples of such records can be seen by searching for the following:

  • Chief Counsel, by A.L. Furman
  • The Armor Within Us, by Joseph Samachson

In the OPAC, the missing status indication appears on the item's status line (Example: - Status: Missing-as of 06/29/2001 08:29 AM). The date showing on that line is the date that the missing status was entered in the ILS - not the date that the item was originally found to be missing. The 986 field in the holdings record (available in the ILS Cataloging Module) indicates that the record was updated as a part of this project and notes when the item was first found to be missing during the inventory.

Caution: This project will only capture information about missing copies. There will be no attempt made to verify or input information about other copies of a work. In many cases, the Library will have available other copies of a work, but only the missing copy will now be displaying in the ILS. Eventually, as these sub-classes of materials are transferred to Fort Meade, the existing copies will be entered online and the Library's complete holdings for these sub-classes will be displayed in the ILS. In the meantime, no assumption should be made about the Library's complete holdings of any particular work based on the fact that only one copy is displayed in the ILS and that copy is shown to be missing. ILS Call Slip requests, as well as traditional paper call slips, may still be submitted for such works. CALM's Book Service staff will check the shelf to determine if another copy is available.

The Fort Meade facility opened on November 18, 2002. Approximately 3,500 items are being moved to the facility each day. As of November 2004, approximately 1,300,000 volumes from Capitol Hill have been transfered to Ft. Meade.

Questions or comments about the current Negative Shelflist project or about the Fort Meade facility may be forwarded to Ask a Librarian

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  July 22, 2010
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