Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Looseleaf tracking

As part of my job, I organise the looseleaf updates. When each update arrives, I check it in and give each one a number, so that I can then track where it is. Currently, this is done via an excel spreadsheet, with a variety of sheets, so I can search alphabetically, and also by whether it has been filed or not. The problem is that this file has been going for a number of years and is quite large, and loading, saving and making any changes, takes an incredibly long time.

I'd really like to start a new system, but apart from starting a new spreadsheet, I'm out of ideas for how to do this. I'd like something straightforward, and as simple as my spreadsheet, but better. :) What would be really nice, would be a nice searchable webpage, with a database backend, but I certainly don't have the time to build one!

What I'd like to know, is how do you keep track of your looseleafs? Or do you track them at all?


James Mullan said...

Seshat, do you have a Library Management System, usually these will come with a serials module which facilitate the receipt and tracking of journal and looseleaf issues received. Alternatively if you receive your updates from an agent they may have an online system you could use. Otherwise it looks like you will have to keep the excel file going.

Seshat said...

I do have an LMS, which I use to check the updates in as they arrive. However it has no way of tracking if and when that update was filed.

The more I think and talk about it, the more I realise that I'm just going to have to stick with my current method.

Lore Librarian said...

If you have Access you can transfer an excel worksheet into that automatically (though if it is big it may take a very long time to do). You can then create a searchable web interface for the database.

Seshat said...

Thank you lore librarian! I did a quick test on Friday afternoon, and after a bit of tweaking, I think it could work.

I think I have my new work project. :)

DJM said...

Hi Seshat, am I correct in saying that your spreadsheet provides on online version of the filing record card that is usually found at the back of a looseleaf? Expect the spreadsheet allows to see everything that has been filed in one document and therefore you can manipulate this (e.g. a list of everything that has not been filed).

I think such a feature would be a useful addition to a LMS (particularly KnowAll that allows you to manipulate data in various ways). KnowAll allows to tick a box to receive the update that has arrived - it would be useful to have a 'filed' box next to this which would save having to maintain a separate resource.

I will feed this back to our supplier.

Seshat said...

DJM - yeah I have Konduct, which is Knowall's big brother, and while I can say what is received, it's quite nice to be able look in one place for all the information related to a particular title. I don't yet have the most recent version of Konduct, so I haven't had a chance to play around with any new features they may have introduced.

Personally, I'm a) a virgo and therefore a bit of a control freak, and b) the control was implemented years before I started in my position, which means that having the tracking spreadsheet is just more intuitive for me.

I find it much easier to look in one place for all information relating to looseleafs, rather than having to sort through all the extraneous information included within Konduct.

Also, most of the looseleafs are not stored on our shelves, but in lawyers rooms, so I don't have quick access to the filing records to check if something is up-to-date.