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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Personalities & Inventorying Collections

My school relocated into its permanent facility this summer. Faculty members were integrated from 6 different schools. For team building at the beginning, we completed a personality inventory. Would you believe my information indicated that I have a need to be "right?" 

I beg to disagree. I prefer the term accurate. I do not mind being educated when I am wrong. I do not take pride in other’s inaccuracies. I just have a driving need to be accurate. I will search for facts and improve myself constantly, but when I answer a question, I personally must be truthful and accurate. It is most complimentary to hear, "You are correct."

This could be a serious flaw when you are dealing with people who flow through life just existing. HOWEVER, it is a wonderful characteristic to have when you are inventorying your library collection. Every library should have someone like me on hand to inventory. We are obsessive, driven, and sticklers during this time. 

Since our collection has been moved twice in 3 years, I have been ITCHING to inventory. I do not like helping a child search the opac to find a book the system says is on the shelf, when actually it has been missing 4 years. First, we had to process a backlog of books that had been stored in boxes. To date this school year we have added 1017 new books to our collection. In order to inventory, those had to be added first.

Now, I cannot add or delete books while the inventory is occurring so I am determined to finish as quickly as possible. Beginning at 1 p.m. Friday on a teacher workday, I began the Easy and Fiction collections. Soon, I found I couldn’t leave until I had absolutely scanned in every single item. While other teachers left at 3, I stayed on past five o’clock beeping furiously. 

Then it was on to uploading all files, checking it against the system, printing out lists of problems (misfiles, "not-in-collection’s", wrong branches, and mistakes), locating each of those mistakes, correcting them, rescanning, and reshelving. Check. Completed

I now can definitely tell you what fiction and easy titles I own in my library. Now it’s on to analyzing the collection, locating missing series volumes, filling in author gaps, and ordering all the titles my students have requested in their big blue @ your library bag.

I love doing this. Visiting the shelf list of fiction holdings is a pleasure as I compare what we have with what we should have. What? Tears of a Tiger is the only Sharon Draper we currently have? Gotta fix that. Have copies of The Edge Chronicles books 3-8 but not 1 & 2. Gotta fix that. Five sets of The Chronicles of Narnia, but only one set of Bluford High? Popular demand drives fixing that. No "Among the Hidden" titles? Gotta fix that. Only book 4 of Gregor the Overlander? Gotta fix that!

For those of you who do not suffer this personality quirk, you are thinking I am absolutely crazy right now. Thinking about this on my 3-day weekend. Working at home and compiling prioritized lists? For those of you who are like me, I know you are nodding your heads in understanding. 

Just wait until Tuesday when I begin the nonfiction inventory. Vendors beware. I will be filling gaps and demanding the publication of more materials. Authors, begin writing. Perfectionists, relax and know I’m on the job at JFK.

Since this weekend is the 20th Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, TN, I will take a break to play and go see Sherman Alexie and Tracy Barrett (among the over 250 authors present).