Tracking and reporting on special projects
The University of Hawaii System includes 10 campuses and dozens of educational, training and research centers across the Hawaiian Islands. In October 2004, heavy rains caused a devastating flood in the Hamilton Library, UH Manoa. About 3 million items from the government documents collection were destroyed.
Much of what we lost were books from different United Nations agencies. These titles run the gamut from forty years old to recently published items. After our Government Documents librarians acquired what they could directly from the agencies and donations from other libraries, we turned to Alibris.
Hamilton Library benefits from Alibris project management
Beginning in October 2007 we sent several lists totaling approximately 7,400 titles to be run against the Alibris database. It took about three months to run one list completely through all the search parameters, starting first with ISBN matches and then searching again by title, working with us on approvals each time a list was run. So far we have received 17.5% of the titles on our list or about 1,300 books we wouldn't have otherwise been able to restore to our collection. Given the nature of the materials we are looking for, I am very pleased with the results so far. Every time the list runs through the Alibris system we get more hits and more of our collection is replaced.
Alibris has saved us an incredible amount of time. Can you imagine us having to look up 7,400 titles and add them all into our integrated library system (ILS)? It would be impossible with the staffing we have currently. Having a company take on the task for us means we have to do a lot less. Now we enter into our ILS only those titles we have received. The ability to set up a corporate account also was a big plus for using Alibris-I didn't want to use a credit card to purchase off a website.
Alibris will continue to search for the titles they haven't found yet and track what they are still searching for. Before the end of May 2008, Alibris will provide statistics for the number of titles we are still searching for so that we can encumber funds for titles we are obligated to pay for. It is a tremendous service for Alibris to do this tracking-we just couldn't do this. We don't have the manpower. I am very appreciative of this service in helping us restore some of what was lost in the flood.