Capturing in-house use of library materials

By Ann Snowman

Beginning April 1, 2013, all libraries are asked to capture in-house use of collections via WorkFlows.


· Capturing in-house use quantifies a portion of collection use that can be as high as 50 percent of total circulation for some libraries.

· In-house use is one measure of browsing activity which can be difficult to gauge.

· Once captured in Director’s Station this data can be used to assess the use of a single item, a title, or a collection when making retention and budget decisions.

· In-house use is included in the total circulation figures for the University Libraries and is reported for both the ARL annual survey and the ALS biennial survey.

How to do it:

There are two basic methods for capturing in-house use; gather volumes that users leave lying on carrels, desks, tables or open shelves and carry them to a central location to scan the barcodes on them; or scan as you reshelve. The method you choose will depend on the size of your library, the volume of materials used, the number of staff available to manage the process, the type of equipment and connectivity available, and your overall workflow.

Whatever your situation, follow the instructions provided in Access Services Training Bulletin #8 to “Mark Item Used”.

Marking an item used results in incrementing the use counter and adding data to Director’s Station that can be reported as part of the overall Total Circulation or independently as Use Item.

Unbarcoded materials will be accounted for by scanning one of the special barcodes provided by Access Services. There is one for unbound periodical issues, one for microformats, one for newspapers, and one for miscellaneous so that we have the most complete data possible.

You will receive documentation along with the special barcodes prior to April 1. Meanwhile, you can begin to capture the in-house use data of barcoded materials immediately.

Questions regarding this process can be sent to:

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