Utilizing Microsoft SharePoint to Perfect Data Collection Practices

The library uses Microsoft SharePoint as an all-encompassing intranet to streamline library operations, maintain quality, and enhance decision-making by organizing, sharing, and managing information. Funding for SharePoint is provided by the college, which provides access to virtualized servers at no extra cost to the library. The project began with an update of the library collection-management plan, which outlines the progress of a standard print book order from a faculty request to the cataloging of the material. In between, several procedures ensure that the title will be a part of the library, such as inclusion determination and physical treatment. The outlined plan needed to be translated into a custom workflow using available commands in SharePoint Designer and Aleph technology. Electronically submitted book requests initiate the workflow which reflects both Aleph and in-house procedures and terminology. Although it is one steady roadway, the process is divided into three workflows for collection-development, acquisitions, and cataloging. The entire acquisitions and cataloging procedure mirrors what transpires in Aleph. Identical terms and practices are vital because SharePoint complements Aleph and should reflect its actions in order to provide a departmental standard. The most important feature of the electronic collection-development plan and its component workflows, and what sets it apart from other library management systems, is that former hand-tallied methods are replaced with an electronic enumeration system. Utilizing SharePoint’s if-then-else workflow commands, a SharePoint list is updated and calculates the number of titles and the number of total items processed under the appropriate Library of Congress classification, a task previously done by hand. In the end, the library created a SharePoint workflow that closely simulates both Aleph modular phases, in terminology and structure, and former non-digital library practices. The outcome is a meticulous electronic collection-management plan that standardizes practices library-wide, allows for better and faster communication between departments, and creates relevant collection data.