In my area, recently a librarian was asking for cost effective management solutions to class novel sets. There was a general reluctance to add them to the library management program (in this case Destiny.) The suggestions that respondents gave were to just use the library program. So the librarian expressed the concerns with doing that:
We do not want them in our (circulation) system because someone else will be checking in/out these books and will have access to student records (patron privacy) and could possibly mess up the records in existence.
I responded, but would love to see what my readers think as well. Maybe you do have some viable suggestions. But in my mind, this is absolutely a potential for negative opinons and attitudes by others in respect to the library. The following is my suggestion.
Catalog them in your Library Destiny system. If your biggest concern is privacy, then instead of allowing teachers or other school personnel to manage the checking out and in, you and your library staff handle it.
In previous years I have had class novels handled in two ways through my library program. One way was to have every novel barcoded, and each student check out their own novel. The other way was to store novel sets in tubs, catalog the “tub” of books, and check that one item out to the teacher for management in the classroom.
Managing resources through Destiny is very doable, and it adds a level of accountability, so in my opinion, you should just voluntarily manage them there instead of seeking a second program to do this. It just makes sense fiscally. This is no different from cataloging videos, cameras, magazines, and other resources that are atypical from the standard book on the shelf.
As far as messing up records in existence, I have materials cataloged in my Destiny program, and when I run reports, I tell the system to ignore certain records–things I feel will skew my statistics. That is the beauty of cataloging today.
The danger I see here of refusing to accomodate a request like this is that you alienate a group of teachers. Risky business IMHO. Don’t draw a line in the sand. Maybe you can offer a compromise. Go back to the teacher making this request. Ask her to assist in barcoding the books and even perhaps storing them in the classroom. Create a catalog record with its copies and even indicate they are stored elsewhere, and not in the library. Ask her to bring the books and the class to the library when it is time to “check them out” so the only real work is you and your staff checking out the books, which might take all of ten minutes. This way you are preserving that privacy you are worried about compromising.
In this day and age where administrators are looking for ways to trim the budget, I certainly would not want a teacher going to my administrator complaining that I won’t help with a situation that I could very well manage. Not worth it.
In my own teaching context, I feel if a teacher went to my administrator with this issue, my administrator would probably come to me and say add the books. Wouldn’t you rather be seen as a team player than obstinate? IMHO it’s more important to be seen as a solution than a problem. The potential for a teacher walking away seeing you or the library as a problem is great. Repeat–not worth it. This is a losing battle.