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Am I the only one who has never done an inventory in all the years I've been 
a librarian, and don't intend to start now?  Is inventory a sacred cow we 
learn about, or hear rumors and horror stories about in library school, and 
are too afraid to change?  What does doing a formal inventory do for us?  I 
am the only staff in my district and I have two libraries to keep up.  What 
would inventory do for our district? Tell me which books were missing.  Big 
deal.  I already know which books are missing.  When students come looking 
for materials that I know we are supposed to have, and they aren't checked 
out, but aren't on the shelf, I know they are lost, or mis-shelved.  I don't 
need to do a formal inventory to find that out.  If books are missing that 
are never used, who cares?  My boss has never asked me anything about my 
books, ever, so I use my time in other ways that I hope are of more use to 
the kids and staff.  I do plan to figure out how to use my hand held thing 
and do an inventory "someday", mainly so I can delete the lost materials and 
get the collection statistics more accurate. Again, that's for me, not my 
boss.  But, I've been going to do it for several years now and something 
more important always comes up. One thing I do do at the end of the year is 
put all the books in order on the shelves. (During the year this is a 
hopeless case.)  I do this so I can check the shelves carefully before I 
send out "you owe us" letters to parents for overdue books.  I find many 
books that have been "lost" that way. I guess I think that a yearly formal 
inventory needs to go the way of the accession book.  It had a place once, 
but not anymore.  Especially when staff is limited.  I'm not trying to be 
snotty here.  But, I am paid as a professional librarian not a clerk.  I try 
to do as few clerk things as possible, and still get the job done. If the 
district is more interested in clerk stuff (and they don't seem to be), they 
can get rid of me and hire a clerk and save a whole bunch of money. Just 
another point of view.

Janet Perry, Librarian
Cerro Gordo CUSD 100, Cerro Gordo, IL

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