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11-18 Evaluating Your Magazine Collection

Evaluating Your Magazine Collection

Before renewing your magazine subscriptions for the coming year, this is a good time to evaluate that collection.

You can easily find your most popular magazines by running a “Top Circulating Titles by Collection” report, provided you link your magazines directly to the title record in the catalog. If you link your magazines to the “Current Periodicals” records provided for your library, you can create a similar report in Simply Reports for this purpose.

You can see which of your magazines have the least circulation by creating a “DOA” (Dead on Arrival) report in Simply Reports. This will show which items in your magazine collection have a lifetime circ of zero. Titles that have many items with zero circs are not circulating well.

By looking at your collection from both ends in this way, you'll have a pretty good idea of what to renew and what to scrap.

 

Running a “Top Circulating Titles by Collection” Report

For magazines linked directly to the title record

  1. Go to the BCCLS Staff Page

  2. Click Reports

  3. Log in

  4. Click Polaris

  5. Click Circulation

  6. Click Top Circulating Titles by Collection

  7. Choose the following parameters for your report:

    1. Select Organization - your library

    2. Select Collection - click on desired collection(s) (e.g. Adult Periodical, Juvenile Periodical, Young Adult Periodical)

    3. Use calendar widgets to set Begin Date and End Date - this is the time frame you are using to analyze circulation (I use 1 year ago and today's date)

    4. Enter Number of titles to show - make sure you choose a large number to ensure none are left out (I use 150, and the maximum you can use is 999)

  8. Click View Report on the right side of the screen

  9. You might wish to click Save and work with this report further in Excel

 

The top of the list are your superstars. The bottom, not so much.

 

For magazines linked to your “Current Periodicals” records

  1. Go to the BCCLS Staff Page

  2. Click Simply Reports

  3. Log in

  4. Click Items

  5. Click Item count reports

  6. Choose Report output columns

  7. Click the arrow > to move the following fields to Columns selected for output

    1. MARC title

    2. Item classification number*

    3. Sum item ytd circ count**
      *This will only work if item call numbers have the magazine title in the Class field
      **When running this report early in the year, also add the Sum prev year circ count

  8. Click the arrow > to move the following fields to Columns selected for sort

    1. MARC title

    2. Item classification number

    3. Sum item ytd circ count

  9. Under Item General Filters, within Assigned Branch, select your library for Library quick pick (if you're analyzing data for a branch, also select your branch for Branch)

  10. For Material Type, select Periodical

  11. For Circ status, hold down the Ctrl key and select:

    1. Available

    2. Checked Out

    3. On Hold Shelf

    4. Enroute for Patron

    5. In Transit to Library

    6. Missing

    7. Being Repaired

  12. Click Submit (located at both the top and bottom of the screen)

  13. On the preview screen that appears, click Download report output, then click Download to view the full list of results in Excel

 

Note:

  • If your library strictly links to your “Current Periodicals” records, any other titles you might see listed are most likely the placeholder records for your magazines. Double check these to make sure they reflect your actual magazine holdings.

  • Double check “current periodicals” titles for older years. If your library no longer retains magazines for those dates, it's an indication that old magazine records are lingering in the database. You can delete or withdraw these old items, then send a support ticket to remove the corresponding bibliographic record from the catalog. (Empty “current periodicals” and other uncataloged records are not purged automatically like regular records are.)

  • Double check the classification number column for any errors or anomalies.

  • Once you've performed some clean-up, you might run this report again, removing MARC title from Columns selected for output and selecting only Sum item ytd circ count for Columns selected for sort. This will produce a list of the magazine titles, their year-to-date circulation, and the number of issues you have linked, regardless of year. This final list will display your most and least popular magazines at a glance!

 

Running a “Zero Lifetime Circ” Report

 

  1. Go to the BCCLS Staff Page

  2. Click Simply Reports

  3. Log in

  4. Click Items

  5. Leave Item list reports selected

 

Setting up your report:

 

Part 1

  1. Select your Report output columns (first box). For each of these, you will highlight to select, then move to Columns selected for output (second box), using the arrow. Select and move the following to the second box:

    1. Item assigned collection abbreviation

    2. MARC title

    3. Item call number

    4. Item volume number (if your library links directly to the title record for the magazine)

    5. Item first available date

    6. Item circ status

    7. Item barcode
      These will be your column headings across the top of your report.

  2. Now you will move some of these columns into the third box for sorting. Move the following into Columns selected for sort (third box):

    1. Item assigned collection abbreviation

    2. MARC title (optional)*

    3. Item call number (optional)**

    4. Item first available date

*not necessary to sort by if your library links to “Current Periodicals” records
**necessary to sort by if your library links to “Current Periodicals” records

 

Now the basic content of your report has been set up.

 

Part 2

Your next step is to apply the relevant filters (bottom half of the page). You will be filtering by Item general filters and Item circulation filters. (Note: If you choose to apply any date filters, take care when choosing the date range, as you'd naturally be more likely to discontinue a weekly title with zero circs for 3 months than a monthly magazine with zero circs for 3 months.)

 

  1. Open Item general filters

    1. Click the Library quick pick checkbox, then select your library from the menu on the right. If your library has a branch, select your branch from the Branch menu.

    2. Click the Material type checkbox, then select Periodical.

    3. Click the Circ status checkbox, then select Available. Hold down the Ctrl key and select additional status as needed (e.g. Being Repaired, In-Process, In Storage).

  2. Open Item circulation filters

    1. Click the Lifetime circulation checkbox, select Less than or equal to from the drop-down menu, then type 0 in the box to the right.

 

Click Submit (located at both the top and bottom of the screen) to run your report.

 

From the preview screen that appears, you will have the option to add the results to a record set so you can work with them later in Polaris or LEAP. Click the Create item record set from report results checkbox, then assign a Record set name and, if necessary, a Record set note and click Save record set.


The preview that displays is limited to 100 rows. To view all the results, click the Download report output checkbox, then click Download and open the list in Excel to see the complete report. Adjust results as needed, removing irrelevant placeholder records based on call number (e.g. “CURRENT YEAR”) and making a note of any linking errors you might discover along the way. If you prefer to sort Item first available date in ascending order instead of descending order, you can do that at this point as well.


 

 

 

 

 

 

You're now ready to clean up your magazine collection!

 

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