Home » Categories » Collection Development » collectionHQ Tips

Mislinked Items

Mislinked Items - Find them & Fix them!

How frustrating is it when you just can't find an item that, according to the library catalog, should be available on your shelves? Imagine how much more frustrating this is for a patron that was really looking forward to checking that item out! Often, such situations arise due to mislinked items - in other words, some discrepancy that exists between how items are linked and how they are labelled and/or shelved in the library. collectionHQ can help you uncover several different types of 'mislinks' in your library. Fixing those mislinked items will allow you to not only successfully locate those items in the future, but in some cases, it can also improve the accuracy of your library's circulation statistics! It is recommended that you begin fixing mislinked items after you have worked on all the weeding reports, in order to avoid fixing any items that you would be weeding from the collection anyway.

 

  1. Log in to collectionHQ

  2. Follow the steps for each of the following scenarios below:

Mislink #1 - No 'Collection' specified in an item record

  1. How to find evidence of such mislinked items in collectionHQ:

    1. Within any Fiction or Non-Book report, look for any reference to 'Collection' or 'Collection Codes' (Non-Fiction reports are grouped by Dewey, not collection code)

    2. Depending on the report, either click on the Table of Contents icon  (upper left hand corner of the report) to view all collection codes included within that report, or simply look for a 'Collection Code' column within the report

    3. Collection codes consist of three parts of an item record, Material Type - Collection - Statistical Code (e.g. Hardcover - Adult Fiction - Mystery), hence any collection codes with 'None' as the second part (e.g. Hardcover - None) have no 'Collection' specified in the item record in Polaris - these need to be fixed

  2. How to fix all mislinked items of this type:

    1. Go to the BCCLS staff page

    2. On the left hand side click on Reports

    3. Log in to Reports

    4. Click on BCCLS Custom Reports

    5. Click on Collection Correction Connection

    6. Select your library from the Organization drop down menu

    7. Click View Report

    8. In Polaris, edit the linking of each item in this report to ensure a Collection is specified in each item record (Note: this report will list ALL items in your library that are mislinked in this way, regardless of whether or not you noticed any when searching collectionHQ)

    9. Wait for the next dataset to become available in collectionHQ to see these linking changes reflected in reports

Mislink #2 - 'Material type' & 'Collection' conflicts

  1. How to find evidence of such mislinked items in collectionHQ:

    1. Within any Fiction or Non-Book report, look for any reference to 'Collection' or 'Collection Codes' (Non-Fiction reports are grouped by Dewey, not collection code, so this won't apply)

    2. Collection codes consist of three parts of an item record, Material Type - Collection - Statistical Code (e.g. Hardcover - Adult Fiction - Mystery), and collectionHQ adds an exclamation point [!] to the end of any collection code that appears to present a conflict (e.g. Picture Book - Adult Fiction [!])

    3. Within any report that lists individual items (e.g. Collection Check) click on the Table of Contents icon  (upper left hand corner of the report) to view all collection codes included within this report, and then click on any with an [!] at the end to view the items in that collection code in this report

    4. Within any report that does not list individual items (e.g. Collection Use Summary) simply look for a 'Collection' or 'Collection Code' column within the report, sorting this column, if necessary, by clicking on the up and down arrow at the top left of the column header (the number '1' should appear at the top left of the column header once you click there) - the existence alone of a collection code with an [!] in your library's report indicates that there most likely are mislinked items of this sort in your collection

  2. How to fix all mislinked items of this type:

    1. In Polaris, execute an item search for any Material Type and Collection, limited to your library, that you have found to present a conflict (e.g. for Picture Book - Adult Fiction [!] you would open the Item Record Find Tool, leave Search by: at 'Barcode', type an asterisk in the For: section, select 'Material type' from the Limit by: drop down menu, select 'Picture Book' from the list of Values: that appear, then click on the Branches tab, click Unselect All, and select your library, click on the Collections tab, click Unselect All, and select 'Adult Fiction', then click Search)

    2. A list of items should appear if you are searching for a conflict that you already know exists within your library (you might need to use the 'karate chop' if there are a large number of items) - if no items are listed, your search parameters might be incorrect, otherwise the mislinked items might have been fixed since they were last discovered in collectionHQ

    3. You may choose to either fix the items one by one, selecting either a different material type or collection for each to correct the conflict, or you may prefer to add all the items to a record set and perform a bulk change on them

    4. If you prefer not to search Polaris yourself for these items, simply email collectionHQ@bccls.org and ask for a list of your “Collection Conflicts” - we will email you a spreadsheet of all barcodes that present a potential conflict in linking (Note: this list will only be as current as the most recent dataset and only includes items that collectionHQ determines to be a conflict, however, it will include ALL mislinked items of this type, including some that you won't be able to locate on your own within collectionHQ)

Mislink #3 - Fiction items linked as Non-Fiction

  1. How to find evidence of such mislinked items in collectionHQ:

    1. Within any Non-Fiction report, look for any reference to 'collectionHQ unassigned' or any 'Class Number' within the 009-009.999 Dewey range (Note: in Non-Fiction reports, you must run each report three times to cover all Audience levels - Adult, Juvenile and Teen/YA)

    2. The 009-009.999 range, or 'collectionHQ unassigned' Dewey Class has been designated by collectionHQ for any items that are linked with a Non-Fiction 'Collection' in Polaris (e.g. Adult Non-Fiction, Juvenile Non-Fiction, Young Adult Non-Fiction, Local History, Professional Development) but have a call number that is NOT recognizable as Non-Fiction

    3. Within any report that lists individual items (e.g. Collection Check) click on the Table of Contents icon  (upper left hand corner of the report) to view all Dewey ranges included within that report, and select the 009-009.999 range, if it is listed, to view all items in that Dewey range in this report (to easily spot the call number discrepancies within this Dewey range, click and drag the 'Call Number' column all the way to the left - most items will show Fiction call numbers)

    4. Within any report that does not list individual items (e.g. Collection Use Summary) simply look for a 'Subject Description' column within the report, sorting this column, if necessary, by clicking on the up and down arrow at the top left of the column header (the number '1' should appear at the top left of the column header once you click there) - the existence alone of the subject description 'collectionHQ unassigned' in your library's report indicates that there most likely are mislinked items of this sort in your collection

  2. How to fix all mislinked items of this type:

    1. In Polaris, execute an item search for any of your library's items that have a Non-Fiction 'Collection' (open the Item Record Find Tool, leave Search by: at 'Barcode', type an asterisk in the For: section, then click on the Branches tab, click Unselect All, and select your library, click on the Collections tab, click Unselect All, and select 'Adult Non-Fiction' 'Juvenile Non-Fiction' 'Local History' 'Professional Development' & 'Young Adult Non-Fiction', click on the Settings tab, change Retrieval Limit: to 10,000 or 100,000 depending on the size of your non-fiction collection, then click Search)

    2. A list of items will appear (you might need to use the 'karate chop' if there are a large number of items) - if no items are listed, your search parameters might be incorrect

    3. Sort these items by call number by clicking on the 'Call Number' column header, and scroll to the end of the list to locate any call numbers that begin with letters instead of numbers (sometimes an indication that the item is NOT non-fiction)

    4. You may choose to either add these items to a record set and fix them one by one, selecting the appropriate 'Collection' for each to correct the discrepancy, or fix them using a bulk change - alternatively, you might prefer to group similar types of items, add each group to a separate record set and perform a bulk change on each

    5. If you prefer not to search Polaris yourself for these items, simply email collectionHQ@bccls.org and ask for a list of your “collectionHQ unassigned” items - we will email you a spreadsheet of all barcodes that present this type of discrepancy in linking (Note: this list will only be as current as the most recent dataset, however, it will include ALL mislinked items of this type, including some that you won't be able to locate on your own within collectionHQ)

Mislink #4 - Call number discrepancies

  1. How to find evidence of such mislinked items in collectionHQ:

    1. Pick a report, any report, that has a Call Number column within that report

    2. Click and drag the Call Number column all the way to the left for easier viewing

    3. If applicable, click on Advanced Options and for the Group By: option, select 'No Grouping'

    4. Click on the up and down arrows in the top left corner of the Call Number column header (the number '1' should appear at the top left of the column header, once you click there)

    5. Scroll through your library's report, noting any discrepancies (e.g. BIOG, BIO & B for your biographies, or FICTION, FIC & F for your fiction items, or even extra spaces within some call numbers, resulting in what might appear to be two separate sets of the same type of call number, each sorted from A-Z or 0-9) or omissions (e.g. 001.1 with no letters following, or FIC with no author name listed)

  2. How to fix all mislinked items of this type:

    1. In Polaris, execute an item search for the first letter(s) or number(s) of any call number you have noticed a discrepancy for within your library (open the Item Record Find Tool, change Search by: to 'Call number', type the first letter(s) or number(s) of the call number in the For: section, then click on the Branches tab, click Unselect All, and select your library, click on the Settings tab, change Retrieval Limit: to 10,000 or 100,000 depending on the size of your collection for that call number, then click Search)

    2. A list of items will appear (you might need to use the 'karate chop' if there are a large number of items) - if no items are listed, your search parameters might be incorrect or you might have limited the search too much by typing too many letters or numbers for the call number (e.g. typing 'BIO' for the call number search will retrieve call numbers beginning with BIO, BIOG, BIOGRAPHY, etc. but will NOT retrieve call numbers beginning with B, B-A, J BIO, YA BIOG, etc.)

    3. Sort these items by call number by clicking on the 'Call Number' column header, and scroll through the list to locate any call numbers that do not follow the format you have chosen for your library - you might wish to add the items to a record set to work on later

    4. Unless you are confident that you know exactly which call number field in each item record contains the part of the call number you wish to change, you are better off fixing these items one by one, selecting the appropriate call number for each to correct the discrepancies - doing a bulk change is possible, but it can be risky if the call numbers are not already formatted consistently

Mislink #5 - Uncataloged items

  1. How to find evidence of such mislinked items in collectionHQ:

    1. Pick a report, any report, that lists individual items

    2. Within the report, look for the Title column, and in the blank white box in the column header, type the word 'Uncataloged' in order to filter for any items with the word 'Uncataloged' in the title

    3. After a few seconds, the list of items will refresh, and each of the items listed will be an uncataloged item

  2. How to fix all mislinked items of this type:

    1. In Polaris, execute an item search for any items in your library with the word 'Uncataloged' in the title (open the Item Record Find Tool, change Search by: to 'Title', change Type: to 'Keyword search', type the word 'Uncataloged' in the For: section, then click on the Branches tab, click Unselect All, and select your library, click on the Settings tab, change Retrieval Limit: to 10,000 or 100,000 depending on how many uncataloged items you think you might have, then click Search)

    2. A list of items will appear (you might need to use the 'karate chop' if there are a large number of items) - if no items are listed, your search parameters might be incorrect or you might have no uncataloged items!

    3. You might wish to add the items to a record set to work on them gradually - once in the record set, it might help to sort these items by call number, by clicking on the 'Call Number' column header, and then search for each one in your library

    4. Each item should be transferred to a more appropriate bib. record whenever possible - exhaust all searches to see if there is a bib. record for the item and if so, transfer the item to that bib. record

    5. If there is no bib. record for that item, check if it is a candidate for submission to BCCLS for cataloging - if so, check the flowchart to see where to submit the item (not all submissions are sent to the BCCLS office)

    6. If there is no bib. record for the item and it is NOT a candidate for submission, seriously consider whether or not the item is worth keeping in your collection - uncataloged items will only circulate if a patron happens to pick one up while browsing; they are otherwise essentially invisible to your patrons and could be taking up valuable shelf space

BONUS: Take a look at bib. record 1137352 in Polaris. This contains over 100 items whose bib. records were lost during the migration to Polaris on 12/12/12. About 50 libraries and 2 branches have at least one item in this bib. record. For some of these items, a record might now exist in the catalog that they can be linked to. Others might be a candidate for weeding or for submitting to BCCLS for cataloging. As they stand, these items will only circulate if a patron happens to pick one up while browsing; they are otherwise essentially invisible to your patrons and could be taking up valuable shelf space.

NOTE: If you don't come across certain types of mislinks in collectionHQ, that does NOT mean they don't exist within your library. Remember, collectionHQ reports only display items that meet the criteria for that particular report, so there will be certain items that don't show up in any reports. The steps outlined above illustrate how you can use collectionHQ to find the mislinked items that do appear within reports, and then fix all such mislinked items, to exponentially improve your collection!

HINT: In general, anything you notice in a collectionHQ report that looks like a mislink is probably something you can do a broader search for in Polaris or Simply Reports, to attempt to find and fix other such mislinked items. If one type of mislink is extremely prevalent, consider double checking your linking templates. If there is a mistake there, it will affect any item that is linked using that template. If you are ever unsure whether or not a particular search can be performed or how to produce a specific report, don't hesitate to call or email us for assistance. We are here to help!

0 (0)
Article Rating (No Votes)
Rate this article
  • Icon PDFExport to PDF
  • Icon MS-WordExport to MS Word
Attachments Attachments
There are no attachments for this article.
Comments Comments
There are no comments for this article. Be the first to post a comment.
Related Articles RSS Feed
Why I Use collectionHQ
Viewed 259 times since Fri, Apr 29, 2016
Collection Check
Viewed 596 times since Wed, Nov 18, 2015
Get Visual with Top Charts
Viewed 132 times since Thu, Dec 29, 2016
Sorting & Filtering Search Results in Reports
Viewed 111 times since Tue, Feb 14, 2017
Statistical Codes in Action
Viewed 203 times since Wed, Nov 23, 2016
How to Find Help
Viewed 506 times since Wed, Oct 14, 2015
Stat. Codes & collectionHQ
Viewed 260 times since Mon, Aug 15, 2016
Analyzing System Activity
Viewed 228 times since Mon, Jul 25, 2016
Collection Use Summary
Viewed 190 times since Mon, Oct 31, 2016
Long Overdue Check
Viewed 542 times since Mon, Sep 14, 2015