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George A.Smathers Libraries Resource Service Department


RS Performance Standards Work Group Report

Performance Standards

June 23, 1999

In response to the growing need for RS staff to set and document accurate performance standards for all RS functions and to identify skills, equipment needed and level of staff required to perform each task, the following charge was set forth on November 6, 1998:
  1. Identify RS tasks for which no performance standard currently exists and gather information for each.
The PSWG (Performance Standards Work Group) concentrated on tasks for which a performance standard could be tracked and quantified - not all the tasks performed in RS.   Tasks such as problem solving and training were not considered. Each PSWG member worked with the respective unit staff to identify all appropriate tasks and their related procedures. To determine the existence of current and up-to-date procedures, the identified tasks were initially coded: code C, a procedure exists; code U, procedure needs to be updated; code N, no procedure yet exists.  The coded information was posted to the RS Chair and the Unit Heads to use as a guide for staff to draft and/or update procedures.

From the composite task list, PSWG identified similar tasks performed by more than one unit.   For example, three units perform quick-quick copy cataloging: Serials, Copy Cataloging and G&E.  PSWG encouraged staff to follow the general guidelines/procedures when performing these "overlapping" tasks.

PSWG identified the skills and software required to perform the tasks, the necessary equipment and/or supplies used and the level of staff required to perform each task. All levels of staff who perform each task were noted, with the staff who primarily perform the task listed first and the unit responsible listed in parentheses. A slash was used to separate job classes when both levels perform the task about equally. These data were carefully gathered to support the performance standards. Changes in any one of the categories would affect the overall performance standard of each task.

  1. Collect, review, update and record performance standard information for all RS functions.
PSWG members stressed the importance of working with each unit's staff to develop the performance standards for which the unit is responsible.   The method of performing time studies was left to each member to determine with the unit staff who perform the day-to-day activities.  As an example, PSWG members representing the Contributed Cataloging (CC) Section developed a form for recording various cataloging activities.  PSWG members performing “overlapping” tasks met in small groups to discuss and negotiate a common plan to perform time studies.  Emphasis was placed on performing time studies under conditions that were as close as possible to normal working conditions, so that results reflect what is done in the "real" working environment. However, some standards were posted in ranges to reflect more accurately the performance of certain functions. Insufficient information about the time needed to perform a task in order to determine an accurate performance standard is indicated by "further studies needed".
  1. Produce and mount on the RS Home Page a report by function, identifying skills and level of staff needed to perform each task.
Ken Wells created an Excel spreadsheet consisting of the following five categories: Task, Performance Standards, Skills/Software Required, Equipment/Supplies used and Performed by.  PSWG used the Excel spreadsheet as a working document to populate data in each category during the period of the study.  RS tasks were posted in the Task category and hypertext links created for those that have web procedures. Updated versions of the spreadsheet were posted in the Public Folder to communicate progress made in this project.

PSWG published the final version of the Excel spreadsheet as a web document with a link to this report. The RS Performance Standards web page is set up so that all five categories appear at the beginning of each major division, such as Acquiring, Pre-Cataloging, etc.  The issues regarding "Bobby-compatibility" and keyword searching were discussed and the decision made to pursue them at a later time.

  1. Document throughput standards.
PSWG documented throughput standards for Shelf-ready material, Approval material, Serial check-in, Rush request cataloging and End processing.  The standards are included in the Performance Standard web document.

PSWG recommendations:

  1. Write and/or update procedures for inclusion in the RSPS (RS Performance Standards) web page.
  2. Finalize the performance standards currently identified as "further studies needed."
  3. Mount a search engine to perform keyword searching.
  4. Achieve "Bobby-compatibility."
  5. Update the RSPS web page to reflect new activities and technologies that affect performance standards.
Respectfully submitted,

RS Performance Standards Work Group
Members:  Steve Carrico, Steve Fuquay, Jorge Gonzalez, Tim Hartigan, Kim Hunt, Marie Kennedy, Gerald Langford, Charles McElroy, Phek Su (Coordinator) and Jack Waters

Prepared by: RS Performance Standards Work Group, June 23, 1999