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Beyond Help: Inventory

Questions to Ask When Getting Ready for Inventory

Why do an inventory?  Learn your collection, identify gaps, and document missing items and need for replacement.  Use the process to identify items needing repair, items that should be discarded.  

Should I weed before I start?  

What staff and volunteers are available for inventory?  Do they have the Access Level permissions they need?

What part(s) of the collection should I inventory?  Should I do it in sections, or inventory the entire collection?  Your choices should be based on need, and available staff, time and equipment resources.  If you can't do the entire collection, choose sections or ranges that are the most active, where there are likely to be damaged or lost items, misshelved items, items missing labels, or items missing altogether. The only advantage to doing one inventory of the entire collection is that it will point out any sections that are located elsewhere, such as on a special shelf or in a classroom that might get missed if they also have a different call number extension.

What reports can help me decide what part(s) of the collection to inventory?  

What if all the items in a section don't have the same call number extensions?  Destiny considers a Call Number Extension to be the first characters in a call number BEFORE any spaces. What if I have both R and REF, F and FIC, for example?  For the sake of the inventory, it's what in the database, not on the spine label that matters.  You can use the Update Copies function in the Catalog tab to fix this problem in the database.  To fix the spine labels themselves, you can scan a list of barcodes for items that need new labels, import these into a non-public Resource List, and then print spine labels using the Resource List.  

Should we check shelf order before doing inventory? 

Should I check the shelf order as I do the inventory?  This is a good way to find books that are shelved in the wrong place. Settings for this are located in Site Configuration in the Back Office on the Catalog tab.    You can then turn on  in the Inventory Process itself.  

Should I/can I do the inventory by scanning barcodes into Destiny online or  should I collect barcode scans offline, and then upload them?  Can I use both methods during the same inventory?  Yes, you can use both methods for the same inventory.  Which method(s) you use depends on the availability and speed of your Internet connections as well as the equipment and staff available for the Inventory process.

What equipment do I need?

         You can use any of the following to collect barcodes scans for Inventory:

  • Follett Remote on a laptop with a scanner or a wireless device, such as a Panther, Falcon or 7100 wireless scanner.  Download Follett Remote by searching in Destiny online Help for [remote circulation].

  • PHD Dolphin.  Search in Legacy Help for PHD Dolphin and Panther manuals.  Follett no longer supports either of these devices, which are obsolete.

  • Laptop or Chromebook with a barcode scanner and a text editor.  The file must end in .txt, with no formatting codes such as those found in Word processing files.

Is there any equipment available to borrow?  RILINK has a few barcode scanners available to borrow.

What are the staff schedule and assignments for the inventory process?

What should I do with any previous inventories that were not completed, or not finalized?  Finalize any incomplete previous inventories, choosing [] Ignore them (don't mark them "lost")

for Unaccounted-for copies.

What to do if everything gets marked Lost? 


Follett Remote & Hardware Devices

To view a video about downloading, installing, and launching Follett Remote visit Help in Destiny Manager, click on Contents, and select Remote Circulation from the list or click on this link to Installing and Launching Follett Remote.

For information on other scanning methods visit Hardware and Scanning on the Follett Customer Portal (requires login).

The Inventory Process

Start an Inventory by clicking on Inventory in the left-hand column, and then on .

Collect barcode scans online or in a text tile, making sure to scan or upload them into the correct Inventory if you have more than one Inventory in progress.

Process scanning errors, rescanning barcodes when necessary.

When you upload a text file of barcode scans, review the Inventory Report in the Job Manager for each uploaded file. If the report is lengthy and there are a lot of issues reported, you may want to print a copy of the report and take it to the shelves with you.  When you have resolved all of the issues in a particular report, delete that report.  If a barcode scanned was not found in your database, you can locate the item by looking at the items just above and below it on the list.  If you want to keep this item, you will need to add it back into your database by using the Add Title function on the Catalog tab, and then adding the copy to the correct title.  You can use the barcode that is already on the book.  Sometimes the ISBN number will get scanned instead of the barcode. You can rescan the copy into your Inventory.

Reports to help with Inventory Planning

All of these reports can be found in the Reports tab in Destiny by choosing Library Reports in the left-hand column.

  • Collection Statistics - Historical - Examine circulation statistics for a particular timeframe. This report and the following report will show you how much items in different Dewey ranges and Call Number Extensions circulated during a specific period of time.  Output is available as a pdf or Excel file.
  • Collection Statistics - Summary - Examine current circulation, age, and value statistics.  This report compiles real-time statistics; Destiny may take several minutes to compile it.  Use this report to examine the age and number of titles for a particular Dewey range or Call Number Extension.
  • List Library Titles and Copies - Choose to see the list of Titles with Lost Copies to determine the circulation types and ranges where materials have been lost from the collection.  Output is available as a pdf or Excel file.
  • Weeding Log - View this report to see copies that have been weeded from your collection, possibly because they were damaged or outdated.

Access Levels for Inventory

Settings for Inventory functions are found in each Access Level setting in the Back Office on the Library Materials (first) tab under Administrative Access.


Inventory: Yes or No?

RILINK believes in the value of knowing your library's collection inside and out. Consult these articles for tips and guidelines on the hows, whys, and whens of conducting inventories so you can make your own informed decision.

Helpful Documents

Finalizing Your Inventory

Before you finalize an Inventory, check the percentage completed, look at the list of Unaccounted-for copies to check for missed shelves or sections (oversize, series, classroom collections).  Scan any copies that you find into the Inventory.

Finalize your Inventory, marking Unaccounted-for copies Lost.

Review the list of lost copies.  To sort the list, select the order from the Sort by list and click Go!. Click again to invert the order (ascending to descending).  To take the list to your shelving or storage locations, click Printable for a printable page. If you can locate any of the copies that had been Lost, click Found on the Lost Copies list to account for it and change its copy status to Available. You can also scan or enter it on the main Inventory page instead.  To delete a lost copy from the collection permanently, click Delete on the list.

  If you have finalized an inventory and selected Mark all unaccounted for copies "lost" on the confirmation message by mistake, you can reset the copy status to Available.  On the Inventory page, a  button will appear.  You can click on this button to Reset copies marked Lost in Inventory on a particular date.  You can also start a new Inventory, click on the percentage complete, and click on Copies Lost to see the list of Copies marked Lost.  Scroll to the bottom of the list, and you can reset any copies marked Lost by Inventory to the status of Available.  

Click the calendar icon adjacent to Reset all [copies] marked "lost" on and select the date on which you made them lost.  Click [] Reset "Lost", and then Yes on the confirmation message.  For each copy reset, the copy status changes from Lost to Available. For copies whose last seen date is earlier than the inventory start date, the inventory status also changes from Accounted-for to Unaccounted-for.  Reset "Lost" resets only copies that were marked Lost by Inventory.  Reset "Lost" does not reset any copies that had been checked out and then lost by a patron; Reset "Lost" skips those; they remain Lost.

Consider deleting Lost copies, especially those that have been Lost for over a year.  You may want to save a list of these lost copies before you delete them.  You can save or print out the Lost Copies list by clicking Printable.  You can also save a list of Lost Copies with more information about who lost them and any outstanding fines by going to the Reports tab, clicking on Library Reports in the left-hand column, and then choosing a Title & Copy List. Limit the report to show only Titles with Lost copies. Copies deleted here are included in the Weeding Log that you can generate in the same section of the Library Reports page.

Review - Avoiding the Inventory Blues

Inventory scanning into a file or device for uploading

You can collect scans by connecting your barcode scanner to a USB port on a laptop or Chromebook, opening a text file and scanning barcodes into into the file.  It's a good idea to create a folder where you will store the scan files so that they are easy to find and upload into Detiny.  Do not use a formatted or Word document as these files have formatting codes embedded in them which will cause the file upload to Destiny to fail.  The file must include only barcode scans.  Save the file or Google text document when you have finished your scanning session, storing it in the folder you created and naming it so that you can easily find it.

For Google text files, make sure that the file is smaller than the download capacity of the Chromebook you are using.  Download the file to temporary storage on the Chromebook, and then upload it into your inventory In Destiny.  Once the file has been uploaded into Inventory, and Destiny has completed processing it, you will get a report.  You can then start the process again, opening another Google doc text file.

Follett VersaScan  (Basic description and pricing)

The PHD Dolphin Scanner (obsolete, no longer supported by Follett) requires a program on your computer in order to transfer files. You should be able to download the Dolphin File Transfer program from Follett legacy help if you no longer have the program on your library computer.  For any Windows operating systems before Windows 7, you will also need to download the drivers for the Dolphin.  You should not need to install any drivers to use the Dolphin with Windows 7.  The Dolphin File Transfer Program will not work with Windows 8. If you get local technical support to install the program for you, make sure to have them start the program once it is installed, and change the Configuration so that files are being saved to a location where you/library staff have the ability to store and access files.

If you need a new battery for your Dolphin, first try resetting your Dolphin following the procedures in Dolphin care above, and then re-charging it overnight.  If the battery still won't charge, you will need a new one, an HH72H2-D Battery, which is currently available from the following sources, at a cost of $32 plus shipping:

   Panther (this is obsolete equipment which Follett no longer supports)