UC Libraries Next-Generation Technical Services


Defining “shelf ready”

Power of Three (POT) group 2 is charged with defining and implementing a UC consortial shelf-ready program. To establish a common vocabulary and understanding of terms and definitions, POT 2 has created the following glossary:

Shelf Ready Glossary

Shelf ready - Physical collection materials received from a vendor/publisher that come with catalog records and physical processing (e.g., barcodes, property stamps, spine labels, security devices, etc.).

Levels of shelf ready - There may be a spectrum of shelf-ready options (more or less physical processing, fuller or more minimal records, etc.) available from a vendor/publisher, available for choosing based on the needs of different customers.  These options may be individually priced or bundled, depending on the vendor. Across the various vendors, we may also find different standards for cataloging and physical processing, resulting in the potential provision of different levels of shelf ready. Different levels of shelf ready may be required depending upon a vendor/publisher’s ability to provide different levels of cataloging records and physical processing, or UC campuses requirements for different physical processing specifications.

Shelf-ready failure - The percentage of shelf-ready materials received from a vendor/publisher that do not meet the specifications agreed upon with that vendor/publisher, for example, materials that arrive without catalog records. Since we allow for “levels of shelf ready” there is no single standard to rate every vendor against. Therefore, success/failure will be measured upon the specific agreement made with each vendor.

Physical processing - The physical enhancements the vendor/publisher makes to library materials (e.g., barcodes, property stamps, spine labels, security devices, etc.) to make them ready to be shelved upon arrival in the library.

Consortial shelf-ready agreements - As in the Collection Development Committee/CDL licensing model, consortial shelf-ready agreements can be Tier 1 (all campuses participate), Tier 2 (a subset of campuses to participate) and Tier 3 (a single campus participates).

Vendor/Publisher - a provider of shelf-ready materials.

Gain efficiencies - There are at least two ways to gain efficiencies via shelf-ready programs: 1) expand the use of shelf ready across UC campuses with new vendors/publishers where the cost of shelf ready is less than the cost of the campuses processing these items; 2) combine shelf-ready programs used by UC campus libraries into a single agreement that leverages the size of these combined programs to create lower unit costs per shelf-ready item.

Pilot vs. implementation - a pilot project would set up and test a new process for a limited amount of time.  Implementation would set up and test a new process with the expectation that it would continue either indefinitely or for a contracted length of time.

Financial models - the models used to pay for shelf-ready processing. For example, a consortial pricing shelf-ready agreement would set the unit price for all campuses.  Each campus would then pay this unit cost for the materials that they have delivered shelf ready. For shared collections, a financial model would have to be developed that paid for the shelf-ready costs on single items that are owned collectively by all the UC libraries.