Magazines – What’s up with that?

In my ongoing series of mentoring posts…..


I’m looking into ordering some magazines  but as of now there isn’t a checkout procedure for our magazines.  I know you have some kind of protective binder for them.  Can you tell me what product you buy?

I’d also like to know how you select, process and loan them.


Your Favorite Mentoree

We order as many of our subscriptions as possible from a magazine jobber called EBSCO.  I am not sure that the prices are any better than ordering directly – but it is certainly easier.

We have a binder with a check-in form for each subscription.  Here is the form we use.  There should be a form for weekly and monthy mags.  MAG CHECK-IN Template

The idea is to keep track of the magazines as they arrive.  The binder of forms should be reviewed periodically to make sure that all the mags are coming in regularly.  If something stops coming in – then you contact EBSCO and they will track down the problem for you (yet another benefit of ordering from a magazine jobber).  We put a sticker on the upper left  hand corner of the magazine cover with the date.  This makes it easier to find a particular issue once the magazines are archived.  We only archive for 3 years. The plastic covers we use to display the new magazines are from Highsmith.  I love this company.  The prices are good – and they are SO friendly and accommodating. We use plastic magazine/pamphlet boxes from Highsmith for storage.

We have surveyed our students in the past to find out what they like.  I mostly order magazines for fun reading – not so much for research as those can be accessed via the databases.  However – I still get some research magazines because they are good for students to browse for topics.  For example – Business Week, Scholastic Update, Discover.  I also still get Time Magazine, because I think folks should still be able to read a weekly news magazine.  I think a person browsing/reading a news magazine is more likely to come out with a broader mental snapshot of current events than they would going to internet news sites.  Something they never would have known they were interested in just might catch their eye.

I have tried various methods for magazine sign-out.

  1. Mostly we just sign them out by paper.  We don’t get a lot of requests to sign them out – so this is not terribly onerous. And we are a bit cavalier about whether they come back or not.
  2. Back before the databases streamlined periodical research – we used to actually enter each magazine in the database.  It is time consuming to do that – but could be done if you have enough assistance.  When you do inventory,  you have to export all the magazine records and save them.  Then when inventory is done, you import the magazines back into the database.
  3. We have also handled them as temporary loans – something like you do with ILL loans.  To do that, you just slap a bar code on each magazine and scan it in when you create a temporary record.

I think that about covers it.  If you have more questions, let me know.

We had a whole procedure for routing professional magazines.  But our budget has been cut so drastically that I no longer order professional subscriptions. Maybe someday we’ll be able to do that again….

In case you want to provide such a service – here are the forms that we have used for this process.

Professional Magazine Routing Slips

Professional Magazine Tracking Sheet

Professional Magazine Memo

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