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RDS@UF: Affiliate Library Workflow

Resource Description Services department procedures and policies

Updated March 2022 by Greg Allen (reviewed by Suzanne Stapleton)


Affiliate Library Creation Workflow Documentation

  1. Review interest with Library Administration. In general, a good cause/rationale is needed to establish a new affiliate library (AFL) since it is preferable to add items into existing libraries with circulation.

Questions to ask: Identify the library’s institutional affiliation, is this a candidate for a UF Satellite Library or is it affiliated with a different organization? Is there an existing inventory? Explain why not donate items and move to existing library? AFL must be in a secure location and accessible to public. Who will manage the AFL (monitor its use, review holdings, be present during open hours)?

Proceed with next steps if Library Administration is amenable to creating a new affiliate library.

  1. Affiliated Libraries Agreement form signed by AFL director and Department chair and UF Library Associate Dean and Dean. An inventory generated by Alma will be added to Agreement when available.  Review responsibilities and expectations with AFL personnel. Discuss circulation preferences.

UF Libraries will provide training and guidance, but AFL is responsible for creating holdings, adding item records into Alma catalog, and managing circulation (if any).

Introduce both Greg Allen from the Resource Description Services (RDS) Department and the Liaison Librarian as the subject specialist.

  1. Determine new AFL location code for catalog. Review code with Cataloging and Discovery Services and chair of Liaison Librarian’s home department. Cataloging chair requests new location code from FALSC. Refer to format of existing affiliate libraries in library catalog.
  1. AFL submits, to RDS Chair, names/IDs of staff authorized to log into Alma. RDS Chair contacts FLVC with request.
  1. Preliminary inventory [to be completed prior to adding records into Aleph: Identify all items to be retained in affiliate library. Set aside any fragile, damaged or rare items and notify Liaison Librarian to request consult with SASC (including University Archivist) and the Conservation and Preservation unit. For those items that will not be retained, UF Library will accept items to fill in gaps in collection. UF Library will not accept duplicates. Consult with Liaison Librarian to review potential gifts to library. Communicate with Gifts & Exchange unit in Acquisitions and Collections Services to process any donations, including items for FLARE.
  1. Review and add Library of Congress call numbers to AFL collection: Use WorldCat OCLC and UF Library catalog as reference; consult with Cataloging Liaison (listed below) as needed. A final inventory report will be created after item records are created in Aleph, so there is no need to create a separate inventory if one does not already exist. 
  1. Circulation:  Establish policies for circulation. Consult with Access Services. Questions to ask: Who will be able to borrow items?  How many different circulation loan periods will be used (e.g. in-building use only, 1 week, 6 week)? What, if any, fines will be imposed for overdue items? Will items be made available to Interlibrary Loan? UBorrow? Add barcodes to aid circulation records in Alma. Obtain barcodes from UF Library R Department . AFL will purchase a barcode reader. 
  1. Brand items in AFL as Property of University of Florida AFL library: the Conservation and Preservation unit recommends a library name stamp instead of a sticker. 
  1. Submit Grover to update library webpage listing of Affiliated Libraries List (
  1. Request new Locate button to appear in library catalog from FALSC.
  1. Schedule training in Alma catalog system with AFL cataloging liaison. Confirm steps 1-4 completed prior to training. Training will include how to add holding records with AFL location code for items already in SUS Aleph library holdings, how to export OCLC records that are not in Almah library catalog, and how to create NEW records using AFL provisional template for materials needing original cataloging.
  1. AFL personnel are responsible for adding holdings into Alma with specific AFL location code. Consult with Greg Allen in RDS as needed.
  1. UF Library’s RDS department will generate official inventory, exported from Alma and file this with AFL director and UF Libraries Agreement form.
  1. Liaison Librarian will arrange review of rare items or damaged/fragile items with SASC (including University Archivist) and Conservation and Preservation unit.

Optional Recommended Steps

  1. Publicity: Develop flyers, articles, & social media to promote new AFL library. Consider “opening day” celebration event. 
  1. Consider writing a History of AFL: interview & record history of Affiliated Library

Your two main points of contact for questions about affiliate libraries are:

  • Greg Allen,Associate 2, Resource Description Services, UF George A. Smathers Libraries
  • Your Liaison Librarian, a subject specialist for your discipline.  Click here to find your Liaison Librarian.

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