Teach With INFOhio

Spring Cleaning Using INFOhio's Favorite Database Cleanup Reports

Author // Janah Shumaker Friday, 22 March 2024

As the school year winds down, it’s time to think about prepping the library for summer break and planning how to leave the collection in the best shape for the fall. Cleaning up the collection after a busy year can be beneficial and alleviate stress when starting a brand new school year. One option for cleanup is to conduct an inventory of the collection -- scanning the barcodes of items on the library shelves and generating reports indicating which items are missing. Many Information Technology Centers (ITC) are scheduling inventory training over the next few months. If you need a refresher or have never performed an inventory in your library before, reach out to your ITC’s Library Support Staff and get scheduled for training now. 

In addition to an inventory, INFOhio has several helpful library automation software reports that can help with database cleanup. Database cleanup is a process of identifying inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and outdated information within the library database. When doing database cleanup, librarians may look at bibliographic information, item details, and even patron records to correct errors, update information, and resolve any inconsistencies that may arise throughout the year. The benefits of doing database cleanup, no matter how small or large of a project, include:

  • better search results when trying to find a resource because the data accurately reflects the current collection
  • becoming more familiar with the collection
  • spending less time dealing with issues and more time helping students

Several database cleanup report options are available to those using the INFOhio library services platform (LSP). If you are using another LSP, check with their support to see if they have similar reports that can be used for database cleanup.

To access helpful guides for database cleanup purposes, check out INFOhio’s Library Services Handbook. The Library Services Handbook contains many guides, tip sheets, videos, and other helpful information on all of the INFOhio LSP products. To locate the guides available for database cleanup, when in the Library Services Handbook, navigate to Report Favorites and then locate the Database Cleanup Reports (DBC). Below are short summaries of the listed reports, with additional ideas for how they might be used.

Multipurpose Shelf List of the Collection

A shelf list report is a valuable tool that can give an overview of the library collection and be a great help with database cleanup. The DBC - Shelf List Multi-Purpose guide provides sorting and output options for the Shelf List report to locate problems in the database. The report can be run as a spreadsheet which gives the user the maximum amount of selections to choose from. Including information like Price, Barcode, Status, and/or Call Number can help locate pricing issues, incorrect barcodes, unusual statuses, and XX call numbers. This report is extremely flexible and can be run in many ways. The resulting spreadsheet can be sorted and arranged in various ways to help locate any errors or inconsistencies. Take some time and give it a try! 

Shelf List Spreadsheet Options

 Shelf List Field Selection Options

Items Not/Never Circulated 

Looking for items that haven’t been checked out in a certain time frame? Or maybe items that have never circulated? The Shelf List report can be used to create a list of infrequently or never circulated items. Items on this list can then be displayed to encourage circulation. Or maybe it’s time to weed them and make room for more current or relevant titles. To learn more about this report, check out the DBC - Items Not/Never Circulated guide for tips and setup instructions.

Titles Without Items 

Interruptions to your workflow happen often, and never more so than when cataloging. For example, a record may have been imported, but an item was not added. Track down all titles without items in your database using the DBC - Titles Without Items guide to run the List Titles with No Copies report. The report generates a list of titles with no item attached. The records can be deleted or cataloging can be finished making the item available for students to check out.



Items Without A Price 

Making sure all items in the collection have a price helps to provide an accurate account of the value of the collection. If an item is lost, the user will know exactly how much the item cost and what they will be required to pay. Check out the DBC - Items Without A Price guide for helpful tips on how to find out if any items in the collection are missing a price. If you run the Shelf List report as a spreadsheet, it can be sorted by price, allowing all of the items without a price to be grouped. This makes it easy to see which items need updating.


Duplicate Titles List 

Wondering if there are duplicate titles in the database? Noticing numerous entries in the online catalog for a title? With the DBC - Duplicate Titles List guide, create a list of titles that have duplicate entries. Duplicates can then be combined into one record if necessary. To determine if a title is a duplicate, compare the bibliographic records, and if they match, use the Transfer Title/Call No/Items wizard to combine items into one record. 


Expired Patrons List 

Use the DBC - Expired Patrons List guide to locate any lingering students or staff that have moved on from the library. Sometimes users move or graduate with items still on their account. The List Users report will help to pinpoint anyone still in the database after their account has expired. Once the report has run, determine why the user is still in the system and work to clean up any lingering issues.


Long Overdue Cleanup

At the end of the year, there may be a large number of items overdue. There are a few options for marking these items lost if they do not return to the library. The DBC - Long Overdue Cleanup guide offers one way to mark long overdue items as lost. Contact your ITC’s Library Support Staff for other recommendations and assistance. 



Taking time at the end of the school year to do database cleanup prepares the library for a fresh start in the fall. Users will know if they have any overdue items and their replacement price, and be able to find items in the library catalog more easily. School librarians will have a better understanding of the collection and ensure the collection is up-to-date to provide students and staff with the best possible library experience. For more information on how to use the library software to do database cleanup and to get further guidance on what might work best for your library, contact your ITC’s library support staff. INFOhio is also here to help. Reach out to support.infohio.org with any questions.

About the Author

Posted by: Janah Shumaker

Janah Shumaker is an INFOhio Professional Technical Support Specialist and helps to support ITC Library Support Staff throughout Ohio. One of her roles on the technical team is to assist with the support and implementation of SirsiDynix BLUEcloud products. Before working at INFOhio she was an INFOhio Liaison/Library Services Support provider. Janah is a Google for Education Level 2 Certified Educator and has a Masters in Middle Childhood Education from The Ohio State University. Janah was also a co-winner of the Spence White Service Award in 2020.

Janah Shumaker
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