What is a retrospective conversion?

A Retrospective Conversion is the process of creating an electronic catalog of the items in the library collection. All school libraries not currently automated must complete a retrospective conversion to implement the SOAR library system.

There are two pathways for completing a retrospective conversion.

Pathway 1: The simplest way is to submit MARC records supplied by book vendors at the time of purchase. If the library is in possession of these MARC records either on disk, CD, or other files, and these MARC records represent at least 75% of the collection, provide these records to the Department of Libraries. For items without MARC records and/or barcodes must be entered via MARC Set Go!

Pathway 2: Use MARC Set Go! software provided by the Department of Libraries to enter MARC records for the collection. A single item can be entered in to the system in less than a minute! MARC Set Go can be downloaded to a local computer, or laptops.

How long will a retrospective conversion take?

Any item with a standard number (ISBN or LCCN) can be entered in less than a minute. For a collection of 5000 items, estimate approximately 80 person hours to enter the items. The school librarian should manage the process, but the software is so easy to use that school staff or volunteers can assist in the process so that it proceeds more quickly.

What are the steps for a retrospective conversion?

  1. Before beginning the conversion, barcode labels must be purchased for all items in the library without modern barcode labels. The form and instructions for ordering barcode labels in available at the equipment and supplies page of this wiki.
  2. Identify local staff or volunteers to assist in the conversion.
  3. Once barcode labels have arrived, contact the Department of Libraries for training on MARC Set Go!
  4. The retrospective conversion must be 100% complete for the student collections before beginning to use the SOAR library system.