clock and watch museum /rare-old books

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by syeht, Jul 17, 2009.

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  1. syeht

    syeht Registered User

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    #1 syeht, Jul 17, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009
    I know the forums are not for adds. I have no ties to this museum. I've searched a long time for a book, Hampden Watch Co, NAWCC Special Order Supplement #1. I came across the American Clock and Watch Museum web site. http://www.clockandwatchmuseum.org At the bottom left side of there web page is a link to there "Used and Rare Books". I found a copy of the out of print book . I called them up and ordered it. They have a lot of old books listed. The museum is a non-profit charity.
     
  2. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    The American Clock & Watch Museum in Bristol CT is a sister institution to the NAWCC Museum in Columbia. They share material and expertise with one another. The Curator, Chris Bailey, was once a director of the NAWCC.

    The museum has a friends of the museum group and receives excess material and bequests of ephemera that they can then sell in the Gift Shop/Bookstore. The NAWCC Museum has not done this although we regularly have silent auctions of excess material from our Library and Research Center.

    Material similar to that at the Bristol museum can generally be found at the local chapter marts of the NAWCC, which provide the outlet for such material for estates and collectors downsizing their libraries.

    The NAWCC Bookstore does have quite a bit of material that is not listed in the on-line catalog. If you are looking for older published material from the NAWCC, it is worthwhile to contact them and ask if it is available.
     
  3. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Further to Toms comments, the National Watc and Clock Library in Columbia, in addition to the material sold at the museum bookstore and the Silent Auctions they hold for members, at all time has for sale a variety of ephemera items and duplicates of periodicals and other lesser publications (surplus donations not needed for the library collections). That stock fluctuates rapidly and therefore is not listed on the web, but sold for a few dollars to anybody walking into the library in Columbia.

    Not that any horologist lacks reasons for visiting there periodically, but that 'sales cart' is just ONE MORE RESON to get there.

    Fortunat


    .
     
  4. Steven Mercer

    Steven Mercer Registered User
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    Fortunat

    Although the sales cart might be nice for those that can visit periodically, it would be nice to have the variety of ephemera items and duplicates of periodicals and other lesser publications, surplus donations not needed for the library collections, listed on the web for those of us that cannot visit the museum bookstore.

    If these items were listed on the web, it would also prevent a large number of emails and/or phone calls from members asking for specific items just to be told, "No we don't have those in stock."
     
  5. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Steven

    I understand that this 'would be nice', but frankly it would be prohibitively expensive. These items by the way are not sold by the museum bookstore, but are moved to the sales cart in the library once the library staff has determined that they are of no use in the collections. They are not inventoried, no list is kept etc. They just sell on a first come first served basis for anywhere from 25 cents to 3 dollars. If our library staff had to spend even 10 minutes with cateloging/delisting/packaging?answer phone enquiries per item NAWCC would go broke (or would have to raise their dues :) )just to service the members. Your solution is economically impractical. It may be even more economical to just throw thew all in the garbage, but our mission being to preserve and distribute horological information we have opten for the cheapest solution to redistribute them.

    Running a club where the work is done by volunteers is one thing, but if you are a a million dollar educational 'not-for-profit' enterprise with professional employees (with retirement benefits, health plans etc) the management has to be very careful to spend their funds strictly in accordance with your mission.
     
  6. Steven Mercer

    Steven Mercer Registered User
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    Fortunat

    I understand your concern about costs and believe me I do not want any additional unnecessary costs to the organization.

    Tom stated:

    So, by Tom's words, the staff is available to take phone calls or emails, check the items in the basket, get back to the phone call or write an email and reply to the member.

    So what is the waste of time and money?

    A member of the staff spending 10 minutes (as you put it) listing the items and lets say spend another 30 minutes putting the list on line. Or lets be realistic, spending 5 hours a week doing this service? And as you stated,

    So the staff has already spent time to go through all the items being placed in the sales cart. What is another few minutes to catalogue the items?

    or

    All the gift shop staff answering phone calls or emails running to the cart and checking for the items and then running back to finish the phone call or send a reply to the email?

    But as you alluded to,

    I thought the staff were there to service the members?

    I will just have to go with the sales cart is therefore a benefit for members within the museum area and the rest of us don't matter.
     
  7. kirxklox

    kirxklox Registered User
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    Fortunat, as a BOD Member, what is your take on the purchase of the iMIS programming? Wasn't it to make the NAWCC more Technological efficient? Is not all of the items that are on sale at the NAWCC listed in the iMIS system? Wouldn't it be even more eficient if the iMIS programming was used for all sales? Was these MONIES well spent?

    I am really confused at how your remarks will further the Technological Advancement of the NAWCC.
     
  8. kirxklox

    kirxklox Registered User
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    Steven: It would even be more EFFICIENT if we would fire the OVERPAID BODs and hire iMIS to take their place.
     
  9. syeht

    syeht Registered User

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    To add to what Steven Mercer said. If they don't list it how would you know they have it? A simple list takes hardly anytime or web space. ( I have my own web pages and sell items, so I know.) Look at the museums simple list.Also I found the book at American Clock and Watch Museum through Google. otherwise the NAWCC site showed it as out of print. Only found it at two other sites, for three to four times the price. I'm in Wisconsin so checking out the sales cart is not an option. It's almost like the NAWCC regulars are offended by this list request.
     
  10. kirxklox

    kirxklox Registered User
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    We should Hire HAL to help take care of the ineffeciencies!
     
  11. Steven Mercer

    Steven Mercer Registered User
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    Sam

    HAL would get overworked and be under appreciated.

    iMIS will never be used to its full potential.

    BoD members will still point out the error's of members suggestions and keep on doing what their experiences tell them is best for them to do.
     
  12. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I think you may have misunderstood what Fortunat said.

    The Museum Store Staff cannot sell the items that are on the library cart. It is only available locally and is not tracked as goods. The Museum Store Staff can answer questions about items that are in their inventory. They also manage the front desk of the museum and take care of other tasks.

    The librarians are very busy and do not have time to answer inquiries about possible items on the cart, nor do they have time to list them. They are busy serving members with research requests and preparing the archive information for on-line access.

    A request to have the cart items listed in some way might possibly be handled by a volunteer. The person would need to be able to create a list on the web site. Someone would need to design the page. There would need to be a process for updating the list pretty regularly.

    Most of the current library volunteers are there to work on the collections but we might find someone who would like to do some retail clerk work. I suppose one of the ladies that volunteer to do routine clerical work for the library might be taught how to do this new job.

    What sort of person should we try to recruit?

    Fortunat's concerns still apply. There would likely be about $10 in sales per week. It might be hard to convince a volunteer that the job was worth their time.

    I thought I had made it clear in my first response that the two museums were very different in their operations. What is practical for one is not necessarily practical for the other.
     
  13. Steven Mercer

    Steven Mercer Registered User
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    Tom

    Just like you and other members of the BoD to say one thing and when a member calls attention to it, you try to back out of what you stated.

    I quote from your first post:

    Then Fortunat added, and I quote:

    and

    Now you are stating:

    and



    So my questions to both you and Fortunat:

    1. If the book store has lots of items for sale and you said to call them if we were looking for older material from the NAWCC. Are they going to look through the items in the sale cart?

    2. If the sale cart is not part of the NAWCC bookstore, and only available locally, why did Fortunat even bother to mention that these items are available?

    3. Fortunat pointed out that the staff has to go through and move the items to the sales cart once the library staff has determined that they are of no use. Since they are already going through the items and handling them to move them to the sales cart, what is a couple of more minutes to list the items?

    4. I understand the librarians are busy. I thought their jobs included helping members. Why would this help not include answering questions about the sales cart?

    By the way, don't bother trying to answer to the above questions. I get tired of going around in circles with all the misdirection you give in your explanations.
     
  14. Markus Harris

    Markus Harris Registered User

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    #14 Markus Harris, Jul 20, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
    Steven,

    Maybe I can answer your questions.

    No. The book store will search through its inventory and report what is presently in stock in the store. The store stocks "new" books, including older copies of unsold NAWCC books and supplements (and sometimes a small number of back-issues of the Bulletin, etc.).

    If you have any questions about whether or not the store currently has a particular title in stock, simply call them and ask. They will be glad to assist you.

    The cart to which Fortunat referred is, to my understanding, a temporary holding cart, in the LIBRARY (NOT the store), the function of which is to separate used or retired library materials from the current library stacks, as a part of the retirement process.

    The store has no list of this material, as it's not part of the store inventory.

    Standard practice with retired library materials is to pull it from the library catalog and store it until there is enough such material to make up an auction lot. At that time, the entire lot is re-cataloged, the worst of the lot is trashed, and the rest is listed as part of a silent auction of decommissioned library materials. We just had one a few months ago.

    The items on the cart consist mostly of old magazines and the like. If someone comes in to the library and asks to look through the cart, they are certainly welcome to do so. If they see something on the cart and wish to purchase it before it goes either to auction or the trash, that is usually allowed at a modest price. So, yes-- one can pick up some real steals on used horological magazines and printed materials if one is able to visit the library and is willing to sift through the cart by hand.

    I suppose to make it known that the NAWCC makes used and decommissioned horological material and ephemera from its library collection available to the members, as an additional service. Which it does, either by allowing visiting members to personally hand sift through the cart in "bargain hunter" fashion, or (in the case of books) via our regular silent auction process.

    In the above quote, "the staff" and "the library staff" are the same two people-- our head librarian and assistant librarian, and whatever volunteers are in the library that day. The materials in question aren't "moved" anywhere-- the cart is in the library. The library staff simply refiles the material by placing it on the cart.

    When there is enough such material to warrant it, all such retired items are formerly cataloged for sale by auction, as mentioned above. Until then, it's considered inefficient to pull the library staff or volunteers off their other duties assisting research and running the rest of the library to spend the twenty-thirty minutes or so it would take each time to pull the newest titles, list them by catalog name and number, note and list the condition, and convert that information to be sent upstairs for inclusion on a dedicated webpage. Keep in mind, in most cases, we're talking about used magazines.

    The process will happen-- just not until there is enough material to warrant it, at which time it will be done all at once.

    Also, sometimes there is material on the cart that defies easy classification-- old newspaper clippings, etc. It's best either to wait and do a complete classification of the material when time allows, or else work with those who personally go through the cart on an item-by-item basis.

    Again, these are used materials. The store has nothing to do with them. Also, the funds raised by their sale go directly into the library coffers, NOT the commercial store earnings. It has to be that way. We can't sell used materials, some of which may have been rescued or donated back in the day, for a commercial profit.

    It does. If you are looking for a particular item, for instance, and have reason to suspect it might be on the cart, contact the library and simply ask. I have no doubt they would be happy to take a look and let you know.

    It seems obvious, however, that unless one is looking for a particular item, that calling the library and asking to know exactly what's on the cart at a given time is simply not going to work. The cart is a temporary storage place before the material is correctly cataloged. It makes zero sense to catalog it BEFORE putting it on a cart where it will be "wait to be cataloged."

    That's what the cart is FOR. It's a temporary holding zone, made of mostly of magazines and the like. Also, depending upon other current action in the library, items may be placed on the cart temporarily, pending a return to the stacks if another, better copy cannot be located. Etc.

    That's basically it, regarding the cart.

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers,

    Markus
     
  15. Steven Mercer

    Steven Mercer Registered User
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    I thank you for your explanation.
     
  16. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Thank you Markus for taking the time for expanding on the 'Library Sales Cart'.

    You are right that it is temporary and transient storage place for discarded library items, with a constantly changing, uncataloged and unlisted, undocumented 'inventory'.

    However it is not quite correct to describe the content as 'waiting to be catalogued for disposal by silent auction'.

    The Cart is for really cheap stuff (mostly priced at 25cents to about 3 or 4 dollars an item, occasionally there is something for 5 dollars. ) Much of it is recent individual odd copies of magazines, supplier catalogs, etc. . Pieces at that price point are NOT disposed of in the silent auction because it would be waste of money to spend staff (or even volunteer hours) to catalog, list in the MArt, keep track of bids, package and ship such cheap stuff. The silent auction is reserved for higher valued items.

    There was a conscious decision by the library committee that surplus donated items and surplus material from the collections that are above that price level should NOT be disposed of locally (i.e on the library sales cart) because that would be favoring one geographic class of members.

    The books waiting to be catalogued for the silent auction are held on a separate storage shelf in the library storage area and ARE NOT FOR SALE LOCALLY.


    Contrary to what may appear to be haphazard policies, these processes have been thought through in an effort to squeeze a much benefits as possible (both for the members and for our philantropic cause) from both the SEVERLY restricted staff and volunteer hours that we have available. Workers time is our most precious resource as we strive to fullfill our mission. The library alone could easily keep a professional staff of four and a handfull of full time volunteers busy in fullfillent of our mission.

    (Just as an aside the library on average catalogues 5 additional horological books every single working day, which means they must be ordered, paid, studied, put into bookjackets, classified, entered into the computer, labeled and sheleved. (A significantly larger average number of issues of horological magazines, auction catalogs, trade catalogs, technical manuals, documents and ephemera items not in the book catalog also gets processed continuously). In other words, the library in Columbia is growing by several thousand items every year, making it an ever more valuable research tool that has no peers anwhere in the world.
     

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