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Today, working the Saturday reference shift, I did an experiment. I had a not-extensively trained student worker help process books. That being said, I was right next to the reference student that was going to do the work, so I didn't think I'd be taking that much of a leap.

The proof is in the processing
With a few quick introductory instructions, and two samples, I set the student to assembly line processing a truck of hardcover books. One-side did not have slip covers, the other side did.

The results:
Stamping property stamps via assembly line method seems faster. It probably is faster, with a few slightly smudged results. (No difference in the quality from the normal students.)

The student missed my instruction to do just the non-slip cover side first, then see me for more instructions. So I have about 7 spine labels taped on slip covers that will be covered up with mylar cover protectors. Not a big loss of either time or materials.

A few of the spine labels are listing slightly to port or starboard. I admit, this REALLY bugs me. But I think it is that culture of perfect thing getting in the way. Are the legible, yes. Can they be shelved properly like that, yes. Will the world end if I don't spend several minutes repositioning (possibly reprinting) those spine labels, no. *breathes deeply and moves on*

Even fewer spine labels have little folds in the tape covering them. See the above questions and answers. FWIW this doesn't bother the perfectionist in me quite so much as the listing labels did.

I did have to reposition 3 spine labels that had call numbers that couldn't be read from the skinny spines they were placed on. Not bad for a student's first time out.

1 label needs to be printed again, the person who printed it the first time didn't notice the date was half-cut off. Not the student's fault.

The only heart-stopping (OK I'm exaggerating) real problem, the student herself pointed out to me. She queried why there was no order card or paperwork for a volume one of a two volume set. I found volume one labels had been put on volume two, but volume two's spine label had disappeared. Given that the labels for v.1 were already stuck on v.2, this requires new labels be printed anyway. So the disappearance of the spine label doesn't really add additional time to fixing the problem. Also, mixing up volume labels is a very common mistake for students on their first attempt at processing books.

The only things remaining to be done to the books are to add the security measure (Didn't want to advertise where we put these things to the general public) and mylar covers for the slip covers.

So with minimal training, a reference student helped process a truck of hardcover books with only 1 real problem.

Now what do I do with that information?