Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hold On Tight, Here Come Holds, Part I

Go Live 2Since the ILS Go Live date has been postponed, it gives us an opportunity to gradually introduce the new procedures to you (rather than bombard you with all these things within a 3 hour time frame). So, starting today, I will begin creating frequent posts regarding one single aspect about the new ILS.

So, what should we start with? Well, since every conversation about the new ILS inevitably focuses on holds, we'll start with that.

First, it is important to know that we are already doing holds in some aspect, so this post will focus on our current service to customers and how that will be "translated" to the new system.

If a customer wants a book that is checked in, we currently check the shelf and route the item to another location or to our own circulation desk. We will put a slip of paper in the book with the customer's last name and first initial. That book is then held for the customer.

We will still provide that same exact service. However, we have to tweak the procedures just a bit because the new system does not allow you to move an item unless it is tied to a customer account.

And we certainly do not want to start asking for customer's library card numbers when we currently do not have to. Customers would inevitably ask "Well, I never had to provide my card number before, why do I have to now?"

So to address that issue, numerous branch hold accounts have been created specifically for these type of holds. If you are at the Central library and customer wants to hold a book that is currently on the shelf, you would hold that book for the account CENHOLD. If you are holding a book at Whitehaven, you would hold that book for the account WHIHOLD. You would then type the customer's last name and first initial in the comments section.

For more information on this procedure, look at Placing/Trapping Holds or Routing Items Available at Your Location with a Customer.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please let me know (email, phone, comments, wiki discussion page, etc.). All questions and answers will end up on the Holds Discussion page.


Anonymous said...

I just read your first post on the new ILS hold procedure.
"In the User ID text box, enter the generic Hold User account of the location that the customer will pickup the item."

This statement is not clear to me.
Do you mean, "... Hold User account of the location that (will be used by) the customer (to) pickup..."

In other words, is the pickup location placed in the User ID Hold box AND the pickup at? one and the same?

Kevin Dixon said...

Yes, you are correct. Originally, the plan involved the creation of just one generic hold account. However, it was deemed necessary to create a hold account for each agency.

Therefore, you should put the item on hold for the generic hold account of the agency that the customer will use to pick up the item.

This will help out in those situations where someone arrives to pick up their books, but they do not know the titles of the books. Staff can view the items on hold for their location and quickly ascertain the titles of the items. This is not possible with only one generic hold account for the entire system.