Friday, January 26, 2007

Hold On Tight, Here Come Holds, Part III

Go Live 2The two previous posts in the Go Live Series explained how our existing Hold policies will translate to the new system. Now we are ready to move into uncharted territory. The new ILS will allow us to add a service that our customers have been wanting for a long time. Customers will be able to "put their name on a list" for books that are currently checked out.

Now, with our current policies and technology, if we are helping a customer and they request an item that is checked out, we give them the due date and ask them to call back. We put the onus on the customer to take the necessary actions in the future in order to obtain a copy of one of our items. Certainly many customers do not make those efforts and either make due without the book or obtain the book in another manner.

With the new ILS, we can extend our service by telling the customer that we can put them in a hold queue. The customer will then be automatically notified when the book is available. The customer does not have to do anything else except come by and check the item out. Certainly, more of our items will end up in the hands of the customers who want them.

Also, think of the time that will be saved in regards to shelving the item. Currently, we have several books that everybody wants. We spend a lot of staff time moving just-returned books back to the their shelf where it will inevitably be requested to be sent back to the Check Out desk within a day or so. Now, as soon as a heavily requested book is scanned to be checked-in, staff will be notified that the book needs to be sent immediately to the Check Out desk. The book makes one short trip, instead of two or three lengthy trips. Likewise, the book requires the actions of only one staff member, instead of two or three.

For more information, see Placing Hold for Checked Out Items....

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.

No comments: