Friday, November 30, 2007

When Customers Want Many Copies of the Same Book...

Very soon after Go Live (June 14), I added a page to the WorkFlows wiki that explains the hold process when you need multiple copies of the same item.

Example, you have a Book Club that needs 15 copies of a certain book. MPLIC does have 15 copies but they are scattered throughout the system. Before, we would call each location that has a copy and ask them to send it to us. Or we would send an email to all locations asking them to check their shelves and send any available copies.

This wiki page linked to above explains the process you can go through to avoid those unnecessary steps. Basically, you place multiple title-level holds on the same item.

However, what do we do when a customer requests us to place multiple titles on hold? Technically we can follow the same steps; however, I understand that some agencies are not doing this because of time constraints. Has this come up with you? What do you think about placing multiple holds on the same title for customers? We want to avoid inconsistent service ("Well 'such-and-such' branch did this for me!").


CresceNet said...
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Laura Salehi said...

Sometimes customers ask if we will hold several copies of the same title for them, if we have that number of copies available. I tell them, "Yes, we will if that number of people will be checking out or reading the books."

I just wouldn't want to send a bunch of copies of a book to another library location if they weren't being used since it would cause wasted time and effort for all of the staff involved in the process, while possibly causing customers at the location sending the books to not have access to them at the time of their request.