Main Circ Task List Review 7/27

Lots of great ideas – thanks!
Morgan will post meeting notes soon. Stay tuned for another meeting invite – but let’s keep the conversation going on the blog.

Here is a summary of some proposed changes.
Checklist updates to follow.
Eliminate date due slips (including thesis slips and the sweep of reserved carrels)
Automate morning paging slip notices
Switch some daily/morning tasks to evening
Switch some daily tasks to weekly
Shift some ILL/NExpress incoming and outgoing cart workflow to ILL staff
Eliminate or reduce paging of local Midd requests (students, staff, faculty on campus retrieve their own open stack materials – a much appreciated service but one we may not be able to provide with current staffing reductions)
Eliminate physical new books display; shift new books “presence” to web; streamline processing for carts from CM and P&P; investigate automated status changes
Opening priority: computers, paging slips, equipment bookings, film screening media

Daily tasks to review next…
Hold shelf/pick-up
Returns processing/hold areas/carts
Equipment – bookings and follow-up; overdues, check-in, re-imaging
Courier bins etc.
Student employee management – hiring, training, scheduling etc.
Info desk support – reserve rooms; guest pw, quick ref, ref referrals. misc facility issues, troubleshooting copy/print, Public Safety
Collections – shelf reading, shelving browsing collections
Circ supplies, forms etc.
Other checklists and routine tasks – weekly, monthly, annually etc.
Cash/credit processing
Schedule opening shifts and Main Circ coverage for fall semester
Review Arm and Mus checklists – what can be adjusted to alleviate the load at Main?

14 Responses

  1. New books status: Millennium only allows the “recently returned” status to change after a given amount of time. All other statuses must be changed manually.

  2. One thought I have for streamlining triage and perhaps shifting some responsibilities off Circ is perhaps to increase our referrals on printing & copying questions to Helpdesk. During hours they’re closed obviously we should respond. For example, if someone comes to Circ with a printer jam or needing a replacement for the ink in the color printer, I tend to deal with that myself rather than referring them to Helpdesk, just because I know how to troubleshoot those things. But that’s also using staff time (me) to do something we train students (at Helpdesk) to do. At the same time, we all know we don’t want to play ping-pong and shuttle our users around from desk to desk. So I feel like there will be pros and cons if we start referring users to Helpdesk for issues we can deal with ourselves. Other thoughts?

  3. Thanks, Steve.
    This is a good topic for review with the Helpdesk group. Other thoughts on streamlining the workflow between service points for troubleshooting things like printers, copiers, loaner equipment requests?

  4. Update on this item: Shift some ILL/NExpress incoming and outgoing cart workflow to ILL staff?

    ILL staff are currently delivering shelf ready carts to Circ and also shelving ILL and NExpress arrivals on the Holdshelf.

    ILL staff are picking up ILL and NExpress returns from the Circ returns area and double scanning and processing for return to the lending libraries.

    Thanks!

  5. A few more thoughts on this item:
    Eliminate or reduce paging of local Midd requests (students, staff, faculty on campus retrieve their own open stack materials – a much appreciated service but one we may not be able to provide with current staffing reductions)

    As much as I love being able to offer this service, ensuring that Midd materials are as easy to request as off-campus ILL and NExpress, I realize that it is time to review this service as we set priorities.
    We were able to implement this service without additional staff hours, but in light of reduced staff hours, we may need to look at this service more closely.
    Is it a luxury to provide a service that on-campus users can do themselves – unlike off campus users?
    Does the unpredictability of requests or peak times of requests make it difficult to offer this service in light of reducing/shifting staff?
    How do user expectations for immediate/instant retrieval and delivery factor in?
    How can we justify the staff mediation required?
    Stats from past year? Total paged requests: 8404
    Reduce paper usage? Paging slips generate a lot of paper

    Reduce or eliminate?
    Set limits?
    Retrieve only for faculty?
    Retrieve only items kept behind the Circ Desk and in “off-site” locations – like the VHS shelved in P&P? Retrieve only for pick-up at home location of item?
    Eliminate/reduce bin delivery between branches?

    Other thoughts?
    Pros and cons?

  6. With regards to paging…

    The reason I originally proposed limiting it is that we basically HAVE to have the ability to page availabel items during the summer for BL. The system will not allow us to custom taylor options down that far – i.e. we cannot say BL ptypes CAN borrow available status but everyone else cannot. However, we CAN put limits (even if the limit is 0) based on ptype.

    That being said, the limit is on holds, not requests. So we would have to, for example, put a limit of 5 holds for students. This would mean that they can request 5 things that are currently checked out, or 2 things that are currently checked out and 3 things that are available. It could get messy.

    OR, we could only do retrieval of available items during the summer.

    I do not think that we should be comparing the services of local items vs. ILL and NExpress; they are two are two different things and I do not think the students view them as being the same. I could be wrong about that.

    It is definitely a luxury.

  7. Update on some proposed changes.

    Eliminate date due slips (including thesis slips and the sweep of reserved carrels) – we should implement this immediately and update documentation/procedures

    Automate morning paging slip notices – pending system capability/discussion

    Switch some daily/morning tasks to evening – ongoing

    Switch some daily tasks to weekly – ongoing

    Shift some ILL/NExpress incoming and outgoing cart workflow to ILL staff – this change has been implemented – thanks!

    Eliminate or reduce paging of local Midd requests (students, staff, faculty on campus retrieve their own open stack materials – a much appreciated service but one we may not be able to provide with current staffing reductions) – we have approval to reduce/eliminate this service in light of reduced staffing situation – will need to figure out details of when/how, system settings, communication etc.

    Eliminate physical new books display; shift new books “presence” to web; streamline processing for carts from CM and P&P; investigate automated status changes – ongoing, need discussion with CM area

    Film Screening support – need to discuss status of web form

    Let’s consider how we can centralize some of our tasks. What are we doing at all branches that can be done by one person within the Circ group?

    Hold shelf/pick-up
    Returns processing/hold areas/carts
    Equipment – bookings and follow-up; overdues, check-in, re-imaging
    Courier bins etc.
    Student employee management – hiring, training, scheduling etc.
    Info desk support – reserve rooms; guest pw, quick ref, ref referrals. misc facility issues, troubleshooting copy/print, Public Safety
    Collections – shelf reading, shelving browsing collections
    Circ supplies, forms etc.
    Other checklists and routine tasks – week, month, semster, intersession, annual etc.
    Cash/credit processing
    Copy cards

    Your thoughts?

  8. The blog won’t seem to let me comment, so I will try this “reply” button…

    System will not allow us to automate the paging slips.

    From your list of things under centralize, I believe the following need to remain at the branches, logically:
    Hold shelf
    Equipment
    Student hiring, training

    Copy cards should revert to Gail Smith.

  9. Thanks for your comments, Dan. (maybe the wordpress upgrade…)

    I agree that copy cards should revert back to the college dept responsible for copy cards – consistently across all branches

    Paging Slips – maybe we review frequency of generating them if automating the process is not possible?

    In light of staffing changes, centralizing may be necessary for student employee management.

    Cash at the Circ Desks – deposits, record keeping functions etc. could also be centralized.

    Hold Shelf – daily management at branches with some centralized oversight/coordination may make sense

    A review of the monthly checklist may identify other tasks that can be redistributed.

    Eguipment is currently coordinated at Main to ensure availability and inventory at all branches, with support from staff across circ areas

    Staffing changes will necessitate that we think even more broadly about the Circ desks as “one desk” where we distribute schedules and tasks/responsibilites to meet the borrowing needs and patterns of our user community.

    Other things that we are doing/duplicating at the desks that can be coordinated by one person?

    Let’s keep the discussion rolling – thanks for your comments.

  10. Armstrong is moving more Ill tasks to the evenings, so that library staff are freed up some during the days. Historically, evenings are quieter as students settle in to study and demand less of circ staff. Secondly we already have two students on the clock and we wouldn’t need to change any shcedules.

  11. I think it is important to keep in mind that shifting work to other areas (that are also losing staff and experiencing overloads) won’t streamline our operations. My opinion is that the more cross training for first level tech support, such as fixing paper jams, password issues, etc., the better service we will provide to the community. The Helpdesk cannot take care of their customers well if they are regarded as the only place in LIS that technology related issues should be handled.

  12. Mary – makes sense to me. It was just a thought I had 😉

    From an idea by Maura, Elin and I have decided to transfer the pulling, inspecting, and labelling of film screenings movies to the night shift task list. So instead of screenings movies being pulled the morning of the screening, they’ll be pulled the night before – likely after 11pm.

  13. Update on Cash at the Circ Desks – deposits, record keeping functions etc. could also be centralized.

    Nancy will be assuming responsibility for coordinating the cash/credit stuff at all branches. Thanks, Nancy!

Leave a Reply