All staff should keep an eye out for WorkFlows commands that allow a search by the "Item ID" field. That field has since been renamed "Item Barcode." This can be changed in the properties of whichever command causes the glitch; right click on the toolbar button to pull up the "properties" option.
Great news for RRS staff: the REMOVE ITEM HOLD command has been fixed in this version of WorkFlows. We should be able to use it when taking items off the hold shelf that were not picked up within the 2-week hold period. This should be particularly helpful on January 30th, when all of the winter break holds will be removed. One glitch occurred during testing, but this was due to an error in a patron record; if any staff experience any unusual errors while using this command, please contact
Bill and/or the Systems department as soon as possible.
A SIRSI consultant will be coming to Rutgers in February to discuss many proposed updates and improvements, including user initiated holds. Bill and possibly other staff will be included in these meetings, and will bring all of our comments and observations to date to the meeting.
The proposed date for the start of scanning by RRS staff is January 22nd. However, training and preparation may require us to push this date back. It was noted that we can switch back to photocopying at any point due to technical problems or work overflow.
At the last Access Services meeting, we received approval to update our replies, in light of the fact that patrons now receive many of our message by email. The group was particularly supportive of Nita's suggestion for an updated reply that refers to the $3.00 photocopying charge. Stacy will update our macros and inform the group of how and when this update will be available.
As noted at the December meeting, one of our goals for January and February of this year is to collect, update, and distribute our RRS documentation. To date, our documentation includes:
Bill is planning to spend time this month collecting all of these documents, updating them based on feedback from the past two year's meetings, and converting them to HTML. These documents will be posted and/or distributed before the next meeting so that they can be discussed during the month of February.
On January 7th, an email was sent to the Rutgers Libraries staff mailing list, emphasizing the recent changes in the policy memos relating to the Request Service. This prompted a review of our policies relating to the lending of non-circulating items:
Reference book are to be sent, without exception, for three-day in-house use between the three major geographic campuses (New Brunswick/Piscataway, Newark, and Camden.) Some locations have had a policy of consulting with Reference staff before sending, and/or of letting those staff decide on an appropriate borrowing period (three days up to two weeks.) We will now send these items without exception, and always with a three-day in-house use date. Please note that we do have some discretion in allowing for travel time (that is, adding a day or two to the loan period written on the in-house use band.)
No reference books should be sent to the Law Libraries; instead, patrons should request these items to be sent to Camden or Dana as appropriate.
No non-circulating items should ever be sent to an Off-Campus site.
Special Collections requests will always be at the discretion of SPCOL staff. It should be noted, if patrons ask, that they rarely allow items to be sent from their collections.
Although not mentioned in the email, our page limit policy is still a part of our official RRS policies. For requests that total more than 30 pages, we may send the bound volume, as appropriate. We may continue to use discretion for requests that are slightly beyond the 30- page limit, or in special circumstances.
Bill brought up a concern expressed by Ann Snowman: are patrons going to be informed that non-circulating items will only be held for three day, in-house use? The standard email response for available book holds only mentions the 14-day hold limit, no matter the item type. The group discussed this and suggested that a phrase along these lines be added to the standard response: "except for reference books or non-circulating items, which may only be held for three days." We will propose this for discussion at the next Access Services meeting.
Recently Bill met with Jan at the Media center to compare experiences between RRS and the bookings service. The bookings service allows patrons (except guests and undergrads) to reserve media center items for specific dates. The requests are placed via a web form which is slightly different from the RRS form; in particular, it requires patrons to enter all of the information about the requested items. Another major difference between RRS and bookings is that RRS items are shipped as quickly as possible, whereas Media items are requested, and shipped, on specific dates specified by the patrons. There is also no overlap between the items we handle: RRS never handles Media items, and the bookings form can only be used to reserve Media items.
At a previous Access Services meeting, it was suggested that a button similar to the "request this item" button could be incorporated into IRIS records for media items, allowing patrons to book them directly from the item record. After comparing notes with Jan, we decided that this feature might cause confusion between our two services. Because our services have such different purposes and timeframes, we decided that it would be best not to add this sort of button to IRIS, and to keep our service distinct. This is also the concensus of the functional group.
Stacy described a new procedure at the Alexander library circulation desk: any items received from patrons or in the mail that come up "Item not charged" are now being placed in a bin. At the end of each day Stacy checks these to see if they have any lingering holds or other problems. This should hopefully catch many hold-related problems normally only caught during "cleanup;" other locations may also wish to try this procedure, or at least double-check on any incoming items with no charges. Alex staff often find items with holds but no checkouts.
Nita suggested that we consider removing the "RRS-user" patron records. In the past, these were used to put items in transit to the pickup location. We now use the "Check item status" command to put items with holds in-transit. The group discussed this and noted that there are still some books that are charged to these patrons. We will continue to work on "cleanup" of these records and hope to eventually remove them from the system. This topic will be discussed further in March and April, when we plan to focus on reports and record cleanup relating to RRS.
During open discussion, it was suggested that we push for more WorkFlows reports training.
Next Meeting - Tuesday, February 12th, 2002, at the SMLR Library, at 2:00pm.