Raymond Balter, the new staff person at SERC, attended the meeting as a guest. Raymond will be attending at least one meeting of all the functional groups as part of his training.
The group opened the meeting by discussing PALCI and the new procedures that were implemented. The new procedures are clear and precise and are a great help to the group. They cover many of the problem situations that were arising in the past.
The PALCI statistics page was completed and will cover February to August of this year for each library. The page is located on the Alex t-drive in the Rutgers Delivery Service (RDS) FG folder. RDS members will update their folder at the beginning of each new month. A problem with the formula for the incoming statistics page was discussed and will be rectified by the next meeting. These statistics will give us an idea of the number of items we are dealing with and the amount of time it takes to pull and process these items as we try to incorporate PALCI into our workflow.
The group had several questions about PALCI. The first one dealt with provisional requests. Judy Gardner had sent out an email to select libraries the week before containing provisional requests that dated back to February. These requests had been overlooked in the past and had to be processed. Since these were the first provisional requests that the group had encountered, questions arose as to how the requests would be received and who they would come from in the future. After consultation with ILS, it was discovered that starting this week, ILS will be placing holds, using the PALCI Patron 2 user, on all the provisional requests that they receive. Placing the hold will make the request show up on our libraries pull report, allowing us to process the provisional request as a normal PALCI request. This will greatly speed up the process and make sure that PALCI requests are not overlooked.
The next question concerned incoming PALCI items that are "in-library use only". Douglass library received a PALCI item that had a note on the band stating that the item was for in- library use only. This situation is not covered in the PALCI procedures so after consultation with the ILS office, it was decided to process the item just as you would process an "in library use only" ILS item. Multiple holds were placed on the item, "in-library use only" was written on the band, and the item is held on the Hold shelf for 28 days for viewing by the patron. The group discussed processing the item in this manner and agreed that this process would work for PALCI items. After consultation with Judy, these procedures are now in effect for the group. Judy will be attending a PALCI meeting this week and will bring this up to the other PALCI members to determine if this is the standard way to deal with these situations.
The group has been using the standard format for Stacks Check emails for several weeks and no problems have been reported. Using the standard format ensures that all the relevant information is in the email and that the proper collections are being searched. The form will be discussed at other functional groups and the Access Services group this month for possible NBL wide use.
A new daily report has been distributed to the RDS contacts with PALCI and ILS items that should be pulled from the Hold Shelf after 28 days. This report will speed up removing PALCI/ILS items from the Hold Shelf as we no longer have to check each item daily to remove the old ones. Several libraries reported having items on the list that were listed as "available" but not on their Hold Shelf. The group discussed different ways of dealing with these items. After discussion, it was agreed that RDS staff will remove the holds on PALCI/ILS items on the report but not on their shelves and forward a list of these items to Brian Beyer at ILS/Alex for further investigation. This will allow us to clear up these problem items on our reports and also let the ILS know about items that have not been cleared up. After consultation with Judy, this was approved.
A spirited discussion was held concerning RU user's placing unlimited requests in the new user initiated holds system. Several libraries have found themselves hit with hundreds of requests for books and articles from just a couple of patrons. After some investigation, it was found that several users have over 300 outstanding requests. These requests were swamping the system and not allowing RDS staff to get to the other patron's requests. With the policy as it is now (a patron can place an unlimited amount of requests) and patrons becoming better educated on RDS policy, this may become a bigger problem. Further discussion will be held on this issue with the appropriate parties. In the meantime, all group members are advised to let Farideh Tehrani know if they encounter any single user placing a large amount of requests. This will allow Farideh time to discuss options with the user.
Several members of the group volunteered to take a look at the material that is on the Rutgers Delivery Service (RDS) FG folder on the Alex t-drive. With the implementation of User initiated holds and E-ZBorrow from PALCI, much of this material is now outdated. Nita, Stacy, and Kristen will review this material for outdated content which will allow us to update our policies and procedures. After this is done, the material can be loaded to our NBL page. Thanks to Nita, Stacy and Kristen for working on this.
All group members are reminded to only place books with holds in boxes that are labeled "RDS". These books are unpacked by RDS staff and processing books that are not for holds but are going back into the collection takes RDS staff away from their work.
Next Meeting - DATE, TIME, AND PLACE TO BE ANNOUNCED