Minutes of March 27, 2002 meeting

Georgina Alonzo, Peter Anderson, Megan Doyle, Ines Gessner, ShirleyLewis, Barry Lipinski(recorder), Nita Mukherjee, Antoinette Peteet, Jeff Teichmann


1. PowerPoint Training Documentation Discussion:

The group worked hard at coming to a consensus on who we wish to train, how much information should be presented, and what are the best media for conveying the information. Megan emphazised that training and presentation need to go hand in hand, an idea that Shirley enthusiasticly seconded. The group agreed that the target group for the training is all Access Services staff who work the public service desk. Barry suggested that further down the line a systemwide training session/policy- procedures review would be beneficial for billing staff.

Ines questioned whether PowerPoint is the best choice for the training presentation. After much discussion, the group assured her that the work that had already been completed in PowerPoint will be effective with some slides being designated for handouts and website retrieval for individual training but necessarily part of the group presentation. Jeff came up with the idea that toggling back and forth between Test Workflows and PowerPoint might be the best way to go in achieving training and presentation needs. Jeff agreed with Ines that we need to be clear on what we should present to the staff to achieve standardized practice. The group agreed that we want to arrive at a training document/presentation that we can use with a new staff member. Georgina offered that there may be information such as when we place academic holds that should be included in the script. Peter agreed that there are basic issues concerning billing that we should not assume everyone knows.

Barry called for more group members to join with Ines and Antoinette and contribute their expertise with PowerPoint to this project. Jeff (Water Emergency presentation), Georgina (call number presentation for Train the Trainer) and Megan (several PowerPoint training documents for students at Douglass) all have much to offer. Georgina said that the best way to procede with this work would be to get together, project the slides, and actually work on them at the same time. Nita said she would be willing to prepare examples in Test Workflows; Antoinette agreed to also help with this.

In short, this meeting provided the kind of open discussion and plan for action that was much needed. The group demonstrated a lively commitment to their goal. Ines arranged for a special session of the group to convene in two weeks, on April 10, 2002 at 2 pm at LSM to work on the slides. All members were invited to participate.

2. Midyear Report Discussion:

The group opened the meeting with a review of the most significant achievements it has accomplished since July 1, 2001 and the most pressing problems that the group has pending. Group discussion led to the following:

Five most significant achievements made by the Billing Functional Group since July 1, 2001:

1. The word “Recall” now appears in the subject line of all email recall notices, a major improvement over the generic “Library Notice” header that previously displayed. The group persisted in stressing the importance of putting the word “Recall” in the subject line, and was rewarded (rather, our users were rewarded) for our efforts on September 21, 2001, when Chris Sterback, Systems, announced that he had found a way to customize the subject line and went ahead and implemented this improvement in services.

2. The group, along with the Circulation Functional Group, has been at the forefront of the discussion and subsequent action in the Access Services Committee regarding how to address email notification problems. From presenting multiple examples of users experiencing difficulties in getting their email of choice to deliver library notices, Systems and the Head, Access and Interlibrary Loan Services were able to see the need for establishing working contacts with Rutgers University Computing Services to seek improvements.

3. Recommended and advanced by the group, the change to placing academic holds on a cyclical, 3 times a year basis, rather than every day via a 40-day overdue report (current practice, has gained favor in the Access Services Committee. This would relieve billing staff of much time spent placing holds only to quickly remove them. It would also be a service enhancement to the undergraduate population.

4. Three members of the group provided valuable input in an onsite meeting with the Sirsi respresentative on February 6, 2002 devoted to examining the billing module in the new release. Suggestions made by the group members included: 1) reversing the display of transactions in Workflows so that the user’s most recent activity would appear at the top rather than the bottom of the list; 2) tweaking Self Services so that the user could see recalls highlighted or displayed separately; 3) adding to the billing module the actual place (unit) where the fine was paid or waived. The members helped frame a plan for removing old holds and old billed material from the system, asking many questions about how financial obligations would be tracked, how returned books would be detected, etc.

5. The group requested that “Replacement Copy” be added to the pulldown window for the reasons for a bill on at the October 11, 2001 ASC meeting and Systems quickly followed through with the improvement.

Three most pressing problems/projects that the group has pending:

1. A group goal has been to create PowerPoint training documentation which it can then present for training in billing for Access Services staff. Thirty slides are currently under examination by the group. By working through this process, the group has been able to determine that presentation and training need to go hand in hand. At the meeting of March 27, 2002, the group concluded that a mix of media would be most effective. The group is now working on the concept of toggling back and forth between Test Workflows and PowerPoint for the presentation/training session.

2. Implementing the central billing office in New Brunswick Access Services. The group has presented its report and recommendations and is prepared to help advance the plan.

3. Laying out the details (i.e, projecting dates for reports from Systems regarding barred users for placing academic holds) for a new cyclical schedule for placing academic holds. A related piece of this plan is Systems’ work on automatically barring and unbarring users for long overdues and returns.

Next Meeting:

In light of it’s special “working” session with the PowerPoint slides that all members with the exception of Jeff (vacation) and Peter (sick) were able to attend at the LSM Electronic Classroom on April 10, 2002 and faced with the deadline of placing all diploma holds by May 1, 2002, the next meeting of the Billing Functinal Group will be Wednesday, May 22, 2002 at 2pm at Kilmer.

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/billing_group/minutes/billing_group_min_02_03_27.shtml
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