Minutes of March 17, 1999 meeting

We opened the meeting with a call for changes in reserve desk hours, there were none.

We then proceeded to a review of projects already in motion:

We formulated a plan to advertise the new web site devoted to reserve guidelines and the reserve request form.

Final draft of our staff manual should be out soon, I will let you all know its location on T drive(s) and distribute binders at our next gathering.

We explored the future project of reviewing the basic skills for student workers involved in reserve processes. Building upon recent initiatives in the RRS group to identify and curtail bad habits and practices among full time and especially student staff, we decided that it would be in our best interest to develop a primer to go by in training and evaluating student staff who work with reserve material.

To this end, we will as a group review the staff manual and identify key technical and procedural skills that apply to student staff, pull these out, and develop an evaluation document to be used by reserve desk supervisors.

We discussed an initiative that was also brought to my attention by Bill McNelis in the RRS group, the potential for scheduling Netscape Mail classes for functional groups. As a unit, the functional group could benefit tremendously from the “virtual office” technologies that exist; electronically sharing document speeds draft editing and provides a smoother workflow. It was pointed out in our meeting, however, that many people do not have terminals that they alone use, and a privacy issue arises when a PC is configured to access a particular person’s account. Therefore, our group gravitated towards the potential for a class on reading attachments, regardless of the mail system used. This would include those of us that use PINE or MM to read mail. I will explore this possibility and report at our next meeting.

We entered into a discussion of reserve RRS procedures, and after many excellent comments came to the conclusion that the arrangement as decided upon with the RRS coordinator was the best one to avoid double discharges, in transits back to lending unit, and thus the need to change station ID’s. With the coming of workflows this is essential, as changing station ID’s becomes more laborious. Thus, we will continue to look for RRS materials for reserve to be charged to RRS-LIB, with a hold for RESV-LIB. Thanks to Bill McNelis for help on this.

Pete Anderson expressed the concern that his location, SERC, does not have a pick up location (not an RRS pick up site). We concluded (tell me if I am wrong Pete) that material for SERC reserve should be charged to and sent to RRS-LSM with a hold for RESV-SERC. LSM staff will then collect this material and a delivery can be made to SERC. I will clarify this with both RRS coordinator and LSM staff and make sure this procedure is logical and best for everyone.

It was presented to the group that in several cases that we know about faculty members have established a reserve type reading list outside of the library system with personal copies and photocopies at “learning centers” and department offices. There is indication that this was done in at least two cases due to some perception of inadequacy of the libraries, that we could or would not process materials quickly enough. This concerns me greatly. If we are sending the wrong message to faculty regarding our workloads and the need for them to comply with deadlines and limitation, we need to re-examine the language that we use to present reserves services to faculty. I am not suggesting that we need to re-examine our policies per se, but the tone of our fliers, reminders, web sites etc. need to convey that we are glad to offer this service, and it is not the case that they are burdening us with reserve lists. I will seek further guidance and report back to you on this.

Marc Forster brought up several important items: The first was the fact that it very easy for a student reserve worker to comment to a patron that an item is “out on loan” when they cannot find it on the reserve shelf. This leads to items that are misplaced or even lost going unnoticed by staff and unused by patrons. Marc shared with the group his method of pinpointing the status of reserve items by using the F3 button, entering the faculty member’s name, and choosing an item to check the status of. I have a copy of his documentation on this and will add it to the manual.

We also discussed the possibility of creating a “packet”, or asking faculty members to provide one, of all the loose exams, lecture notes, homeworks, bibliographies, or syllabi that they have on reserve for a particular course. The reason for this would be for the students to be able to use these items together. The packet would be in addition to the separate copies of the items it contains, thus providing comparative use. The group felt that this may be difficult to request faculty to provide, and we left this item open for future discussion.

We discussed including a contact from Dana and Robeson libraries for our group, at least for minutes and agenda items. We felt as a group that we were making headway in smoothing reserve operations, and that such benefits such as the staff manual and student staff evaluation documents should be shared. I will pursue this.

The group also expressed interest in having the self services function retain recalled item records for longer than the 28 day purge cycle for the RESV-LIB user. Many recalled items are not being returned within this period and it becomes easy to lose track of these requests.

It was expressed to the group that we need to look at the structure of reserve pages in Webcat. Myriam Alami graciously offered to write up a short piece detailing suggestions for improvement for our next meeting.

Speaking of our next meeting, it is confirmed for Wednesday, April 21st from 2-4 p.m. in the College Avenue Student Center Atrium Meeting Room.


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