How is it going? Are you lending or not lending?
-- Inter-library loan MHLS: system-wide holds are open. Libraries are starting to use SEAL.
-- Update from Kelsey: a good amount of libraries are active again in SEAL. There are some academic and public libraries that are not lending materials at this time. Numbers / fill rates are lower than they normally would be, but there is still a fair amount of traffic. It reinforces that there is still definitely a need for physical items.
-- One academic library noted that their library isn’t lending any physical materials yet -- they are borrowing, but traffic is low.
Quarantine: how long are you quaranting libraries?
-- There are some space concerns with quarantine. One library is quarantining in boxes to save space. RCLS guidelines suggest six days of quarantine, but the library is doing 7 to be on the safe side.
-- One way to keep track of how long items have been in transit is to put a date on the outside label. This can help determine how long an item needs to be quarantined.
-- One library: quarantining for 3 days into labeled areas. After 3 days they get checked back in.
Do you feel like the new workflows are starting to become rutine?
-- There are some challenges getting ILS & ILL systems to behave. Some systems have a mind of their own -- for example, a book might be returned on time, but since it needs to be quarantined it might appear overdue.
-- There might be a way to re-program ILLiad templates to change the way automated messages work for the time being.
Borrowing - have you experienced negative patron reactions to changes?
-- With all the quarantining, materials can take longer to arrive.
-- Sometimes by the time an item is arrived, the due date is coming up.
-- Most lenders are being very flexible about due dates and materials.
-- A lot of lenders at the SIG say they are pretty much always willing to give renewals!
-- Some people are sharing thank you notes with the ILL team -- it’s nice to hear how grateful people are when receiving ILL items.
Circulation in general is down -- even with curbside. Is this across the board?
-- There were a lot of requests for materials when curbside first started. Recently it has become somewhat stable, though circulation is a little less than normal.
-- One library is doing curbside 6 days a week. 10 patrons can come in the library at one time on days / times when the library is less busy with curbside.
-- Bills are starting to roll in for overdue items, particularly for items that have been out since February. Circulation is going well; however, digital circulation is a lot higher. There are a lot of people signing up for new library cards so they can access digital materials.
-- One academic library noted that they are open normal hours with 50% staff capacity. There is no limit on how many students can be in the building.
-- There can be some challenges in getting people to wear masks (or to wear them correctly).
-- Social distancing can also be a challenge in the library; students want to study together and be close.
How is it dealing with patrons in person?
--It can help to be a broken record-- “meatball story”.”I’m sorry, I understand your concerns, but New York state requires people to wear masks”. If you say it over and over again, the patron sees that the rule is inflexible.
-- Most people who aren’t following mask rules know what they’re doing is wrong. Some will put on masks and remove them later.
-- One college requires appointments, but they do take walk-ins. THe upstairs stack has been closed off to prevent people from going up there. They have been creating short tutorial videos on library services. They have also been going into classes and giving a demonstration of library services and how things could be requested.
-- It’s going to be a challenging time when students go home after Thanksgiving. It will be hard to make sure they have access to everything they need for their classes. At the higher ed level, having students in dorms is also a little challenging because of social distancing rules. .
-- One public library noted that they have their study rooms locked and chairs cordoned off. There is no place for people to sit or congregate. Some of the parents and the tutors are beginning to complain that they don’t have space to work. However, cases are starting to rise again so we really need to be cautious.
-- It’s very hard to be in charge of policing visitors.
-- One college noted that a lot of students on campus are wearing masks and following guidelines. Oneonta was a big example of what can happen if college students don’t abide by rules set in place. One college instituted random regular testing.
Post-Thanksgiving -- how are you handling still providing access to students?
-- This really hasn’t addressed very much. Students won’t be able to pick up ILLS anymore. \
-- Everyone has just been shooting from the hip - hasn’t really been thought thought. .
-- Some colleges are strongly hinting to their students not to travel during Thanksgiving.
-- Recent conversations have focused on what the spring is going to look like. There is a strong change that it will look the same way as it does now.
-- However, there really is no way of knowing what is going to happen, even in New York where the virus has stabilized a bit.
-- It’s very easy to be lulled into a new routine, but it can all change rapidly -- the situation is very fluid.
Loan dates have been extended for ILL and circ. At what point do you have to cut your losses and invoice someone?
-- One recommendation: at this point, if someone is still using the item, just let it be. Send them a reminder that hte item is due and ask if they can please return it.
-- There is so much stress right now that it’s easier to let people continue use. If someone else needs it and the patron won’t return it, that could be the time to invoice for an item.
-- On the public side, bills are automatically produced by Sierra. It will freeze the account if they aren’t paid.
-- One library has been adding a note to bills saying if they reach out to the library they can get a renewal.
-- Is there way to automatically renew items for a time period so bills aren’t generated?
-- Automatic renewals ended on September 30th for MHLS -- it is a system-wide plan. That is why the auto-generating of bills began.
-- Communication seems to be the big key to resolving questions of overdue / missing items.
Did anyone see the SLVRR presentation?
-- A group in the mid-west who is looking into sharing streaming videos.
-- This group pressured publishers to allow for sharing videos.
-- Used kanopy and swank digital campus.
-- A lot of the vendors used free / enhanced access during Covid as a commercial for their services.
Next SIG: December 9, 11-12. Holiday themed!