It’s national library week!
Are there any changes to services / workflows that you would like to see implemented long term?
- Zoom meetings! These have been a great way to connect with people. The screen share in particular is very helpful for hands-on training.
- Virtual meetings also eliminate some challenges people face for in-person meetings. There are no travel times, no need to get leave from your workplace. However, you do miss out on some of the in-person interactions you would otherwise have at a meeting.
- One academic library: This experience has created some changes in terms of workflows. It has cultivated more interactions with faculty on collection development, especially with the need for more e-collections. It has also brought up questions about reference and how to best stay in contact with students. They have also been thinking more about their Youtube channel and the need for online tutorials. It has changed the way we work and some of the changes will be great to continue.
How do you communicate with users when addressing lost book issues?
- SUNY has made the decision to not charge other libraries for lost items. They are going to put it off until the fall and then reconsider what happens next. There are also several ELD hubs that are still shut down, which can explain missing materials. Overall there is a lot of confusion regarding where certain items are.
- Some students have been virtual since the fall. They are making an effort to get their books back, but there can be challenges to that, especially if they don’t have resources for shipping costs.
- Many libraries have been really understanding about returns, and have helping when they can. One student at a local library wanted to return an item, and SUNY Downstate let the student into their library to give it back.
Where are public libraries doing right now?
- Most of the libraries are open in some capacity or another.
- People are able to visit (within certain guidelines). Many libraries are also doing curbsid delivery. .
- Libraries in Chester, Goshen and Middletown are open. People can have 30 minute visits, and they all have dropboxes to return items.
- There will be some potential changes based on the recent change from a 6 foot to a 3 foot rule. It alters the capacity for a space.
Do you see us going back to the library full-time? Or will it be more of a hybrid situation?
- One participant from an academic library noted that this hasn’t been discussed yet. They just received an email that said “all of those who have been virtual can now report”.
- Some people prefer working virtually and they’ve been more productive that way.
- One participant noted that when it happened they were so resistant to working from home. Now they can’t imagine going back to the office. They have been cataloging from the dining room table. There aren’t as many outside disturbances as when you’re in the office.
- There is some work that absolutely needs to be done in the library. How do you support their physical presence? This begs the question of how much time someone needs in the office. One ILL team has been taking turns in the office so they aren’t there at the same time.
- How do you balance contractual obligations with institutional needs?
Are you doing anything to market your services as they come back online?
- SUNY has been migrating into a new system - almo and primo (an ILL component within that system). Have been doing all ILL within SEAL and SUNY.
- One academic library noted they are currently figuring out how to “right-size” the library. ILL was one of the areas that needed to be looked at. Right now they use a flyer and show students how to start their search within Alma. They are trying to keep workflows manageable for students who are new to the system.
- This is something that comes up with SEAL from time to time. There’s a question about how to encourage patrons to use SEAL without them overlooking using the system catalog first.
- Kelsey has been considering making a marketing toolkit in SEAL that would provide materials for libraries to distribute to their patrons as they choose.
How are people dealing with the “mystery box” -- the items that are showing up your libraries from origins unknown?
- ELD has been helpful -- it’s been used to return a lot of the items showing up. Been able to use ELD to return a lot of the items.
- Mystery ILL books - someone finds items in their bookshelf that they return. The first thing to do is try to backtrack -- call up the owning library and see if they have any record of the item. If you have to mail it back, just consider it a neighborly gesture.
- As far as ELD goes -- there is a bit of a learning curve with the new labeling and tracking system. It can take a long time to get a bag ready to go, whereas before you just put the label on the bag.
- One library has been closed -- they haven’t been doing any physical inter-library loan. They have been mostly virtual instead. They are opening in May two days a week. At that point, there will probably be some returned items that need to be investigated.
Anne noted that she has been able to work with different library departments in new ways. Is anyone else having this experience?
- In the past, they did class visits and in-person training.
- These trainings would explain how to navigate through the library website. It was always the same faculty as usual. With a virtual setting, it is easier to do these trainings and work with additional faculty members.
- Have noticed that when you communicate with someone mostly virtually, they’re always excited to meet you in person!
- There has been an opportunity to work more closely with the collection management team. If we can’t get the physical course reserves up and running, they help with that.
- Cataloging at a system: you get to see all the interesting and innovative things libraries are doing. The libraries have really ramped up home learning and are providing great resources. There was a kit for a nature conservatory which includes books, biology slides, and equipment. Parents are really appreciating those resources!
When ILL books are returned are you still following quarantine rules?
- There is a lot of data regarding surfaces and it can be a little overwhelming.
- Have gone down to three days. The REALM data has suggested that if items are piled on each other the risk goes up and they need to be quarantined for longer.
- What does it mean when the book comes back? Is there a danger? The REALM project can be helpful in that regard.
- Grateful for all the staff members who have been cleaning facilities. It is a huge task since there are guidelines in place for how things need to be done.
Our next meeting will be held in June.