In springtime, our yards get much needed attention before the growing season commences. We prune vines, trees, and hedges and get rid of pesky dandelions and morning glory or bindweed. These growing organisms need that annual attention to thrive and grow beautifully to their potential. If you think your library is not a “growing organism,” you need a talk with Ranganathan.
In this age of electronic books, journals, and resources, libraries’ print resources have become a subject of debate. Space is always at a premium in libraries. Access and delivery are important considerations. But do librarians jump at the first opportunity to de-select? During my work at the BYU library, I became a subject selector for one of the schools at the university. I selected materials according to faculty and student needs and their curriculum. At the same time, I paid attention to the de-selection of aging titles of low or no use. With the help of the Symphony ILS system, I identified these unwanted materials, generated paper lists, and began the weeding process. As you begin your own de-selection process, you can focus on the publication year of the title, last activity date, and circulation count. As you dig deeper into this activity, you can consider physical conditions and attributes together with subject parameters. Once you’ve produced your data-driven list of candidate titles, then comes the dreadful inspection of the items—one book at a time.
At ACRL last week, I noticed that a lot of the tweets from the conference concerned weeding. A session on de-selection caught my eye, and as I listened to the presenters, I learned of their pains and process in identifying their de-selection candidates. I also learned about the concept of a “disapproval plan” as suggested by my good friend Rick Lugg from R2 Consulting. A disapproval plan should be as automatic as a library’s approval plan; like the approval plan, the disapproval plan controls the flow of materials in the library. Over time, your plans can be monitored, tweaked, and refined to give your library a balanced and viable collection.
To assist libraries with weeding, de-selection, or disapproval plans, SirsiDynix is developing BLUEcloud MobileCirc. MobileCirc is a mobile circulation, shelving, and inventory app with a powerful de-selection feature. Since MobileCirc is available for smartphones, tablets, and laptops, you can take it with you into your stacks for weeding. You can set de-selection parameters by library, collection, call number range, last activity or “dusty date,” and circulation count. With one touch of a button, MobileCirc automatically generates a de-selection list on your tablet or mobile device (saving our trees!). After individual inspection, the material can be marked for discard or, you’re confident that the titles generated are true candidates for discarding, you can just check them all with a touch of a button and send them to discard. Too easy? Well, that’s always been a part of SirsiDynix’s mission – to deliver technology solutions that enable libraries to better serve their community.
So the next time you walk up and down your stacks, ask yourself these questions: is this item ever going to be checked out? Will it support scholarly research? If it hasn’t been used for 10 years, what are the real chances someone will use it? Is there a newer or maybe better substitute for this material? Develop a strong mindset of “need it, or weed it!” and your library will continue to thrive and grow beautifully in your own campus or community.
We’re excited to announce the release of Service Pack 3 for Symphony 3.4.1. Service Pack 3 is a major step forward for Symphony; it comprises over 100 new features and enhancements, 15 customer-inspired enhancements, and many bug fixes. If you’ve been waiting for a feature in Symphony, there’s a good chance it’s included in this service pack. For a full list of new enhancements and features, see the release notes on the SirsiDynix Support Center. For a brief overview of some of the most notable enhancements, see the following:
e-Library PIN Reset. Users can reset PINs on their own through e-Library; library staff no longer need to handle requests to reset user PINs. You can customize the PIN reset messages and labels to fit your library’s needs.
Patron Photo improvements. Adding photos of your users is easier than ever before. The Patron Photo feature has been overhauled to include easy uploading and modification of photos from the Workflows client, a cropping and re-sizing tool, performance improvements, a batch photo import utility, and webcam support.
Delete items with fines and fees. You can delete items with outstanding fines and fees without losing track of information related to the fine, such as item title and call number. When you delete items through Workflows Wizards or the Remove Discard report, Symphony will keep the record’s information in the bill record for later reference and collection.
Batch load SMS (text message) notification numbers. Already collected SMS numbers from your users? Load them quickly into Symphony with our user load script.
10-digit OCLC number support. Symphony supports the upcoming OCLC control number expansion. Manual entry, matching, and loading processes are all ready for the new, longer control numbers.
New RDA Support. Describe your records accurately and conform to the RDA cataloging standard. Service Pack 3 and the MARCUpdate script let you right-click on 33X MARC elements to see the appropriate controlled vocabulary terms; Service Pack 3 updates the way Symphony determines and displays publication dates to match the RDA standard.
11 Enhancement Forum items. We appreciate the suggestions you give us in the Enhancement forum, and we’re excited to announce that 11 of them made it into this service pack. Thanks for helping us improve Symphony! Enhancement Forum items in this service pack include the following:
Service Pack 3 is included in the price of your Symphony maintenance. All libraries running Symphony 3.4.1 can install Service Pack 3; contact SirsiDynix Customer Support if you need help with installation.
If you’ve been keeping current on our blog, you know that we’re creating some exciting new products—such as eResource Central—that will provide new options to your users, should you choose to make them available. One of those options is allowing users to purchase materials in addition to borrowing.
A use case goes something like this: 1) a library user searches on a popular title; 2) they see a lengthy hold queue and recognize they’ll have to wait a while before they can borrow the item; 3) they also notice a conveniently positioned button labeled, “Buy It Now”; 4) they click on the button and are taken to a library-branded page that allows them to purchase the item on the spot. Users have the convenience they want while they support their library. And since they have options, they’ll come back again and again!
Based on recent surveys from Pew, LJ and others, data suggests there is significant unmet demand for integrated purchase options from within the library’s portal. SirsiDynix is working hard to make that functionality available to you in the very near future. In fact, we’re already up and running with a pilot program to work out the kinks before we introduce this functionality on a broad scale.
Melissa Bankhead, one of our great marketing professionals at SirsiDynix, recently visited Burley Public to help them raise awareness within their community of this new purchase feature. What follows is her blog entry of that event. We hope you’ll enjoy reading about it.
In early November (before any snow had fallen) I ventured up to Burley Idaho to make a personal visit to Burley Public Library. It is common for LRM’s and Sales Reps to walk through the doors of various libraries, but I’m in Marketing, so what on earth was I doing there? Helping the LIBRI consortia be one of the first to launch the SirsiDynix Buy It Now option and to make it known. The Buy It Now option went live at Burley in mid-September, but our Marketing team at SirsiDynix has been creating specialized marketing materials and coordinating with LIBRI to prepare to publicize this added option to the communities of Burley, Rupert and DeMary – the three towns with Libraries that comprise the LIBRI consortia. The LIBRI libraries have now added the “Buy It Now” button to their Enterprise and each library has a link on their homepage directly to Amazon for their patrons to make purchases directly from within Enterprise. I came bearing gifts of posters, door-to-door mailers and bookmarks so that the community at large could find out about this option, not just the existing library users. Everyone at the libraries were excited to get these marketing materials and we planned how to deploy the materials– in the libraries, the community center, swim center, town hall, post office… once we started brainstorming we came up with a variety of places to promote this new functionality. Burley, DeMary and Rupert are all small towns and value buying locally to help their communities – but the fact is, not everything is available for purchase locally. However, this option allows the community to get what they need and still be able to support their local library.
We appreciate Melissa sharing her experiences, and appreciate LIBRI in partnering with us as we begin to deliver this purchase feature, and other new patron options. Our plan is to develop materials that will eventually be available to all our libraries to help promote these exciting, new features. They can be easily customized and directed to your specific needs and to your community.