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Patron Purchase Options – Progress Update

16 Nov 2012

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.

 

Eric Keith

Eric Keith
VP Global Marketing, Communications & Strategic Alliances

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