A Concierge Visit Benefits New Mexico State Library and their Member Libraries

A Concierge Visit Benefits New Mexico State Library and their Member Libraries

BY HEATHER BLACK, IMPLEMENTATION AND CONCIERGE SERVICES TEAM LEADER

 

In February 2017, I was able to drink in the clear, high-desert air of Santa Fe, New Mexico on a trip to visit our Concierge Customer, the New Mexico State Library (NMSL). NMSL is an on-going subscriber to the Concierge service and this was our second visit to their library.

The NMSL staff are fortunate to work in an open, light-filled space that captures a sense of their local geography, filled with sculptures and paintings through an art in public spaces program, including the metal and glass mobiles hanging in the atrium stairwell pictured here.

I spent two days with Laura Calderone and Christy McPherson reviewing their processing workflows and discussing improvements. While the staff is small, their service footprint reaches the entire state of New Mexico. Along with serving government employees, they provide an ILL referral service to more than a hundred small local libraries and correctional facilities and use ILLiad to make requests on their behalf.

Their greatest challenge is the referral service to these libraries who make requests through the ILLiad web pages. These requests are then processed centrally by NMSL but then delivered directly to the local library. In a previous visit, Atlas staff created a custom workflow that automatically adds the address of the referral library from the ILLiad user record into the OCLC request—no more need to select from 100+ constant data records!

As you might imagine, handling the Received and Returned updates for these referral requests can be a daunting task when items are sent to libraries all across a primarily rural state. These locations have limited staffing and deal with high turnover or may rely on the help of volunteers. Consequently, the process needs to be as simple as possible. We were able to employ custom searching and email templates to more easily communicate with libraries about when materials have been shipped, and the ILLiad overdue process allows NMSL staff to easily monitor items that may have been returned to the lending library but not updated in ILLIad.

As we do with most of our Concierge libraries, we also took time to update print template customizations and identify some ways to clean up the data in their user records. Lending volume is limited because the nature of their collection restricts the circulation of many of their materials, and yet, they are exploring the benefit of tools like the Electronic Delivery Utility which was designed primarily for higher volume shops.

The New Mexico State Library is representative of Atlas Systems’ Concierge customers who come from a broad range of size and type of library. Each benefits from the specialized service of the Concierge program in which we shape our products’ tools to the nature of their unique work. It is always a pleasure for me to meet our customers face-to-face and to be able make their work even a little bit easier. Thank you to Laura and Christy for a delightful visit.

Laura Calderone and Christy McPherson

Laura Calderone and Christy McPherson

ArchivesSpace training on the historic campus of the University of Virginia

BY ANNE MARIE LYONS, TRAINING AND LIBRARY SOLUTIONS CONSULTANT

Last year, Atlas Systems became a Registered Service Provider of ArchivesSpace. Since then, it’s been full steam ahead in getting Atlas team members prepared and knowledgeable about ArchivesSpace.  As part of that effort, on October 31 through November 2nd, 2016, Chris Youngblood and I attended ArchivesSpace training workshops at the Alderman Library at the University of Virginia.

The workshops were conducted by the exceptionally skilled trainers, Mark Custer, Archivist and Metadata Coordinator at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and Noah Huffman, Archivist for Metadata and Encoding at Duke’s Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

(Left to Right) Anne Marie Lyons, Atlas Systems; Noah Huffman, Duke University; Mark Custer, Yale University; Chris Youngblood, Atlas Systems

(Left to Right) Anne Marie Lyons, Atlas Systems; Noah Huffman, Duke University; Mark Custer, Yale University; Chris Youngblood, Atlas Systems

We would also like to thank Elizabeth Wilkinson, Archivist at the University of Virginia, as well as University of Virginia staff members, for hosting these workshops and providing such a welcoming atmosphere. There were a number of other ArchivesSpace users in attendance, which made for fantastic discussion about how different institutions make decisions about archival description. Chris and I left these workshops feeling confident and excited about helping libraries implement and use ArchivesSpace.

We covered ArchivesSpace in detail, but what we found particularly valuable about these workshops was the personal experience that Mark and Noah offered, as well other participating archivists. There were lively discussions about how detailed levels of description need to be, which data fields to use so that information displayed as desired on the public interface, and how data is mandated to be formatted if archives are participating in consortia. Mark also demonstrated the new top container and location plugins that are available in version 1.5.1, while Noah shared some scripts he developed using the ArchivesSpace APIs.

As an added bonus, we got to spend time on the beautiful University of Virginia campus, which is breathtaking during this time of year. Even on a cloudy day, the fall foliage is magnificent.

University of Virginia Academical Village

University of Virginia Academical Village

We learned that Edgar Allan Poe attended the University of Virginia for a period of time, and his room in the Academical Village has been preserved as a historical site.

Sign outside of Edgar Allan Poe’s room

Sign outside of Edgar Allan Poe’s room

Interior of Edgar Allan Poe’s room

Interior of Edgar Allan Poe’s room

We also found this statue of Icarus, which is situated between Alderman and Clemons Libraries.

Much thanks again to Noah, Mark, Elizabeth, and the University of Virginia for the wonderful ArchivesSpace workshops!

Visiting Shakespeare

By Katie Gillespie, Aeon Specialist

When I was notified that we had a new Aeon site, the Folger Shakespeare Library, I was thrilled. I’d seen photographs of their reading room and, as a former literature major and certified library nerd, was of course excited to be in the proximity of the world’s largest Shakespeare collection. Also, who doesn’t love an excuse to visit Washington, DC?

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My favorite part of every Aeon implementation is the initial visit. This is when I get to see behind the scenes; tour the stacks, vault, and staff spaces; and meet all of the wonderful librarians and staff who keep these places of scholarship running smoothly. I always leave inspired, eager to help streamline processes and, of course, save a few trees along the way as we help institutions move from paper-based systems to the electronic efficiency of Aeon. 

My host, Erin Blake, was gracious and patient with me as I fan-girled my way through the reading room tour. I learned about the myriad collections the Folger has and got to see some of the treasures in the vault. I enjoyed their current exhibit “Will and Jane”, which highlights the connections between William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and their fame many years after their deaths. The staff was warm and welcoming, especially when they welcomed me into their lunch and tea time conversations. Each person I interacted with was passionate about his/her work and interested in the benefits using Aeon could bring. 

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An interesting challenge with an independent library is finding a balance between circulation of library materials and management of rare and special materials. This trip gave me the opportunity to see all of the pieces we will be working to coordinate at the Folger. I am excited to be a part of putting together this puzzle and getting another Aeon site up and running.