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.