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  • 1. Tough Times, Tough Decisions Streamlining, studying and experimenting to save $ and better serve customers 1
  • 2. Presenters Toni Anaya, Materials Access Team anayat@u.library.arizona.edu Wendy Begay, Materials Access Team begayw@u.library.arizona.edu Robyn Huff-Eibl, Materials Access Team huffr@u.library.arizona.edu 2
  • 3. Abstract In the past several years, circulation and shelving statistics as well as the usage of print reserves have declined. At the University of Arizona Libraries, we are moving from a traditional mediated service environment towards increased user self- sufficiency, where the basic circulation transactions become unmediated. Come learn how we have implemented open holds, reserves, self check- in, streaming audio and soon streaming video. Learn how we have consolidated services into a single desk, the challenges we faced and competencies required to create a new future for your circulation 3 staff.
  • 4. User Self-Sufficiency  Developed a vision (2002) for non-mediated services and increased user self-sufficiency, allowing staff to spend more time assisting customers with complicated information questions  Questioned cost-benefit of keeping items behind “counters” vs. costs to continue staffing multiple service sites  Increased focus on providing information and referral (reference)  Strategic Project Team (FINL 2003-2005) officially moved circulation staff into this work 4
  • 5. Merging Service Desks  Campus and Library budget cuts forced MAT to consolidate libraries and service desks  Staff from 3 branches, Architecture, Music and Center for Creative Photography, were consolidated (2003)  Closed Architecture Library; consolidated material and services into Music Library, creating a Fine Arts Library  Hours at 2 of the 3 branch libraries were reduced  Paging services were offered during reduced hours which increased overall access to material 5
  • 6. Merging Service Desks  Science-Engineering Library (2005): 3 service points (Reference, Circulation and Photocopy) merged into one service desk staffed solely by circulation staff and student assistants  Used one-time funds to demolish 3 existing desks and install 1 new service desk 6
  • 7. Self-Service Holds and Reserves 7
  • 8. Express Check-Out 8
  • 9. Implementation of “One Desk” Science-Engineering Library 9
  • 10. Policies Supporting User Self-Sufficiency  After analyzing reasons why users were accruing small fines, we developed new circulation and reserve policies to help reduce this work (2003)  Developed innovative unmediated services (2003-2005)  placed materials such as holds, CDs, reserves, and videos in the general stacks  enabled videos to be checked out on Express Check machines  promoted streaming audio to replace CDs on 10 reserve
  • 11. Policies Supporting User Self-Sufficiency  Created strategic projects to address team processes:  promoted usage of our Express Checkout machines  conducted a cost analysis of hiring and training shelving employees to stabilize the workforce and reduce costs  addressed the customer's “biggest” problem of not finding material in the library 11
  • 12. Customer Reactions  Change is never easy but overall positive reactions  In 3 short years, Self-Check usage has increased on average from 20% of total circulation to 75%  Customers love not having to wait in line for their holds and reserve books  Users like open media; average loss rate of 5 DVD’s per month but still cheaper than staffing a separate service desk  Piloting streaming video this Fall with 5 Faculty who have items on reserve 12
  • 13. Mediated vs. Non-mediated 3-Year Trend: Comparing Non-mediated & Mediated Checkout and Renewal Transactions 400,000 346,830 # of Transactions 350,000 300,212 300,000 258,947 250,000 NONMEDIATED 191,502 200,000 MEDIATED 150,000 99,969 Linear 100,000 78,462 (MEDIATED) Linear 50,000 (NONMEDIATED) 0 FY 2003/2004 FY 2004/2005 FY 2005/2006 Fiscal Year: compares July to March
  • 14. How did Circulation Staff begin providing Reference?  Strategic Project Team (FINL) formed to investigate all information & referral services, assess the quality of these services and find a way to provide services of the same or higher quality for less money  Data of actual questions revealed 90% of reference questions were appropriate for staff to answer  All circulation staff are at a high level, Library Specialist (similar to a Library Assistant IV or V elsewhere)  Finished a re-grading study; new titles and position descriptions implemented April 2006; new titles i.e. Library Information Associate 14
  • 15. Reference Staffing Pilot-Fall 2004  Staff attend 15+ training sessions, ranging from searching the catalog and indexes, software training such as Excel, Scanning and CD burning to specialized reference training such as Chemistry, Patents, and Astronomy  Staff must meet library quality standard: 100% of staff providing Information and Referral will receive 90% or higher on reference training  Librarians participate as reviewers on staff developmental reviews (performance reviews) 15
  • 16. Reference Staffing Pilot-Fall 2004  Staff shadow science librarians mid-August to mid- October  Librarians shadow staff mi-October to end of November  Staff work solo December 1st  Librarians formally observe staff December– February, documentation submitted as part of their developmental reviews  Implemented online “referral” system to support the 20% of questions needing a subject librarian  No customer complaints due to changing level of staffing at the desks  3 rounds of data collection over two years continue to support this level of staffing 16
  • 17. Examples of Competencies Required  Circulation/Fines  Customer Service, Fines/Billing, Laptop knowledge  Photocopy Services  Cash handling and credit card functions  Basic Reference  Reference Interview process  Index Searching in Academic Search Premiere  Advanced Reference  Subject specific training such as Chemistry, Astronomy, Patents, Music, Art & Architecture  Hardware/Software  Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Scanning, CD Burning 17
  • 18. Challenges  Large number of training sessions in a short time period  Each site requires more in-depth subject training  Standards Enforced: shadowed, observed and feedback from librarians  Referral system (training, feedback and updates)  Absorbed extra desk hours by re-allocation of circulation work  Converted student wages to hire half-time staff devoted to working the desk, allowing us to provide higher level service (2004)  Some staff work shifted to student workers (coordination of shelving activities) 18
  • 19. The Future  Continue to respond to customer feedback  LibQual+  Library Report Card comments  Moving away from the concept of traditional Circulation Services, focusing more on providing Information and Referral  “One Stop” for customers 19
  • 20. The Future  Continue working out the glitches and increasing the amount of unmediated transactions through self-service  Turned over billing fees to Bursar and Collection Agency  Circulation of laptops  Continue exploring and implementing “My Library” services  E-Commerce for paying fees (July 2006)  Self Check-out and Self Check-in  Streaming Video for Course Reserves (Fall 2006) 20