[Libs-Or] Automation request: need to place holds in two library catalogs easily
banerjek at uoregon.edu
Fri Feb 10 11:30:48 PST 2012
> I work for a library consortium that's been together for upwards of
> twenty years. The libraries have shared an integrated library system
> (SirsiDynix Symphony) and catalog. This year, the libraries in the
> consortium are going in separate directions and will have two separate ILS
> and catalogs. Since none of the libraries are very large and depend on the
> goodwill of voters for their funding all the libraries involved have stated
> that they want to continue to share resources.
> I need to find out if there are existing softwares that will allow
> holds to be placed across two or more library catalogs. Optimally, this
> should allow the library patrons to place their own online holds easily and
> should not require staff to actually place the holds. We've talked with
> OCLC staff about WorldCat Local and it sounds good, but does not answer the
> question of whether the holds can be placed automatically.
Such software does exist (the Orbis Cascade Alliance uses OCLC's WorldCat
Navigator to automatically place holds in its member libraries). However, a
solution like this may or may not be feasible for you.
One problem you will encounter is that aside from placing holds in the
separate ILSes (will they both be SirsiDynix after the split?), you still
have to resolve a number of workflow issues. For example, your system needs
to know where to route requests -- patrons from library X shouldn't be
placing holds in library Y if the request can be satisfied in X. Once they
place the hold, the need to do so as a real patron in Y, but presumably
library Y won't be coordinating patron loads with X. You'll encounter other
issues such as creating a circulatable item in X once the piece arrives
from Y (so the patron can be alerted that it can be picked up, be sent
overdue notices, and the like), dealing with billing, and the like.
In short, you probably need the ability to manage requests and placing
holds is only one aspect of that.
Actually placing the hold is pretty easy, particularly since SirsiDynix
supports NCIP (a protocol specifically designed to facilitate such
transactions). However, achieving seamless patron requesting and a
reasonable staff experience is more difficult.
Digital Services Program Manager
Orbis Cascade Alliance
banerjek at uoregon.edu / 503.999.9787
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