14 · SPEC Kit 295
ping. Nine will scan and digitize print items, five
do preservation reformatting, and one microfilms
theses. One facility is weeding journal backfiles as
online content becomes available.
All but a few respondents (53 or 85%) report that
users can request items directly from the online
catalog. Perhaps because most integrated library
systems limit requests to currently registered bor-
rowers and libraries want to provide access to, if
not borrowing of, materials to a larger community,
the majority also accept requests from a non-cata-
log Web form, in-person, and by e-mail. Slightly
less than half of the respondents accept requests by
telephone, as well. A few will process ILL, fax, and
mail requests.
All respondents report that staff process requests
during weekdays. Thirty-four percent process re-
quests at least once a day 59% process them more
often. Only one respondent processes requests less
often than daily. Some facilities with on-site staff
process requests throughout the day as they come
in and also process requests for on-site requesters.
The frequency for filling copying requests general-
ly parallels the schedule for physical item retrieval
although a few libraries report that copying is done
less frequently. Only 18 facilities do any weekend
processing, usually once a day or on demand.
Calculating average turnaround times is some-
what problematic, but all but a few respondents
estimate that requests are filled within 24 hours
a few take two to three days. Some respondents
noted that the average time for material to get to a
requester is highly variable given that the request
could come from another campus or library unit.
For physical delivery of items, turnaround times
are dependent on when the request was made.
Libraries usually set request deadlines, so, for ex-
ample, a request received before 9 a.m. would be
available for pickup by noon. Requests received
close to the deadline will be processed much faster
than requests that just miss the deadline.
Most facilities (44 or 71%) will deliver physical
items to any library service point while a smaller
number will deliver direct to faculty offices (11 or
18%). Some respondents mentioned that rare or
fragile materials may only be delivered to certain
units, such as an archives reading room. In other
cases, materials are directly mailed to off-campus
patrons or off-campus distance education sites.
A majority of respondents who provide copies
of items (24 or 53%) reported that they scan and
place copies on a Web/ftp server for user down-
load, 14 (31%) scan and send PDFs via e-mail.
Photocopies can also be delivered to library units
(20 or 44%), to a central library point (13 or 29%), or
faxed to the user (10 or 22%). Some libraries report
that requests are made and delivered through the
ILL system. Most deliveries are handled by library
staff (35 or 58%) or remote shelving facility staff
(24 or 40%) who are typically library staff. Thirteen
respondents (22%) use the campus mail and eight
(13%) use a contract courier service. Many librar-
ies report using multiple delivery modes. One, for
example, reports using couriers, staff, UPS, and US
Service Evaluation
There is little evidence of formal evaluation spe-
cific to remote shelving facilities. Only seven have
surveyed users and only two have conducted focus
groups. One included questions about their remote
shelving facility in a general survey on library fa-
cilities and services. Sixteen of the 23 respondents
who report doing any evaluation primarily rely on
informal feedback. Other methods include analy-
sis of turnaround time and fill rate for requests, an
internal flowchart study, and an evaluation of en-
vironmental conditions. One respondent reported
they were “evaluating all aspects of service through
routine statistical analysis.” Another reported that
every instance of a service failure was reviewed to
identify the problem and determine possible ac-
tion, such as enhancing the catalog record or re-
training staff.
Changes to Services
There have been a number of changes in services
over the past seven years, mostly additions or im-
Previous Page Next Page