The backend of Campus Delivery

As I mentioned in a previous post, my library is implementing a campus delivery program and I just finished setting up the back end to make this process more seamless. Here’s a recount of the changes:

First, I had to define a policy and process for processing holds in our Integrated Library System, Aleph. This involved setting up automatic reports in Aleph’s “job list,” adjusting the print templates, and training the staff. The most frustrating part of the whole process was that I couldn’t determine a way to automatically send email notifications to users letting them know their hold was available for pickup. Well, there is a way to send the email if the circulation computers were set up to send emails through Aleph, but our IT team would never let this happen (and I don’t really blame them.) So, keeping this inability to send “available for pickup” notifications in mind, I moved onto the ILLiad component.

Here’s a rundown of the new ILL process for requests that the library has on the shelf.

  1. User submits a request for a book the library owns
  2. The request may end up in the Borrowing or the Doc Del Awaiting Request Processing queues depending on routing rules and how the request was placed.
  3. Library staff check to see if the item is owned by our library using the z39.50 feature and, if available, staff click “Copy Info” to automatically populate the call number field in the request.
  4. If our library has the item on our shelf, ILL staff no longer cancel the request.
  5. Staff route the request to the queue Awaiting Stacks Searching in Doc Del.
  6. When “Print Pull Slips” is clicked, a slip gets printed based on the template DocDelLoanLabels. This template was adjusted to include the user’s institution ID (as a scannable barcode), Delivery Method, and secondary address (aka campus address).
  7. The book is retrieved using the call number on the book.
  8. “Update Stacks Search” is clicked in ILLiad’s Doc Del
  9. Transaction numbers are scanned to update requests and route them to “Awaiting Customer Contact”
  10. In “Awaiting Customer Contact” staff select “Send Automatic Emails”
  11. For books, two different emails can generate. The template ILLDDLoanDeliveryNotify is used for users who want campus delivery (aka: they have a delivery option “Mail to Address”) The template ILLDDLoanNotify is used when users are going to come to the library and pickup their item. This reflects the delivery option “Hold For Pickup.”
  12. If users are using campus delivery, their item is checked out to them in Aleph using their institution ID number that’s in both Aleph and ILLiad. Then the item is delivered to the specified location on campus as indicated by the user’s secondary address.
  13. If users are coming to the library to retrieve their item, a hold request is placed within Aleph. Then the item is “returned” in Aleph to actually place the item on hold for the user. Finally, the item is placed on the holds shelf and can be checked out when the user comes to pick it up.

For books our library doesn’t own, the only technological step we needed to change for campus delivery was the print template and an email template. So, I updated the BorrowingLoanLabels template to include the user’s “Delivery Method” and their secondary address (ie: their campus address). I also added and customized the email template ILLLoanDeliveryNotify.

The final technological changes that were made to make campus delivery a success involved altering the website which I’ll discuss in my next post.