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Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 11 months ago

"Access" Proposal for Reorganizing the Circ Department


by Stephen


1. What is your proposal? Please describe it.


Circulation and TSS would be combined into one department, essentially, which I

would be responsible for managing. I would use the word "Access" to describe

it, though I'm not wedded to anything specific name-wise.


Benefits to circulation and the library?


  • I think I could apply my skills well to continue the improvement of the Circ


  • Combining the Circ and TSS departments would make a more efficient whole:
    • I would be able to analyze and adjust workflow so that cataloging, processing, circulation, shelving etc. could work better in tandem.
    • More flexible use of staff would be possible.
  • It would save the library ~$40K up front by eliminating the Circulation Librarian position.


Drawbacks to both?


I would have to balance my time between what is now TSS and what is now Circ. I

would not propose this if I wasn't sure I could do this.


In TSS, we have absorbed Serials, IT, and a nearly 100% increase in volume,

and adapted. I don't have any question that I could do the same on a larger

scale with Circulation. I am able to make priorities and stick with them, and

streamline processes to get the job done with available resources. The level of

responsibility that such an "Access" position would have would not be abnormal

compared to other such positions in other places.


Staff in both Circ and TSS would have to adjust to change, though, realistically, this is inevitable no matter what we do.


What would change or be delegated?


I would look to modify/expand the Assistant Circulation Librarian position, possibly with the addition of some of Tyler's former responsibilities. It might be retitled "Circulation Manager" or something similar.


I would use at least some of the former-Tyler hours to fill gaps as needed throughout the new department.


I would look to re-invigorate and expand upon the "deputy program" to get Circ

staff in particular more trained to deal with computer issues. (Though I'm

going to do this part anyway, regardless of this proposal)


I would also pursue systemic changes as desirable and possible in Circ and TSS.


I don't think it's wise to over-commit to specifics at this point, but

things that I would certainly look at would include:


  • Documentation
    • I would look to simplify and wikify documentation and encourage staff to

participate actively in its development.


  • Hours and scheduling of staff
    • I would continue to work toward more need-based scheduling of desk staff, while trying to find ways to make this as participatory a process as possible.
    • I would work toward being able to support improved hours for patrons, and

making that a reality.

      • Specifically, I would look to go to year-round Sundays starting next summer.


  • Training
    • I would look to simplify training and create "templates" or "classes" for

regular training. Specifically, I'm interested in creating Youtube videos as

demos for the various tasks.

    • I would look to identify and focus on what's really important, and ensure

that staff are fully prepared in those areas. I would look to communicate those

values to staff so they do not feel overwhelmed or under-trained.


  • Shelving
    • I would work with the others involved to try to simplify the system for

shelving items, and how that duty is handled. I would try to focus on patrons

being able to find items, and toward this, look at how we can get items back on

the shelves more quickly and reduce the number of different places an item might be.


  • General workflow
    • I would look through tasks currently being done in the department, assess their value and cost and look to make changes to make things more efficient. Specifically, I would look to allow Circ desk staff to focus on assisting patrons as much as possible and reduce/automate office tasks done by the department toward this.


What would stay the same?


Generally most positions/duties within Circ and TSS would not change greatly, at

least in the immediate term. There would be more direct interchange between the departments. For example, at a slow Circ time when there is some work that needs to be done in TSS, I might ask Circ staff to help there (within the scope of their

training) and vice versa.


I would look to eventually re-explore positions within the department, but I

think that would not be a front-burner issue, unless a specific opportunity or need

presented itself. I would expect to focus more on flexible teamwork between the

positions and streamlining of the procedures.


What would your goals be for the first year?


My goals would be to be able to demonstrate clear improvements in the efficiency

of the department, in the areas I outlined above specifically. Beyond that I

would seek to clearly improve staff responsibility, empowerment, and participation. From these changes, I would look to be achieve clear improvement in patron service.


2. How would your proposal affect current circulation staff?


Circulation staff would be affected by the changes in the overall department

that I've outlined. I would seek to manage change to make it as smooth and un-disruptive as possible. However, I would also be honest and forthright

about pursuing changes which might not necessarily be popular at first, when

they are needed.


3. Would your current position be affected? How?


Yes. I would become the head of this new combined department.



4. Do you envision working at The Desk yourself? For how much time? What is your public services/supervisory experience?


I would work at the desk as needed and as desirable for me to maintain awareness

of what's happening. That would, at the very least, include my current hours

there. I would be very flexible as to how I would specifically deploy myself to

meet needs.


A brief summary of what I think are my qualifications:

  • I've directed a small public library.
  • I've worked in detail with circulation and circulation workflow in many positions.
  • I'm highly skilled and familiar with Sirsi.
  • I am very involved with WYLD.
  • I am very familiar with our local circulation practices.
  • I am not afraid of challenging old practices when they need to be improved.
  • I have managed a large amount of change in TSS in a relatively smooth, tranquil way.


5. Would this idea save money? How or why?


Yes. The Circulation Librarian position would not need to be filled.


Comments (8)

Anonymous said

at 12:20 pm on Jun 28, 2007

From Ruth - One thing I would like to suggest in the mix of all this is self-check machines. Since we may have a little extra money in the budget by possibly elminiating the Circ Librarian position, I would like to see us invest some of this savings in at least one self-check machine, which would help reduce the staffing needed at circ and give our patrons more privacy.

Anonymous said

at 8:46 pm on Jul 2, 2007

Ruth, I think self-check is definitely a place we should be heading. I think the primary reason we haven't done this yet is that we've been waiting to do it with a larger RFID project. Maybe it's time to start moving toward making RFID
a reality, or otherwise to look at a non-RFID self-check system for the time being. I think we should be using technologies and efficiencies like this to replace staff tasks, but wherever possible, I think we should be looking to then utilize staff skills at a higher level rather than "replacing" staff.


Anonymous said

at 2:48 pm on Jul 5, 2007

SNS: Would you look into prices for current self-checkout with sirsi?

Anonymous said

at 3:25 pm on Jul 5, 2007


I'll be happy to look into prices and options for self-check.


Anonymous said

at 4:20 pm on Jul 6, 2007

Stephen, can you give some examples of possible changes? Yours is the most expansive and the least concrete of the suggestions. Thanks, S.

Anonymous said

at 8:18 pm on Jul 8, 2007

Susan, With due respect, I think my proposal is the neither more expansive nor less concrete than the others. I answered every question you asked. My proposal is fairly simple and clear, I think: * I would take on Jamie's responsibilities, while still supervising the current TSS department. * No other positions in Circ or TSS would change from their current status, at least not immediately. * I would use my skills and expertise to focus first on streamlining workflow and improving training of the staff of the combined department, in addition to the other goals I mentioned. (CONTINUED)

Anonymous said

at 8:18 pm on Jul 8, 2007

For example, some things I might look at workflow-wise could include: * Stopping use of the sorting shelves and having more carts so items can be shelved directly and be more findable for patrons. * Trying email hold notices. * Reducing the number of different "if-thens" that Circ staff have to consider when doing their routine work. For example, less different shelves behind the desk. * Simplifying the application card procedures. Implementing the retention (shredding) schedule we discussed a year or two ago. Using reports to review data for patrons added rather than manually re-checking cards in Sirsi. * Looking to have staff closing hours extend to 8:10 or :15 instead of 8 so that people can work their scheduled hours almost all the time, eliminating complicated VTC hassles. * Where possible, making "opening tasks" into "transition tasks" that can also be done the evening before when there's time, making the 10-15 minutes above productive. * Streamlining and retraining on discharging. Eliminating separate "checking" routine. Eliminating double discharge. * Having a staff member clearly designated as "captain" of the desk for any given period of time, who would not leave the area and would be responsible for coordinating staff tasks. (CONTINUED)

Anonymous said

at 8:19 pm on Jul 8, 2007

This is just a small sample of some things I might look at. I would certainly do some of these, and I would almost certainly not do others. I would look to make decisions with an open mind, and avoid being hidebound to preconceived ideas. Thanks! Stephen

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