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The second day at the 2009 OCLC ILLiad International Conference began with an update from OCLC about matters affecting ILL providers.Katie Birch, the Portfolio Director of Delivery Services and John Trares, a Product Manager were the spokespersons.They began with an explanation of the “perfect storm” that led to WorldCat being taken offline for a day in February.This unprecedented event was precipitated by an attempted authentication system upgrade.Advance warning was given that another attempt will be made later this year.We were also told that the ILL Policies Directory will have a new interface this summer and were given an update on WorldCat Direct.WorldCat Direct is a service that provides home delivery for ILL patrons with an option to purchase the book.This program is in conjunction with Better World Books, an internet used book seller and is currently being tested through a limited number of libraries.At ZSR ILL we have used the service (without home delivery) to borrow two books and exercised the option to purchase one of those books.A new resource sharing website has been established at resourcesharing.webjunction.orgto better enable collaboration in the ILL community.It is expected that this site will eventually replace the ILLiad Listserv.
The elective session of the day was Customer Service, LibQUAL & Resource Sharing presented by Doug Hasty of Florida International University.The speaker reminded us that there are customer service opportunities that come with: every complaint, every angry patron, every confused patron, every webpage, every mistake…., you get the idea.One concept/slogan I particularly noted was:When your customers have changed your policy, the policy has changed, you just need to catch up.I’ve been thinking about how that relates to what I may view as customers’ misunderstandings may actually be the way a procedure should be done (at least as far as what the customer sees)I get requests through ILL that should actually be directed to Document Delivery.We usually send it on to Document Delivery with an e-mail that we are doing so.Perhaps we should skip the e-mail, the faculty member just wants the book.(this can’t be done with articles because they need to be informed that the department will be charge).Food for thought.
The last speaker was Genie Powell of Atlas Systems, Inc. with a short preview of coming events.Next year’s ILLiad International Conference with be in the same place on March 31 and April 1 &2.She also announced that documentation forthe ILLiad software can now be found on a new wiki at Prometheus.atlas-sys.com
The weather on Friday was much cooler and windier but very sunny.All in all, it was not quite the weather some of the visitors from the north had hoped for but we did get a glimmer of it.There will be a box of salt water taffy in the Staff Lounge on Monday for all to enjoy (Heather, I didn’t forget!)