I work at a busy branch in our 4-library system. We have 3 service desks - Circ, Ref and Youth, as well as a separate Genealogy dept., which handles all their own requests.
ILL and purchase requests are mostly handled wherever the patron shows up. ILL requests are placed through our ILS now, so circ is familiar with the process and can handle most requests. Anything complicated, they refer to me in Reference - our desks are literally within 20' of each other, so I often hear requests as they're made, anyway. YS tends to send people our way for requests - not because they can't do it, but because they are frequently so busy it slows things to a crawl. At our Central Library, the Reference desk is on a lower floor than Circ, so having patrons go all the way down would be a bit of a pain. However, patrons who get familiar with the process will mostly come straight to Reference because they have learned it is faster.
We're pretty rough-and-ready when it comes to lack of info - if they don't provide enough the first time around, then we don't spend a lot of time trying to contact them and fill in the blanks.
West Waco Library
5301 Bosque Blvd
Waco TX 76710
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Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2018 12:02:07 -0400
From: Deb Messling <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: purchase requests and ILLs
We're a smallish library, but big enough to have three service desks (circ, adult services, youth services). Traditionally the circ desk has handled in--person patron requests for new material and for interlibrary loans. I'm temporarily processing the ILLs while a staff member is on medical leave, and I see so many problems not caught at the circ desk which delay handling the request, mostly missing or incorrect information. We have to contact the patron to clarify, and naturally they don't all get back to us on a timely basis. Plus there are ILLs placed for items which, if I knew about them, I would choose to buy instead of borrow.
I'm tempted to move the ILL and request forms to the adult services desk where staff is accustomed to handling them (they do all the online requests). The patrons would have to walk a little farther (very little, and on the same floor), but their loans could be vetted and processed at the time they place them.
Where do you (smallish libraries) handle requests and ILLs?
Deb Messling, Director
Phillipsburg Free Public Library
200 Broubalow Way
Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
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