This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, April 24, 1996

April 24, 2996 - Bestseller Lists, Program Schedule, Review Patron Record

I don't mind doing a little extra work from time to time. But I do like to know that there's a point to it.

So I've been wondering lately about some of the documents and lists I've posted on our computer catalog. Does anybody use them? I'm going to list some of these things. As you go through them, ask yourself two questions:

(1) Did I know about this? (And now that I do, am I likely to use it?)

(2) If I HAVE known about it, DO I use it?

Here's the list:

* The Douglas Public Library District program schedule. This lists all of the programs planned for the week at all of our library branches. It comes up when you first log in from home. You can also get to it by typing "BB" (for Bulletin Board) at the main computer menu. This same information appears in several newspapers serving Douglas County. It's also possible that the people who attend our programs get this information direct from the branch.

* Best Seller Lists. Weekly, I update all the library-owned titles listed in the Publisher's Weekly and Denver Post best seller lists for fiction and non-fiction. This enables you, the patron, to not only look at the list, but to place a "hold" on the title right from that screen. Holly Deni, branch manager at the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock, also maintains lists that include all Pulitzer Prize winners, and monthly "Hot picks" - books we expect to be very popular, and are due to be published that month. Again, you can enter your holds right from the list - a good way to get on the waiting list months before we get the book.

* Review Patron Record. You can see what you still have checked out, whether or not any "problems" are associated with your card, what items you have on hold (and where you are in the list), double-check our information about your residence and phone, and, most recently, change the number that gives you access to your patron record (if you worry that this data might fall into the wrong hands). Some parents, I believe, use it to make sure they've gotten back all their children's books.

* Other libraries. These libraries include: ACLIN (the Access Colorado Library & Information Network), the combined catalogs of the Arapahoe Library District / Aurora Public Library, the CARL libraries, the EBSCO Periodical Indexing and Text database in Boston, ZAP (on-line interlibrary loan requests), and the Pikes Peak Library District.

On the one hand, all of this stuff might be useful. But I'm not interested in whether they MIGHT be. I'm interested in whether or not they ARE.

Lately, my sense is that the Hot Picks, the Review Patron Record, and Other libraries are used. I suspect that the program schedule and best seller lists are not.

So unless I hear from somebody to the contrary, I'm going to stop doing these last two. If that would be a problem for you, please call me at 688-8752, or e-mail me at jaslarue@earthlink.net -- I won't need very many calls to persuade me to save them. But if nobody calls, I'll just figure that these were interesting ideas for service that never caught on. That's useful information, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment