This article seeks to look at the need for a library request system that can provide improved relationship management and personalized services, and meets public expectations about advances in technology and self‐service applications. In this case, a homegrown solution fills a need in an efficient, cost‐effective and gratifying manner.
After investigating established reserves systems and finding them lacking in relationship and process management features, the libraries got to the point where library staff started looking for internal solutions to request tracking and workflow issues when a homegrown automated solution was discovered; Library Systems, the libraries' internal technical support unit, had developed a very versatile “Helpdesk” system that tracked the status of computer work and problem requests. This system had been adapted by other libraries and organizations around the country for a similar purpose and provided a simple yet versatile interface that would lend itself well to developing a system for reserve request tracking and process management.
After making use of this system over three terms including a busy Fall 2006, ResDesk has made a huge positive impact on workflow and communication. Instructors can, and do, check the status of their requests at their own discretion resulting in fewer visits from stressed out instructors. The system itself has been phenomenal in managing the request, allowing reserves processing, even though there are more requests than ever, to be more efficient than ever. For comparison, even though the number of requests has steadily increased, the amount of processing time, with the implementation of ResDesk, has steadily decreased.
While there have been many articles published on customer‐relationship management systems, they are firmly entrenched in the business sector and there has been little discussion in library literature about a system that would automate all communications and workflows surrounding interaction with patrons, from request to completion.
Arant‐Kaspar, W., Carter, H., Desai, S., Byrd, J. and Hahn, D. (2007), "ResDesk: An automated solution for course reserves request tracking and process management", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 197-210. https://doi.org/10.1108/07378830710754965Download as .RIS
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