Hi everyone,

I would very much appreciate some feedback from libraries in consortiums about 
how they handle holds compared to my library's hold situation.
(my apologies for the long email - it's a little difficult to explain...)

Before my library joined in a consortium, we filled holds by the date the 
patron requested an item. We are two branches at Lincoln Public Library, so 
when we scan an item with holds waiting, whoever placed the hold at the 
earliest date and time in the whole system will get it and so on. This means 
items will be shipped back and forth a lot to both of our branches but we don't 
mind because we have delivery 3x a week. Having this hold system meant that the 
staff on the client could tell where in the queue a patron was e.g. "you are 
5th in line for Wonder Woman". Patrons could also login from home and see an 
estimated wait time for their hold to arrive.

This past June my library and four other systems joined together to create 
"LiNC" (Libraries in Niagara Cooperative) which has been successful so far 
except for how we now fill our holds. Instead of Evergreen checking who was 
first in all of Lincoln to place a hold, It is now looking who is first by 
branch. For example, if an item is catalogued for our Rittenhouse branch the 
first person that placed the hold whose home library is Rittenhouse will get it 
first even though the first person in Lincoln to place a hold has their home 
library at the Fleming branch. We cannot see a queue and the estimated wait 
time is no longer valid. This has caused a lot of frustrations both from staff 
and the public. The other libraries in our consortium are okay with the new 
holds system but in Lincoln, our holds and circs are the highest and the demand 
for holds information is really important...
In order to go back to the way things were, we would need to pay Equinox a 
considerable amount to make the changes.

To the libraries in consortiums, do you have this same hold system? If so, 
how's it going? If not, how are you filling holds and what did you need to do 
to make it that way?

Many regards,

Dana Schwarz
Technical Services Coordinator
Lincoln Public Library
4080 John Charles Boulevard
Vineland, ON, Canada
L0R 2C0
905-562-3454 (fax)

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