Scan And Deliver Webinar Report

Last week I attended the OCLC Scan And Deliver Webinar. A recording of the webinar will be posted to the OCLC News website sometime in October.

The OCLC “Scan and Deliver Report” (PDF) came out early this year stemming from a working group that looked into streamlining special collections digitization requests. In short, the working group looked at scanning on demand for patrons requesting special collections materials and determined that best practice is prompt delivery. On page eight of that report is a three-tiered workflow for “user-initiated” digitization that includes three tracks, the inside track, middle track and outside track. Each track describes an increasing amount of commitment and resources and is designed to help institutions decide how to fulfill patron requests for digitized materials in the quickest, most efficient manner.

My notes from the webinar:

Introduction (I think this was done by Jennifer Schaffner, OCLC Research):

  • Access is the priority, delivery is the goal.
  • Let the context [of collection, of the request, etc.] be your guide.
  • Do the minimum necessary for delivery.
  • Be flexible, “jump the tracks” if you need to.
  • Each track outlines best practice within that track; the Inside Track is NOT a short cut.

Anne Behde, San Diego State University (representing the Inside Track):

  • Purchased a Bookeye book scanner for their rare book reading room; patrons take items they want to scan to the desk, desk staff approve request if the item is in good condition and train patron on using the Bookeye. The patron scans the item themselves. The scanner is set up near the desk for ease of watching out for the materials, and patrons are asked to record what they are scanning for the library’s statistics.
  • Take controlled risks.
  • Analyze your anxieties and roadblocks; is it fear or legitimate roadblocks that are preventing you from implementing a scan on demand program?

Julia Gardner, University of Chicago (representing the Middle Track)

Anne Blecksmith, Getty Research Institute (representing a hybrid of the Middle and Outside Track)

  • They developed a Digitization On Demand Team; interdepartmental team of everyone involved in the process of digitizing materials.
  • Their Specialized Photography group deals with rights, exhibits, graphics, etc.; the Digital Projects Team does the digitization on demand, mass digitization and collaborative digitization projects.

Much of the Q&A session was about the Bookeye book scanner which most of these institutions are using for their DoD requests and issues of metadata. I did ask whether anyone saw an increase in conservation needs after scanning, Anne Behde said that no increase has happened because they are careful with the pre-screening.

One person asked how this report works with the OCLC “Rapid Capture: Faster Throughput in Digitization of Special Collections” (PDF). There apparently was no connection, although the panelists all had a “hmmmm…” moment. I haven’t read that report, but I will to see if there are obvious connections or if they are in opposition of each other.

I think our institution and many others will likely go down this road. If you Google “Scan and Deliver” you will see many institutions already have. I’m interested in the patron self-scanning model in particular. Considering we already have a copier in our reading room, a planetary copier seems like a better choice overall. But I’m also interested in how this tiered service may be added to our existing digital reformatting program (which includes an Internet Archive station as well as a stand-alone department to digitize collection material).

If your institution has implemented Scan and Deliver in any form we would love to hear about your experience. What is the structure of your program, is Preservation, your rare book library, or your ILL department doing the scanning or are your patrons doing self-scanning? How do you feel about self-scanning and/or digitizing on demand from a preservation standpoint? Have you seen any increase in conservation requests from self-scanning?

AOTUS Imparts Customer Service Wisdom

I attended the annual Triangle Research Library Network (TRLN) annual meeting today. The keynote speaker was none other than David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States (AOTUS).

His address, titled “Creating a Customer Focused Organization,” had some nuggets of inspiration from his many years of experience managing some of the largest and most complicated institutions (MIT, NYPL, Duke, NARA). I wanted to share my notes because I think there are good lessons to be learned here.

General observations from his experience at NARA

  • The farther you get from the top of the organization, the less you feel part of it or that your voice is heard. People should feel they are working as one organization.
  • It’s important to develop a culture of leadership.
  • Your staff are your primary asset. You need to develop a culture of trust and empowerment.

Mr. Ferriero’s six lessons on customer service

  1. Look for good models of customer service and emulate them; be sure to look outside libraries and archives. Good examples are FedEx and Zappos.
  2. Customers don’t come first, employees do.
  3. Look for ways to engage with your customers, they tend to want to talk to you about their research.
  4. Unless you genuinely like working with people, stay out of customer service.
  5. Internal customers are equally as important as external ones.
  6. You are never done improving customer service.
What are your thoughts? what have you learned through your experience on improving customer service?
By the way, Mr. Ferriero’s latest blog post is on conserving the Magna Carta. It’s worth a few minutes to read, and follow the link to the video.