Friday, August 14, 2009

Got Users?

My colleague Jim Wilson enjoyed visits with several customers on the U.S. West Coast this week. Jim’s conversations with customers always reveal “how I done it good at my place” and “if only I could do a little more” topics. This week’s visits were no exception and led to review of a common challenge and some great ways to handle it in our Horizon and Symphony systems.

Usage of library collections constantly expands to encompass a growing array of electronic resources. Some users in the community focus almost exclusively on using databases, e-books and other resources from home, office and campus locations. While this usage typically doesn’t require a traditional check out transaction, it usually does involve some type of authentication. A question posed during Jim’s trip was how to capture this type of usage so that the library system considers users taking advantage of e-resources active and does not attempt to purge them as part of inactive borrower clean up. Libraries using Horizon’s RPA or SIP2 responder for authentication can include consideration of the borrower’s last authentication date in the purge process to avoid removing borrowers who use the library for access to electronic resources. Libraries who upgrade to SirsiDynix Symphony 3.3 can follow a similar process by indicating that SIP2 should update the user’s last activity date.

These simple changes in process provide great benefits for public relations, ensuring that all users can continue to enjoy full access to the library’s collections while the library maintains a steady or growing user base.


-Berit

VP of Product Development

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