Express holds: saving your time, library resources
Those who place holds on materials at the Weyburn Public Library can now bypass standing in line to complete check out, with the recent installation of the new Express Holds shelf located one row in from the new books shelf. “It's just tucked in behind, right at the very beginning of the books on CD,” shared Branch Manager Dawn Silver. “We put it there to get it out from behind the desk.” She said this was for a couple of reasons, one being that it simply speeds up the process for those who are just there to pickup their holds. “That's why we're calling it 'express holds', as they're already checked out to you,” she said. This means there's no more to do, other than grab your books. “Some people have mentioned a couple of concerns about things going missing, but we're kind of the last public library system to be doing this,” Silver noted. “Everybody has done this. I know that in the 80s I did it in the Fraser Valley Regional system and we didn't lose any books.” “Public library users are phenomenally honest. If somebody's going to take something, they'll come in and take it anyway, but we don't seem to draw that kind of a clientele very often.” The new feature will also save time and resources for the library. “This will speed up the process for the books coming to other people. After you have had your hold, because we'll be able to move it out really quickly on to the next one, you'll pick it up, you'll read it, you'll bring it back. It will knock a number of days off of the whole process,” she explained. “We haven't had a lot of increase in our materials budgets because we're very thrifty in Saskatchewan, and this is another way of we're trying to to make our money go as far as we possibly can for our collections.” Silver said she's happy to not only speed up the process for patrons, but it will also save some space behind their front desk. “If you hadn't noticed, was kind of crowded. We we have been asking people to come in and pick up their holds and they've been helping a lot, but this will solve a lot of our problems back there too, because when you get two book trucks, a little work desks, I mean his workstation and 12 bins, it can be a little tight back there.” She said prior to creating the express holds shelf, they had to urge people via social media to pick up their holds due to the congestion. “We put it on our Facebook because it was really kind of crazy. We didn't have any room. We filled up the the six little shelves behind the desk, plus a book truck.” Silver said they consider the express holds to be, “Almost a ramped-up version of curbside service, 'curbside on steroids'. We have not gotten rid of that wonderful thing [curbside service]. There's only a couple of people still taking advantage of it, but we can still do it.” As for what can be placed on hold and picked up from the shelf, she said it will be everything, including games. “This is a really great pilot project, but I don't think we're going to have any problems, and I think that it was about time we did it,” she added. “There's been a very little complaint about it. People are more concerned, which I think is really quite delightful because they're worried about our resources, and this is their resource as well. So we're recording everything and we're making sure we're we're keeping track of it because I'm sure there's going to be a report at the end of the two months.” Placing holds can be done in one of three ways. You can use the inter-library loan system on your home browser or on your smart phone HERE, or you can visit the library to use one of their computers to look up books you'd like to have sent to Weyburn. Or, you can phone the branch at 306-842-4352 with your library card handy and they'll arrange the hold for you.