When it comes to setting a patron's Service Queue size, Refill Point, and Max Titles per Cart, I tend to think there's a bit of logic and a bit of art to determining the best fit for a patron. But when it comes to setting library defaults, you don't have a specific patron in mind... so how should you determine the best fit? What works best?
I've gotten some questions from users, and have wondered myself, so I'm hoping you'll chime in! What are your library's default duplication profile settings? How often do you stick to the defaults vs entering custom settings? Have you encountered any problems or feedback based on your settings?
I'll also list out some of the things to consider with these settings. Am I missing anything you think about when you fill in these settings? Is there anything else that folks newer to duplication should know?
Max Service Queue Size:
If the Service Queue is too long, titles get "stale" as newer books come out
If the patron submits new OPAC Requests, they have to wait for the next refill to be picked up
There's no point in letting excess titles linger on the list below a frequent requester's latest Quick Request entries
Having several cartridges' worth of titles gives you enough to review, and gives you a good indication of what the patron is getting overall
On Demand patrons will receive cartridges until the queue empties out, at which point it will stay empty until they submit a new request.
If you let the Service Queue get too low, KLAS might not have enough titles picked out to fill the patron's returned cartridges. Consider Max Titles per Cart times Shipment Size your minimum refill point.
When nightly refills the Service Queues, it always runs the different functions starting from the top of the list--it doesn't pick up where it left off. If the gap between Refill Point and Max Queue Size is very small, a patron may only get picks from the first function or two (usually Reserves and Requests or Series) and never make it down to later functions (like Author or Subjects). Some patrons may want this, others want more variety.
Consider this an open call for all of your thoughts, opinions, and questions about the Service Queue size, Refill Point, and Max Titles per Cart settings.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
Duplication profile settings discussion
1 month 3 weeks ago #953
Those are all great questions!
One of the best parts of being able to run a couple of pilots before we went completely to this system was being able to test the numbers to see what might work well.
I can tell you that we in NC did experiment with the numbers at first to see what worked well. One thing you have to consider also is, how much work does staff want to do in cleaning up Service Queues to make sure the patron gets books they want when they want them? Also you have to consider how you mainly serve patrons. NC kind of breaks down to 60% on auto-selected books and 40% with human intervention. How you set up a patron also should take into consideration borrowing history, new or existing patron, etc.
When we started we first threw out something arbitrary that we thought would make sense and we hoped would have us tend things less often. Our first go round we set up every patron standard, with 3 cartridges each. The thought was one in hand, one in the mail and one ready to queue up. We send out 1 order per day per patron, as our standard default. This keeps the order flowing better we think.
As for number per cartridge, we figured out an "average" number that patrons generally borrow, plus some room to add with now having more available per turn. After some experimentation with our first pilot group we chose 8 per cartridge as the default..
Next up we chose, 30 max per queue, refill of 20. This worked OK, but we saw that there were situations that could present be more difficult to tend, like when you have to refill the queue or rearrange things. You may be pulling from older things that have fallen out of favor. One lesson we have learned is that just filling up a Service Queue with every request known to a patron is good sometimes, but many times it becomes more difficult to tend things and offer newer items that a patron may want right then.
This was all early going, with pilot patrons in many cases. So flash forward (now 2 years later. Can't believe it now):
Default number of cartridges - 3 per patron. We do have some cases where patrons only really want 1 at a time and we honor this. Also we have a small group of patrons, many who just don't care for the bookshelf and really just want one book per cartridge. For this group of people we set them 5 cartridges. Still getting 1 order per day.. In some cases we do also do manual assignments of additional cartridges, as needed
Default number of books per cartridge - 8 books. This has worked well for most. With getting their 3 cartridges they now have 24 books. We do have some that we started out at 5 books per cartridge to see how they could handle things. Also the select group of 1 per cartridge people. There also is another group who really want the kitchen sink. For these patrons we have upped them to 15 per cartridge. One thing about the upper limits, is that we noticed that some patron who would get 15 or 20 per cartridge, if they were really into Westerns and some of the fantasy series, if you go with 15 or 20 per cartridge you may exceed the capacity of cartridges you have on hand. One important update that was developed is the upper limit capacity warning. Currently no order is allowed to exceed 3.5 GB to help keep things manageable against our inventory of cartridges.
Default max service queue - 8 books, 7 refill point. By having this number set this way it keeps the Service Queue manageable, keeps fresh books on the list and allows staff to be manage things. Dumping an entire Service Queue is something we don't do much anymore. Staff can still manually add items to the Service Queue as needed. This size also allows for keeping better control of orders. 7 as a refill means no partial size orders anymore. One note on these numbers is that whatever size we set as a max, it matches the number per cartridge and the refill point is always one below that number.
These numbers have worked well for us as defaults.
We do still customize number for patrons as they request more or less books per order. We also have converted bunch of patrons with very limiting numbers based on their borrowing history. The patron that gets their first books and never returns them, the patron that does return things but slowly, is different to setup than someone new to the service or is a really on top of their books.
This is a topic that is nice to be seeing discussed now. It's fun to think about some more.
Overall, that our approach in NC
"There is no try, there is only do..."
In Nevada, we are using the Gutenberg system. Initially, we reviewed all patrons reading history and set their profiles according to their history. Are defaults were between 1 cartridge with 5 titles up to 3 cartridges with 10 titles. As we talk with patrons, if they are not getting enough books, we increase the numbers of titles per cartridge rather than increasing the number of cartridges. Our current upper limit of titles per cartridge is 15.
Initially we set the default max titles in the queue too high: 45. As Craig said, this made it too difficult to review if a patron wanted to make changes to their preferences, and the queue could get very stale for patrons getting one cartridge with 5 titles and keeping a cartridge for 6 months.
Because changing the defaults in KLAS changes it for everyone, we have been lowering this individually as they come to our attention. We now set the queue refill point and max titles in queue at or slightly above the NS Cutoff times the max titles on Cart. so all cartridges would be filled if that were the case. We also set the NS Shipment Size the same as the NS Cutoff. The workload for this model is so diminished that it is more efficient and better service to the patron to send the patron all cartridges due to him all at once.
We also adjusted out nightly configuration a few times. The current configuration that fills the queue is 4 from series, 5 from reserves (rarely used), 4 from requests, 4 from author and 4 from subject. This seems to be working well to give patrons a variety of titles.
The administrator has disabled public write access.