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TOPIC: Short Staffed? Strategies to keep up.

Short Staffed? Strategies to keep up. 5 months 3 weeks ago #576

  • patrick20k
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Is most of your circulation staff out on Holiday? If you're worried you'll get slammed with more than you can handle, there are things you can do to make sure you won't get buried in mailing cards!

Before your staff will be out of the office:

  • Reduce your Card Run Maximum
You have an adjustable upper limit on how many assignments your Nightly Run will generate.

If the number of assignments you have is below this maximum, nothing changes--you get all of the expected cards, and KLAS won't attempt to create more just to meet the maximum. On the other hand, if you do a ton of check-ins and know that most of your circ staff will be out the next day, you can lower this number. Then, when KLAS goes about its Nightly Processing, it will stop generating assignments as soon as it hits the Max. Unserved patrons can then be considered for service the next night.

You will only ever get as many cards as your Maximum or fewer--never more. If you turn it down to make sure you can keep up with your card assignments during a staff shortage, don't forget to set it back to your usual max once people are back and you're all caught up!

To adjust your Card Run Maximum...
  1. Go to View – Administration – Nightly Configuration
  2. Go to the Control Values tab (Alt 4)
  3. Update (Ctrl + O)[/i]
  4. In the Daily Circulation Cutoff field, set the desired Maximum number (remember to keep a note with the original value)
  5. Save your changes. The new Maximum will remain in place until you go back and manually change it.

  • Only run certain Nightly Programs
Your Nightly Processing includes several programs, which find books to assign based on Requests, Author Preferences, and Subject Preferences, and whether to look at Turnaround Shelves or in the stacks. Each of these programs has a setting that allows you to easily toggle whether or not to run that program.

If you expect to be in a crunch, you can disable the Subject or even Author preferences, from stacks or from Turnaround as well. Patrons would still get their Requests (and their Reserves and series, which are handled outside of Nightly), but will otherwise have to wait for service until the other programs are turned back on.

If you take this route, leave all of the other settings for the program in place, so that it is easy to resume normal service. Just remember to go back and turn the other programs back on as soon as you can handle the extra assignments!

If you aren't sure how to do this one, give us a call--we'll walk you through it.

Last Minute emergencies

Of course, those approaches only help if you make the changes before Nightly runs. If your office is hit by the Flu, a snowstorm, or some other rash of emergency callouts, don't panic!

Mailing cards don't expire. So long as you Do Not Post cards that you don't have time to deal with, they will wait for you as long as they need to.

You can break up the batch by location (so you can handle Turnaround assignments only, without needing to venture into the stacks) or by card number (so you can grab only the first hundred cards, or however many you think you can get to). Print the cards you want and move the rest into Batch 0, where they can hang out until the emergency passes.

If that's too "fiddly" for you: go ahead and print the whole run. Just don't lose the cards you don't get to, and remember not to post the batch until every single card has been matched up with its book and mailed.

(If habit kicks in and you post a batch with unmailed cards, call KLAS Customer Support RIGHT AWAY. We can recover the batch, but ONLY the same day. Any Posted batches will be cleared out overnight and then gone forever.)

So what did I miss?

Do any of our users have Tried-And-True methods for handling the Holiday crunch? What is your approach to a short-staffed circulation? Please chime in and let us know what works for you! B)
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