New Libraries’ Service Enhances Research Experience – On-Shelf Holds

Last January 2011, the University Libraries introduced On-Shelf Holds, a new service designed to facilitate access to our valuable physical collections. Now, students and faculty may request on-shelf materials to be pulled and held under their name at any University Libraries’ circulation point – Main Circulation, Music, Educational Resources, Architecture, and Science-Health Science.

On-Shelf Holds is a service that expedites access for students and faculty by eliminating time spent retrieving items. Most items can be placed on hold. There are some exceptions, such as reference books, videos, archival materials, and reserve items. It is easy to place hold requests; users simply:

  • Log into CardCat, the Libraries’ online public catalog
  • Search for item(s)
  • Click on the Hold/Recall
  • Request link
  • Select a pickup location
  • Click on ‘Place Hold’

The Libraries’ staff generate reports of the requests and pull requested items twice daily during the regular work week, morning and afternoon. Holds placed on weekends or holidays are processed during the next business day.

On-Shelf Holds can also be used to have items sent between Bracken and branch libraries for checkout. Once an item has been retrieved and processed, requestors receive a confirmation e-mail that items are available for pickup. Materials are held at the specified location for seven days.

The service has grown incrementally, reflecting the general academic cycle. During Spring 2011 semester, over 1,000 items were placed on hold using the new service. Chris Manning, a graduate student completing two theses as part of her double master’s degree, says: “I love On-Shelf Holds! It’s fabulous and makes my life so much easier by streamlining the research process.”

Chris’ endorsement, like the others that the University Libraries have received, summarizes an important goal of the University Libraries, and that is to create a knowledge environment with seamless, convenient access to our rich collections.

On-Shelf Holds is proving to be an effective and efficient way for the University Libraries to meet our users’ expectations and to connect students and faculty to the Libraries’ array of teaching and learning resources.

For more information, contact Jan Vance, University Libraries Periodicals, Reserves, Microforms Collection Supervisor, 765-285-5146.

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