Around 2003-4 our library systems guy built a tool which, among other things, let us automate request processing for new materials and materials not owned,  Before the "Materials Request Database", (MRD), requests for new materials were handled by moving paper cards around in file drawers.  The MRD could also flag requests if the patrons had expired or delinquent accounts.  It could generate e-mail notices to patrons.  It could place holds for patrons as new materials were cataloged.  It was also linked to OCLC, letting us send interlibrary loan renewal requests without having to log in to OCLC.

But over time, upgrades to our SIRSI library system and to OCLC have broken things in the MRD.  The man who built it retired long ago.

In December 2013 we migrated to ILLiad, an OCLC product for interlibrary loan and document delivery.  We have adapted it to handle new materials requests as well.

Patrons now must create an ILLiad account to make new or ILL requests, but they can track their requests, which they have not been able to do for some time.  Staff can search OCLC, Ingram, Amazon and Google all in the client's request window.  Patrons are now limited to five active requests, which ought to ease the load on our overburdened book selection and ILL staff.

We are still working the bugs out, but it is surprising how quickly our patrons have adapted.  Very quickly after we made ILLiad available at the beginning of January, they began to sign up and submit requests.  We are also creating accounts for patrons who cannot do it themselves.

We are unveiling a new library web site very soon, with a cleaner look, integrated into the main Leon County site.

Old site:

New site:

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