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The Library Without Walls. Orange County Library System and Home Delivery. The Library Without Walls. Orange County Library System and Home Delivery. The Beginning. The Orange County Library System has offered patrons free home delivery of requested material since 1974.

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the library without walls

The Library Without Walls

Orange County Library System and Home Delivery

the library without walls1

The Library Without Walls

Orange County Library System and Home Delivery

the beginning
The Beginning
  • The Orange County Library System has offered patrons free home delivery of requested material since 1974.
  • In 1974, Orange County, Florida population was 350,000.
  • OCLS in 1974: main library, nine branches and a bookmobile.
issues of the mid 1970s
Issues of the mid-1970s
  • Gas prices rising
  • More traffic on the roads
  • Municipal parking hassles
  • (Sound familiar?)
an innovative approach
An innovative approach
  • OCLS Director at the time, Glenn Miller, wanted to reach patrons throughout the whole service area…
  • Mailbox Access to Your Library
  • 9,000 requested books were delivered in 1975.
  • By the end of the 1980s, 10,000 requests were being delivered monthly.
the 1990s
The 1990s
  • AV materials eligible for request in 1990, account for 10% of requests by 1992.
the 1990s1
The 1990s
  • In 1994, book rate postage increases 70%.
the 1990s2
The 1990s
  • OCLS begins association with local courier Priority Express Parcel in 1995.
  • OCLS launches website in 1998.
priority express parcel
Priority Express Parcel
  • PEP forms with the Library’s MAYL service in mind, as an alternative to the postal service.
priority express parcel1
Priority Express Parcel
  • PEP begins trial period with OCLS in early 1995, delivering to a few zip codes.
  • By 1997, PEP is delivering more than 90% of OCLS requests.
priority express parcel2
Priority Express Parcel
  • PEP couriers leave package at patron’s door.
  • Packages placed in plastic bag on rainy days.
  • They don’t knock unless instructed on address card.
  • Some instructions are unique.
priority express parcel3
Priority Express Parcel
  • With PEP handling the bulk of deliveries, MAYL circa 1995 stands for Materials Access from Your Library.
  • PEP delivers requests in 1-3 business days. Comparable cost with USPS results in delivery time of 5-8 days.
  • PEP offers good customer service.
  • OCLS outsources inter-branch delivery to PEP in 2000.
ocls website
OCLS Website
  • The Library website premieres in 1998, allowing patrons to browse the catalog and make requests online.
ocls website1
OCLS Website
  • In May 1998, 2,500 online requests were received.
  • In May 1999, 8,500 online requests were received.
  • By 2002, 17,000 requests monthly were originating from the website, representing 50% of all requests system-wide.
ocls website2
OCLS Website
  • From 1998 until March 2003, online holds were manually entered by staff the day after patrons placed them.
  • Toward the end of this period, an average of 30,000 holds each month were being manually entered.
ocls website3
OCLS Website
  • In March 2003, OCLS migrated to a new automated system (III Millennium), allowing online holds to automatically appear on patron accounts.
ocls website4
OCLS Website
  • So far in 2006, the monthly average for online requests exceeds 53,000.
  • Online holds now represent more than 80% of all holds system-wide.
yesterday and today
Yesterday and Today
  • 1974: Orange County population was 350,000.
  • 2006: Orange County population is 1,000,000.
yesterday and today1
Yesterday and Today
  • OCLS in 1974: main library, nine branches and a bookmobile.
  • OCLS in 2006: main library (expanded to triple the original size), 14 branches, and…
the library without walls2
…The Library Without Walls
  • The OCLS MAYL service consistently ranks as the third busiest “location”.
  • 2006:
    • Main circ: 863,793
    • Alafaya circ: 660,983
    • MAYL circ: 637,036
    • MAYL on pace for 700,000+ in 2007
what s being requested today
What’s Being Requested Today?
  • 60% books
  • 20% DVDs
  • 10% CDs (music)
  • 5% CDs (books)
  • 5% VHS/cassette products
special services
Special Services
  • Requests are processed in the Special Services Department.
  • Special Services is housed in a 8,000 square foot space in the main library.
  • Special Services used to include ILL and talking books, but was streamlined over the years to focus only on holds.
special services1
Special Services
  • Special Services staff:
    • One manager
    • One coordinator (supervisor)
    • Eight full-time clerks
    • Six part-time clerks
a little help from our friends
A Little Help from our Friends
  • Special Services relies on:
    • Staff taking requests in person & by phone
    • Staff creating more manageable paging lists
    • Staff searching the shelves for holds from the paging list
    • Staff checking in holds to initiate “transit” status
taking the request
Taking the Request
  • How holds are received:
    • 82% placed by patrons via the website
    • 10% placed by Questline staff helping patrons by phone
    • 8% placed by staff helping patrons in person
we re different
We’re Different
  • Typically, libraries using III Millennium allow for the selection of a pick-up location, based on patron preference.
  • OCLS designates Special Services as the only pick-up location, assuring that all holds are sent there for processing.
create list paging list
“Create List” Paging List
  • OCLS has developed a custom-made paging list utilizing Millennium’s “create list” function:
    • Allows parameters to increase hit rate (ignores copies checked in within last 72 hours, for example)
    • Allows for separate list to address “floating items”
    • Easier to read and handle
two types of paging lists
Two Types of Paging Lists
  • Regular custom list, for items with assigned owning locations
  • Floating custom list, for items “owned” by the last location to check in (lease books, entertainment DVDs)
  • Each location searches daily for items on both lists
two types of paging lists1
Two Types of Paging Lists

Main paging lists:

  • Regular = 400-500 items
  • Floating = 100-200 items

Branch paging lists:

  • Regular = 100 - 200 items
  • Floating = 25 - 75 items
in transit to special services
“In Transit” to Special Services
  • Staff check in paging list items found on shelf, changing status to from “available” “in transit”.
  • Helpful to staff, potentially confusing to patrons.
pep bringeth pep taketh away
PEP bringeth, PEP taketh away
  • Approximately 30% of holds are pulled from Main.
  • PEP delivers the remainder of the holds to Special Services from the branches.
  • PEP takes processed holds away from Special Services and sorts the material for delivery
special services process
Special Services Process
  • Pull carts from front of the holds queue
  • Three-person teams at work stations
  • Two teammates at computers go through “the process” with each item
  • Checked out item passed to bagger
  • Package stapled, address card inserted, placed in PEP bin.
special services process1
Special Services Process
  • Scan item
  • Stand up, turn around three times
  • Recite first two verses of “Still Crazy After All These Years” by Paul Simon
  • Talk soothingly to computer
  • Hope for the best.
special services process2
Special Services Process
  • Check in item, prompts mailing address to print
  • Pop-up box appears, providing patron’s name and card number
  • Type card number on digital notepad
  • Paste card number in appropriate field
  • Checkout item, prompts due date slip
special services process3
Special Services Process
  • Requested item appears on patron’s checked out list immediately.
  • Check out period for MAYL items is three days longer than standard.
three ways to get it
Three Ways to Get It
  • Once processed by Special Services, patrons obtain holds three ways:
    • 92% PEP
    • 4% postal service
    • 4% picked up
postal packages
Postal Packages
  • Why a package is sent through the mail:
    • Primary address is P.O. Box
    • Residence is outside of PEP delivery area
    • Patron preference (security)
pick up packages
Pick-up Packages
  • Why a package is held for pick-up:
    • Staff Member
    • Patron preference
    • Library decision (two-time rule)
what about package loss
What About Package Loss?
  • Delivery logs kept in Special Services show that approximately 1 in 1,500 delivered items goes missing.
  • Some missing items are recovered.
what about supplies
What About Supplies?
  • “Jiffy Bag” padded mailers
    • 170,000 – 200,000 mailers ordered annually in five different sizes
    • Most mailers are returned for re-use
what about supplies1
What About Supplies?
  • Staples and staplers
    • Special Services uses approximately 7,500 staples a day
    • Swingline automatic staplers used for safety and efficiency
    • 75-100 automatic staplers purchased annually
other supplies
Other Supplies
  • Plastic sleeves for padded mailers
  • Clear packing tape (mailer repair)
  • Staple removers
  • Pens, paper, etc.
  • Total spent on supplies annually:
    • $36,000
means of delivery cost
Means of Delivery Cost
  • PEP address cards
    • 40,000-55,000 purchased monthly at $1.80 each
  • Postal expenses
    • Special Services has own postal machine ($14,000 purchase cost)
    • Approximately $60,000 in postage used annually in Special Services
mayl the big picture
MAYL: The Big Picture
  • For FY 2006, MAYL operational cost was $1,619,013.31, which includes:
    • Delivery cost (61%)
    • Staff salary & benefits (31%)
    • Supplies
    • Overhead for building space
mayl the big picture1
MAYL: The Big Picture
  • FY 2006 MAYL service represents 3.3% of OCLS budget.
  • Five years ago, the cost was 2.9% of OCLS budget.
  • We must watch the growth rate of MAYL costs as it compares with growth of OCLS budget.
cost per unit comparison
Cost per Unit Comparison
  • MAYL cost per unit: $2.63 ($2.37 five years ago).
  • $2.63 cost per unit ranks 10th most efficient of 16 “locations”
  • MAYL circ:
    • 2nd highest among branches
    • More than double the circ produced by 9 of 15 branches
greatest thing since sliced bread
“Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread”
  • MAYL has always been popular with patrons.
  • The local TV news story (2005):
    • (The pitch) “One of our editors just loves the service…we’d like to do a story”
    • (The story) “Did you know the Library spends hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars on delivering library books to able-bodied residents?
the online survey
The Online Survey
  • MAYL service survey appeared on OCLS website:
    • Posted a week before airing of news story
    • Survey stayed up for three weeks
    • 1,700 responded
the online survey1
The Online Survey
  • 97% of respondents rated MAYL a “Great Service”
  • 34% said they use OCLS almost exclusively through the website and MAYL
  • 1,100 comments, almost all amazingly supportive
survey comments
Survey Comments
  • “This is the best part of your library system. It's what sets you apart from other counties.”
  • “Home delivery service is one of the main things that makes the Orange County Library system so outstanding! We've never lived anywhere that had such an incredible library system!”
  • “I absolutely love it. It makes getting the books and selections so much easier. I still go to the library to browse but the home delivery is the best thing since sliced bread.”
  • “MAYL is a lifesaver. I have told so many people about it and they don't believe me!!! I love it and when my kids were babies I don't know what I would have done without it. Thank you so much!
survey comments1
Survey Comments
  • “The first question my kids ask when they get home from school is "Did the bookman come today?" What else could a parent ask for, and it’s all because of your great program. Thanks.”
  • “The library is the only service provided by my tax dollars that I don't complain about! I so appreciate the MAYL service and the library in general.”
  • “Wonderful service! What a great time saver! One of the reasons I live in Orange County--thank you!!”
  • “It is the most amazing and best feature of the library. Without it, I doubt I would use the library as frequently, if at all.”
survey comments2
Survey Comments
  • “I've been using this service since I was a young teen who couldn't drive myself to the library, and I'm nearing 30 now. It's a wonderful way to save time spent in traffic, gas, and piece of mind when I find out what I came to the library for is checked out. I find that MAYL is tax money well spent!”
  • “I'm really upset the local media staged a "Sweeps" stunt using MAYL as its scapegoat. This service is wonderful, and a truly philanthropic use of tax money.”
  • “I'm a Channel 9 employee and I thought the short-sighted report was just hot-air trying to boost the ratings. I can tell you that as a result of the story against home delivery, Channel 9 received a backlash of emails and calls condemning their attempt to discredit MAYL. To me, it's a wonderful service and time saver for me.”
the library without walls3

The Library Without Walls

Orange County Library System and Home Delivery