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Buswell Delivery Service

This guide explains how our library provided remote service and library-owned materials to our campus students, staff, and faculty when the library was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have questions, please email

Processing Incoming Requests

What We’re Doing

Remote staff process the incoming requests and prepare the mail-merged retrieval slips so that onsite staff can fulfill the requests for delivery. This is the most detailed part of the workflow, so the directions below are fairly comprehensive.

How We’re Doing It

  1. Check new requests (received from the JotForm) on the Google Sheet workbook for anomalies or missing data.
    1. If there are anomalies or missing data, highlight the line in RED and leave it in the Google Sheet until the issue is resolved.
      1. Contact the patron for necessary information or to clarify what is needed.
      2. Note the issue and that you have contacted the patron.
    2. When a response is received, add or clarify information in their original columns. Un-highlight the line and proceed to the next step.
  2. Cut/paste all un-highlighted lines from the Google Sheet to the master Excel file
    1. Use cut/paste (as opposed to copy/paste) so the line is removed from the Google Sheet.
    2. Request ID #s are auto-filled in Column A .
    3. Paste into the Excel file starting at Column B (there will be an error message if you try to paste into Column A). You should not need to manipulate any columns or data to make everything match.
    4. All lines should end up moving from the Google Sheet to the master Excel file.
    5. The master Excel file provides a complete history of all requests received and serves as back-up so no data is accidentally lost. It has a column for every question on the JotForm, inclusive of all request types.
  3. Copy/Paste all lines from the master Excel file to their individual workbooks.
    1. There are 4 individual workbooks, based upon request type:
      1. Physical Item Shipped.xlsx
      2. Physical Item Buswell Pick-Up.xlsx
      3. Scanned Book Chapter.xlsx
      4. Scanned Journal Articles.xlsx
    2. The first tab in each workbook is a “Template” tab that provides column headers for workflow processing. Copy it to a new tab at the end. Rename the new tab with the date that the requests are being moved. So, if the date is March 21, enter 3.21 to name the tab.
    3. Use copy/paste so the request lines stay in the master Excel file as you copy them to the individual workbooks.
    4. Once the transfer of requests to individual workbooks is complete, you can delete unneeded columns on the workbook’s new tab to facilitate processing & sort by call number. Make sure the field headings at the top of the columns are in row 1 so the mail merge process will work properly. Save and close the file.
  4. Mail Merge the retrieval slip / cover sheet
    1. Each type of request has a corresponding template so that a merge of the requests in Excel with the template in Word can generate retrieval slips for gathering items for processing. The slip also functions as a cover sheet or delivery slip for processing requests.
    2. Open an individual retrieval template in Word to correspond with one of the request types. The fields in the document template are already set up to work with the field headings in the Excel file.
    3. Run the Mail Merge Wizard (Mailings > Start Mail Merge > Step-by-Step Merge Wizard) and follow the prompts to merge to a new document.
    5. IN NEW DOCUMENT review the merge results, fixing any content or spacing as needed. You may need to manually highlight the Call Number field for Physical Item requests.
    6. Save the file of mail merged sheets in the “Mail Merged Retrieval Slips & Cover Sheets” subfolder in Box with the filename: (type_tabname, eg. pickup_3.21)
    7. Print a copy of each single-sided retrieval sheet. (At Buswell, the remote staff person is able to use “Remote Desktop” to actually send the retrieval sheets to a printer physically located at Buswell Library for onsite people to use. If that is not possible, the slips could be saved to a file where onsite people could access and print them.)
    8. Record the completion of that step in the Excel workbook in the appropriate column.
    9. Repeat the merge process for each type of request that needs to be processed that day.