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 email@example.com.
We created an online JotForm to make our material requestable, which encompasses the four types of requests patrons can make. It requires a campus-issued email address to ensure only our community can submit requests.
When a Jotform is submitted, it automatically populates a Google Sheet. (This was specified in our setup--other options are available.) This is our receiving queue – if something appears in this sheet, it has not yet been processed.
Once per day we move all new requests to an Excel file, after which they are deleted from the Google Sheet to avoid duplicate processing.
This integration with Google Sheets is a feature of JotForm. More information can be found in the JotForm website.
We have a total of five Excel workbooks to sort/organize our data:
Master File: this is a comprehensive running list of all requests that are submitted from the JotForm/Google Sheets. Data that is dumped into Google Sheets is moved into the Master File, regardless of request type.
From the master file, we copy data into type-specific workbooks:
See the screen shots of Excel workbook pages in the “Samples” tab.
Microsoft Word Mail Merge
We created 6 mail merge template forms. See them in the "Samples" tab.
Book Chapter Request retrieval sheet
Article Request retrieval sheet
Mailed Item Request retrieval sheet
Pickup Item Request retrieval sheet
Removable labels for physical items
Email text to notify patrons to pick up requested items.
We use our Excel workbooks to generate retrieval sheets for each request, which are used by staff to locate items, find requested pages for scanning, etc. The sheets are also used as cover sheets for scanning requests, and are included with physical items provided to borrowers. They feature our library branding and provide contact information.
We store all workbooks, mail merge templates, and generated retrieval/cover sheets in Box, the cloud storage system used by the campus. This gives all members of our team safe access to all components of our delivery service, even when working remotely.
To enable patrons to easily return items through the mail, we generate labels upon request using Endicia Professional, an internet postage service provider. Using this service we generate USPS prepaid library-rate mailing labels, which can then be emailed to patrons for their use in mailing items back to us. Endicia is the only pre-paid postage return label service that is available for USPS library or media postal rates, which are the most economical (but slower) shipping rates for library books.