The skinny on FLOAT

January 21, 2011

We’ve had a few questions about the new FLOAT branch of late.  It appears I wasn’t as clear in explaining it as I should have been.  For those of you who have paid attention, the FLOAT branch is being used as a pilot project to see if we can speed the movement of new materials through Technical Services departments.  Here’s how it works.

All new adult fiction and adult entertainment DVDs are assigned to the FLOAT branch.  The branch is assigned in Catalog Services when the individual items are barcoded and cataloged.  At that time, the items are given a shelf status (vs. shelf in process, the status assigned to other new materials).  What may be confusing for some is that the catalog shows the materials are on the shelf somewhere (and not filling the many holds that are pending).  In reality, the materials are on a cart somewhere in the process of moving out to a library.  This status should be fairly short-lived:  it’s only in place for the time the materials spend waiting for physical processing, generally just a few days.  If a customer asks about an item while it’s in process, it’s best to tell them it’s on the way and should be in a library shortly.

Most items assigned to the FLOAT branch have holds pending at the time they arrive at the Service Center.  As they are scanned in CARL.Solution before going into an outgoing delivery box, they pick up holds and are then in transit.  Those items that do not have holds pending are distributed to libraries by Circulation Services staff.  Because the FLOAT branch floats, these materials will be assigned to the library where they are scanned and given a shelf status.  While FLOAT items are moving around the system to fill holds queues, they will remain assigned to that branch.

We’re going to continue this pilot until after we go live with Polaris; at that point, we’ll look at whether we have achieved significant time savings and we’ll have a better idea of how new materials flow with the new circulation system.

Questions?  Post a comment!

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