In the days and weeks following a FIL conference it is always great to be able to revisit the presentations through the items uploaded onto the FIL website. This year I was particularly keen to review the presentation and slides of Lynn Brown & Celia Hudson who presented on ‘Leaning ILLs at Nottingham’.
I think a lot of what they said resonated with many of the delegates as we all recognised, to a certain degree, the ways our own ILL services and operations had become cluttered or cumbersome. I was certainly inspired to come back to work and ‘lean’ out our ILL procedures. ILL Essex was going to be put on a diet, a new regime which would hopefully streamline our job and improve the service for our readers.
We couldn’t start immediately but we had plans to overhaul the system once our upgraded LMS was functioning as we wished. The timing also coincided, rather conveniently, with changes to the staffing in ILL so we would be able to teach new staff the new methods from the outset.
With the help of a colleague, who is a wizard with flow charts, we started mapping what we did, why we did it and whether, in fact, all our procedures were strictly necessary. We started by looking at what statistics we needed and how we calculated them, realising that our LMS system and OCLC actually calculate most of them for us, so there was no need for the level of manual intervention that we had been using.
Following from this we looked at every procedure in turn. We seemed to ask the question ‘why’ a lot and didn’t necessarily get a very good answer, other than, because that’s what we have always done!
Our first new graduate trainee has now come into ILL and will our guinea pig and tester for all the new procedures; He seems to be coping fine so that is a relief. We have also even managed to cut out keeping lots of unnecessary paperwork which is definitely an added bonus.
Thank you to Lynn and Celia for giving me the incentive to make changes for improvements sake. So if you haven’t already checked out their presentation I would heartily recommend that you do. It is with all the others from FIL 2015 on the website at:
Now back to work……
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/53326337@N00/2493803790">Folders</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>