The Beinecke library’s major renovation will impact all areas of service as the historic building is shuttered between May 2015 and September 2016. Both patrons and staff depend on reliable access to the unparalleled rare materials collection, and therefore need a reliable requesting mechanism to get offsite materials delivered to either the temporary public reading room (located in SML) or the new Beinecke Technical Services space at Science Park.
Special collections stored at the LSF have historically only been deliverable to the owning collection – further movement is handled by the collection’s staff. Changing this to allow for two formal delivery locations required a change to Aeon, the software used by special collections to manage requesting, and to the scripts used by the LSF to process incoming requests. Working with Beinecke and LSF Staff, Enterprise Systems and Services personnel were able to identify an unused field in the Aeon application and use it to store the desired pickup location. The Aeon and GFA applications responsible for integration were then modified to recognize this field and use it to represent a new “drop code” for Beinecke materials. Staff can now populate this field from a radio button in the web request form or through direct entry in the staff client – no other changes to the request are necessary.
Patron requests are automatically designated for the public reading room without staff intervention. With the first test requests processed successfully, Beinecke’s staff at the new technical services headquarters will be ready to continue work uninterrupted after their move. This solution also opens the door to requesting across special collections – allowing readers to view materials at the reading room most convenient for them. While there are many policy, safety, and preservation concerns to be addressed, this project has helped to ensure continuity of service for Beinecke patrons while opening the discussion for more convenient material access for special collection patrons in general.