Matthew Reidsma

Work Notes

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The Tale of the loathed Recall Button in the OPAC

This is an important update - please read it, especially if you work the desk or virtual services. Please also share with student employees who work with patrons.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about why the Recall button is back in the catalog. There have been several updates within Yammer over the past month explaining the changes to MeLCat and the catalog, but moving forward Patrick will make sure these updates are included in the Dean’s Updates.

Here is the Recall Button everyone is talking about. Wait, how did this little fella get back in the catalog??

The old recall button

First, you should know that recalling a book is the DEFAULT behavior of every online catalog everywhere. That doesn’t mean people like it, that is just how the software is built.

MeLCat was temporarily suspended at GVSU on February 1st as part of our software upgrade to FOLIO. FOLIO will replace Sierra, as you know, and that means that the Library Catalog As We Know It will go away this summer. There will be one search interface to Rule Them All, and that will be EDS. Requests, loans, renewals, etc. all will happen in EDS/FOLIO.

EDS and FOLIO are not as customizable as Sierra was. So, in the past, I was able to switch the recall button to a button to get a book from MeLCat. That was not something that any other library using Sierra did - it was code I wrote. Yay! Everyone loved it. However, MeLCat is taking a break! Boo! Now the button cannot go to MeLCat. Where should the button go?? Document Delivery (which costs a lot of staff time and money) or recalls? (Which costs a lot of patron civility and some staff time)?

This was a very tough decision as neither option is a good one. When the deadline came to shut off MeLCat, we had to make a decision, but we could always change it down the line. While folks looked at staff workload, budgets, etc., we reintroduced the Recall button.

After a bumpy start to recalls, it was decided to switch to Document Delivery. However, writing code takes a little time. Friday afternoon I got the code working to send Document Delivery requests from the catalog, but I decided to wait to push it live until this morning. I did not want to break something over the weekend. So, as of the morning, the recall button is gone from the catalog, and has been replaced by the Request from Another Library button! Yay! This button takes folks to a Document Delivery request form for the book they were looking at. I highly recommend you try this in the catalog so you can understand what it is like.

Here is what it looks like now:

The new document delivery button

Now, as we understand it, FOLIO/EDS will not allow us to make this kind of customization. So in the summer when FOLIO goes live, it’s quite likely we’ll be right back to the recall button.

Let me know if you have any questions!