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Traverwood Branch reopens Monday March 2nd! Plus, Frozen Update!

Tue, 02/18/2020 - 8:26am by eli

Thank you all for your patience while Traverwood has been closed for renovation! While we planned for a 10-week closure, we need just one more week to get the branch ready for business.

Traverwood Branch reopens at 10am on Monday, March 2, and features:

  • new carpet
  • refinished floors
  • new computers
  • a new bookable meeting room
  • so much more!

We're excited for you to come back to Traverwood Branch!

Update on Frozen Requests

As you hopefully know, you can freeze any and or all of your requests that haven't hit the hold shelves yet. When a request is frozen, you'll continue to move up the queue, but it won't be sent to the hold shelf for you until you unfreeze that request. (We refuse to call it thawing, especially this time of year.)

A lot of patrons really love this option! It's a great way to get in line for popular items, and then save it for when you want it once you've hit the top of the queue. This has led to situations where popular items have a lot of frozen requests at the top of the queue. You can be #17 in line for item, but the first 16 requests are all frozen, so you're actually next, and you don't know it.

To help with this, we've implemented a change. 

Your requests will no longer show frozen holds as part of the status (unless your request is frozen—more on that later). Example: If you're requester #17, but the 16 requests ahead of you are all frozen, it will now show you, accurately, as #1 in line! This should help make it clearer how many people are actually ahead of you and give you a better idea of how long you might be waiting for that item.

There's one catch—if someone ahead of you in line unfreezes their request, you’ll appear to move down in line. If you see that happen, nobody jumped the queue—it's just that a frozen request ahead of you has unfrozen.

When your request is frozen, things will look a little different. You'll still see your queue position, but the status will include frozen requests as well—just like you used to see. Example: If you froze a request and you’re #17 in line and the 16 requests ahead of you are all frozen, you’ll still see yourself as #17 in line. You’ll know your true place in line when you unfreeze your request and all frozen requests are removed from the status.

These changes mostly affect our most enthusiastic borrowers, so if that's you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments below or at askus@aadl.org and we’d be happy to help.

Thanks for reading this far, and we're sorry for the complexity here; everybody uses the library in different ways, and this has become confusing to the point where a change was necessary. Let us know what you think, or if you have any questions, or ideally, just try it out and see how it works!

Thanks for your interest, and thanks for using your library! Hope to see you at Traverwood Branch on March 2!

twood

 

Comments

That’s interesting — and probably explains why, for a brief period yesterday, a bunch of my holds showed as 1 of 0. (Now back to normal.)

Thank you for the making the changes to the hold system! I have one question: does the number on an item record reflect total holds (including freezes) or active holds?

Great question! We made this change to the number on the item records and search results too. So you only see numbers that include frozen requests when you have a frozen request on that title. Thanks for asking!

Will my items continue to be sent to Westgate up until March 2nd? Or can I expect that they will be on the shelf at Traverwood when you re-open e.g. if I unfreeze a couple items sometime next week where will they be sent?

Thanks for asking! Yes, your items will continue to be sent to westgate until March 2nd. The traverwood-in-exile hold shelves at Westgate will be moved back to Traverwood after close on Sunday March 1st and will be ready when we reopen Monday March 2nd. So, if you unfreeze next week, items that come in before March 2 will be sent to Westgate, and then moved to Traverwood to be ready for opening. Thanks again for this great question!

Sounds great! I very much appreciate the ability to freeze and unfreeze holds, and it seems that you have made a good feature even better.
Thank you.

Yay!

Thanks for information regarding updates to the online request system; all seems thoughtfully done! I just found the information as I was looking online for an update on when our branch would reopen. I have missed coming to Traverwood so much that I am heartened to see plans in place for March 2! Thanks for everyone’s effort to make the Branch closing as easy as possible for patrons.

Appreciate the new update on the frozen requested items. So happy that Traverwood is going to open ahead of time. We missed you all!

I wish I had known about this option before! Are there any other features, similar to the "freeze" option and if yes, where can a list be found?

Well, there are a lot of library services! You can find more info on our services page, but there isn't really a list of features. Enumerating library services gets overwhelming pretty quickly. Just let us know if you have any other questions, and thanks for using your library!

Being able to freeze a requested book was one of the best changes you made when switching to the new system. The change you are making now will help to clarify a person's place in line for a requested book. I love our library! You are doing a fantastic job.

It is so great that you have been thinking about this and trying to make a better experience for library users! This is definitely an improvement. That said there is still a wrinkle. Yes it is true that if you #17 line behind 16 frozen requests, that is much like being #1. However if you are several back from that, say #20 in line, you are probably not really like #4 -- it is much more likely that many of the frozen 16 may unfreeze before you get to the top of the unfrozen queue. And the further back you are, the more true this is. If this ends up mattering to anyone, the solution will probably require disclosing both numbers: "There are 19 requests ahead of you, 16 of which have temporarily stepped aside (frozen)", or "You are #20 in the queue, #4 in the active queue". A bit more confusing, perhaps, but the reality is a bit complex.

Thanks for asking about this, we thought about this too. However, so far, it's pretty rare that frozen requests are unfrozen. There are a lot of frozen requests outstanding, and only a tiny number get unfrozen each day, so if you're #4 and there are 16 frozen and 3 active requests ahead of you, it is really much more like being #4 than anything else in terms of your likely wait time. So in the interest of simplicity, we'll see how this goes for a while and adjust if it turns out that patrons are getting confused by the new approach. Thanks again for your feedback!

A similar change that would be helpful - if you have something out, and someone else puts a hold on it, indicate that somewhere in your account. We typically go to the library once a week. So, Saturday morning we go through our due holds and try to renew the ones we're not done with, and plan to take back the ones that we've finished with - or that can't be renewed. But we keep getting burned by unexpected holds - I check out some really obscure CDs, take them to work to listen to, hit Saturday and find out the hard way that someone put them on hold. They're at work. There's no way I'm heading in to work to retrieve them to turn them in. It would have been terrific to know on Thursday or Friday that someone had put a hold on them, I could have remembered to take them home to return. Instead I get to rack up fines until Monday when I can do something about it. Alternately, when you send out notices that things will be due soon, indicate which ones have a hold. For that matter, send out a notice when something someone has out has a new hold.

I love this idea of getting notified when something I have checked out has been requested by another patron. I am an avid reader, and typically have many books out at once, and knowing which ones have been requested will make me read them sooner and get them back sooner for the next person. If this can be done, I second the request for it!

We do still have a plan to add a feature to make it clear which items are renewable without attempting a renewal. We had this on the old website and it was a big help to superusers. There's some infrastructure that's still needed to make this work, but stay tuned, and thanks for asking about this!

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