Q. Custom Queues
What is it?
These are queues that can be created on each client to “hold” requests that require extra attention, such as “Awaiting Lost Book resolution” or “Awaiting Charge Request Processing.”
How does it help?
Separating requests that require particular attention ensures that they do not get “lost” or grow stale. For example, when a patron informs you that they lost the book that they borrowed from ILL, you would contact the lending library to request an invoice, then route the request to a custom queue titled “Awaiting Lending Library Invoice”. This takes it out of the “Checked Out to Customer” queue (avoiding accidental sends of overdue notices the patron), and allows you to immediately see the requests that you need to follow up on. Removing such requests also excludes them from the “Barometer” count.
Once created, custom queues appear in the Request Groups on the Home Page. From within a general request form, the queue will appear as an option on the Route menu. They are also used for Email Routing and Routing tables as destination queues.
Queues can be created for each module of the client, Borrowing, Lending and Document Delivery, and can be networked so that they are available on each workstation.
The easy part of custom queues is actually creating them. In the Customization Manager, navigate to System | Custom Queues and select the Custom Queues table. Each queue has three settings:
Queue Name -- what you want your queue to be called. (Remember: the queue name doubles as the Transaction Status so it will be visible to your users via the ILLiad webpages. Avoid things such as “Awaiting Annoying User Processing.”)
NVTGC -- this will always be ILL unless you are in a shared server environment.
Process Type -- where you queue will reside: Borrowing, Lending, or Doc Del (for Document Delivery).
The hard part is figuring out whether or not a custom queue is the best solution for your workflow. In general, too many queues are hard to keep track of and its easy for requests to languish for long periods of time. In that sense, it’s best not to create a queue for every possible contingency. Instead, consider statuses that are useful but not included in ILLiad, such as:
Awaiting Extensive Searching -- this use to be standard but isn’t in ILLiad 8. This is great when staff encounter hard-to-fill requests that need additional time.
Claimed Returned -- items that were not checked in, but your patron claims to have returned (this is common in many circulation systems).
Billed for Replacement -- combined with an email routing, you can notify a patron or library of a billing charge and then route the request to this queue (helping you keep track of invoiced materials).
Awaiting Priority Lending Processing -- this could be used in conjunction with the Borrower Status table, allowing you to prioritize requests from libraries in your consortia or other reciprocal groups. For more information on this table, see:
Awaiting Acquisitions Processing -- if you have a purchase on demand workflow, this is one queue you could use to separate your purchase requests from your ILL requests.
Awaiting Purchase Delivery -- in conjunction with Awaiting Acquisitions Processing, use this queue for items you’ve purchased but have not yet received.
The possibilities are numerous, but just be sure to be thoughtful with your custom queues to avoid overcrowding (there can be too much of a good thing!).