March is the end of our library’s fiscal year and, the busiest time of year for our Collection Access department. Where are we going to put all of these new items? How are we going to fill the holds in a timely manner? How did the holds list go from 100 to 1400 in a week for adult non-fiction items only? Will this backlog ever get caught up?
Taking a step back, this is actually a great time to look at your department’s workflow and procedures. Without sacrificing quality, how can we improve our turnaround time?
Although tiring, I actually find this time refreshing. While the sunshine and the sounds of the birds outside are putting everyone in a good mood, productivity increases to compensate for the additional work. All of these positive elements give me the energy and drive to take a look at how effective our department is, and where we need to enhance or adjust procedures accordingly. Staff are also likely to help with workflow feedback and frequently offer suggestions to improve overall productivity.
Encourage your staff to provide feedback during this busy time. We’ve adjusted several procedures in the past two months and have noticed an increase in turnaround time and workflow. Some of this including the sharing of responsibilities or shifting of what type of work was done on what day.
If you are also facing the end-of-the-year crunch – try to keep a positive attitude (yes! It can be hard!). Think outside the box and remember, we go through this every year and we always survive. This year, try to use it as a time to enhance your already productive procedures and workflow.