IDS PROJECT: COMMUNITY AND INNOVATION
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visits to libraries to observe office layouts and staff furniture choices. What is most
ve is the ability of the IDS Project’s mentor program to extend beyond a single
visit through web meetings, phone calls, constant email communication, and general
collegiality that makes constant improvement to workflows and practices easy as there is
always support available. In implementing these resource sharing best practices and
changes in workflow and procedures, 1.5 FTE staff members have been reassigned to
assist with other processes such as electronic reserves and circulation activities. In the
past 2011-2012 academic year, lending turn-around time has decreased by 80% from 42.5
hours to roughly 8.5 hours for articles.
B. Staff Training and Building a Community of Trust
Most important to SUL’s membership in the IDS Project is the focus on conti
training, professional development, and the sharing of knowledge and best practices.
SUL’s resource sharing staff, as in most large research libraries, has previously been
focused on staff specializing in lending, borrowing, or other specific parts of the ILL
workflow. Syracuse, in the past five years, has upgraded its staff lines to create a more
dynamic and highly trained staff who are all asked to be trained to do any job if needed.
There has, therefore, recently been a great deal of cross-training and more extensive
training of resource sharing staff at SUL. As the mentors train using freely available
tools, such as the Best Practices Institute Workbook and the Workflow Toolkit (IDS,
2012e), the lessons learned by staff attending IDS events can easily be incorporated into
training materials. In creating the ILL training manuals, the Workflow Toolkit is a
foundation for a great deal of documentation and assessment. With the use of existing
IDS training tools that staff and librarians are already familiar with, only local exceptions
and unique procedures need to be documented.
As most libraries use the tools and ILLiad
Addons developed by the IDS
Project, there is a community of innovation and entrepreneurship that helps facilitate
local changes. At SUL, ILL did not, until recently, use the Copyright Clearance
’s Get It Now™
service, which uses technology developed by the IDS Project
(the Get it Now
Addon). As there were so many libraries that used this
service in the IDS Project, SUL Resource Sharing librarians were able to gather enough
supporting data and information about the service to initiate quick change to adopt this
service. The result has been that SUL has saved more than $1,500 in its first month using
the Get it Now
As the IDS Project is built on the principles of “a unified community of trust and
support,” the expectations for fast turnaround times come with a great deal of support
from expert volunteers as well as freely available tools that help with extensive changes.
The IDS Project’s Custom Holdings Helper served as a crucial tool in the complete
revision of SUL custom holdings in the past six months, resulting in lower OCLC® ILL
Fee Management (IFM) and other borrowing costs. In attending IDS Project Regional
User Groups and other training events, the tools that IDS libraries use to solve problems
are also discussed. After learning about how other libraries are using the GIST Gift and
Deselection Manager (GDM), SUL is now using this tool to help make collection
movement and storage decisions. The GIST GDM has allowed processes that involved
large amounts of librarian time to become data-driven and less labor intensive.