Customer Forum at Scottsdale Public Library

On Tuesday, September 10, 2019 in sizzling Scottsdale, Arizona 40+ librarians from 23 library systems joined the bibliotheca team for a day of hands-on learning, keynote sessions led by library leaders, and inspiring conversations.

The day started with bibliotheca President of Americas, Matthew Bellamy, welcoming attendees, setting the tone for the day, and thanking Scottsdale Public Library for hosting the group for the full-day event. The entire bibliotheca management team was in attendance to gain direct feedback from customers, learn about library challenges firsthand, further discussions, and answer questions throughout the day.

Next, Scottsdale Public Library Director, Kira Peters, welcomed those from Arizona and across the US to SPL’s Civic Center Library. The 100,000 square foot space houses an art gallery, the latest in automated materials handling from bibliotheca, a vast collection of local history, and much more. Peters partnered with Civic Center Library Manager, Erin Jones, to share an update on the library’s recent conversion to RFID and highlight a new strategic plan that includes extending access with open+, remote holds pickup lockers that delivery more service and convenience in the community. Both bibliotheca solutions provide “value-driven library outreach,” in line with SPL’s strategic plan.

2019 Customer Forum Speakers

Becky Bilby

Sioux Center Public Library

2019 NA Customer Forum attendee Charles Pace

Charles Pace

Gwinnett County Public Library

Dan Compton

Summit County Public Library

Kira Peters

Kira Peters

Scottsdale Public Library

“{Converting the collection to RFID} was a team-building event for everyone at Scottsdale Public Library. Staff rallied around a common objective to get the library on the latest technology. We see RFID as a long-term investment in staff development, as it reduces the burden of day-to-day transactional work and repetitive injuries” – Kira Peters

Charles Pace, Executive Director of Gwinnett County Public Library, shared details on the open+ installations at GCPL’s Suwanee and Lawrenceville Branches. Extending access and increasing library open hours were a priority when implementing open+. Pace highlighted usage statistics and shared GCPL’s path forward (aka more open access!). Finally, Pace addressed fears from those unfamiliar with the open+ solution, noting GCPL had not had any issues during open+ hours in the three years since implementation.

“We wanted to demonstrate the library’s value in the community and that they are good stewards of taxpayer dollars. We’re always focused on ‘Will this enhance the customer experience? Does it add value?’ when making decisions.”

– Charles Pace, Executive Director of Gwinnett County Public Library

Next, attendees learned about how a rural library system in Utah is bringing remote, small town residents and county services together and putting the library at the heart of the partnership. Dan Compton, Director of Summit County Library, explained how a remote holds pickup locker conveniently located near a town park provides library users with convenient access to library services. The library engaged new users through the community outreach services and Compton exclaimed as a result, “They know we care!”

Summit County saw increased usage of the library during recent summer months, as school-aged children had better access to library services while out of school for the summer. Compton advises libraries considering remoteLocker, “If you want something, you need to just go for it.”

After a short break, Sioux Center Public Library Director, Becky Bilby enthusiastically shared results of SCPL’s participation in the cloudLibrary modules pilot program. SCPL was the first library in the world to adopt all three modules in late 2018 and Bilby shared positive feedback from users and staff. “bibliotheca stays attentive to our needs. they reach out and ask how they can make things better for us and provide us with better value and service for our budget.” She mentioned the use of the library card switching feature by saying, “It’s just hard to keep track of it all. Life’s busy! So having all family cards in one app is just awesome!”

“It’s just hard to keep track of it all. Life’s busy! So having all family cards in one app is just awesome!”

– Becky Bilby, Sioux Center Public Library, Director

Our last keynote session of the morning was led by librarians from Chandler Public Library and Pinal County Library District. Marybeth Gardner and Alex Conrad, in partnership with the cloudLibrary team, shared positive user experiences, circulation gains and other benefits that have resulted from being founding members of the AZ cloudLink digital sharing group. Via cloudLibrary, neighboring libraries in any state are able to share digital collections, while still prioritizing their own patrons and collection. A win, win for libraries of all sizes and budgets.

Marybeth Gardner Collection Manager at Chandler Public Library presenting on the success of cloudLibrary

Recently celebrating their 5-year anniversary with cloudLibrary, Chandler is thrilled to have reduced their cost per circulation to under $1.00. Librarians in the audience dug into many technical questions during a Q&A session and were energized to hear from libraries of different sizes and budgets that have achieved powerful benefits from cloudLibrary and the cloudLink sharing group.

After lunch, the group took part in deep-dive sessions. They discussed extending access with open+ and remoteLocker, the AZ cloudLink digital sharing group, digital collection reporting and tips/tricks, and the latest in materials return and sorting solutions. These sessions were led by Kevin McCollam, bibliotheca Product Manager, and Lori Livesay, bibliotheca Head of Training for North America.

We finished the day with a Civic Center Library tour led by Scottsdale’s Kira Peters and Erin Jones. Attendees left the event inspired by other libraries and feeling more connected to the library community in Arizona and across the US. After working with bibliotheca for years, they were excited to finally put names and faces to the voices and emails they’re so familiar with and make new contacts. Thanks to all who attended and most especially, thanks to Scottsdale Public Library for hosting!

“This forum was not only educational and informative, I was able to thank bibliotheca staff for the exceptional products and service they provide. The values expressed by each bibliotheca employee, both publicly and privately, was clearly in-line with the foundation of library services, the patron.”

– Eric Young, Phoenix Public Library, Applications Manager
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