November 2, 2011

Books can now be delivered to your campus mailbox

UW Libraries staffer Brent Waller packs a book to be sent to a faculty or staff member's campus mailbox under the new Departmental Delivery service.

Its a pilot program for faculty and staff only called Departmental Delivery. You just select the “Send to Fac-Staff Mailbox” in the librarys online catalog, and library staffers will check it out and send it your way. Books, CDs — anything that UW Libraries circulates. Delivery time takes up to a couple of days.

Thom Deardorff, UW Libraries coordinator for access services, said the libraries surveyed faculty a few years ago, asking if they would want such a service and were pleased with the fairly high number of positive responses — about 40 percent, he said.

“One of the things weve always tried to do is to save the time of the user,” Deardorff said. “More and more, departments are nowhere near any libraries … we thought, if we could figure out how to do this efficiently, who wouldnt want to save faculty or staff time?”

He said the folks at Mailing Services were open to the idea from the start. The rate has stayed so far at about 100 items a week, though Deardorff said he expects that to rise as the school year progresses. The cost of the new program is expected to be minimal, he said.

Deardorff said hell do another survey this month to measure the service’s usefulness and popularity. You can comment on the program by emailing suzzcirc@u.washington.edu.

Its good for users to have a feel for how much their department or unit can comfortably process. You can learn more about Departmental Delivery online.

So far, Deardorff said, the pilot program has gone smoothly, with no complaints.

He said, “The only surprise has been how seamless the whole thing has been.”