Monday 'Minder #2

Salutations!   Welcome to another edition of Monday ‘Minders.   This week’s ‘Minder focuses on “help us help you!” As always: Please share with your staff!

Here are some tips to help you get better answers/assistance when contacting Melissa or I for help about something in WorkFlows or the Catalog:

  1. More Info.  There cannot be too much info.   Barcodes are essential.
    1. Patron Barcode – any email that includes the phrase “a patron…” should also include the patron’s barcode (or at least full name).
    2. Item Barcode – any email that includes phrases like “an item”, “a hold on…” or “checked out a….” also needs to include barcodes, or ISBN, or complete Title/Author/Edition/Format info for those items.
  2. Provide your name & contact info  This is especially important for libraries who have multiple staff sharing one email address, or forwarding from public-facing departmental email address—eg,,, or   When we get these, we have no idea which of the 10 possible people using that email address to follow up with.
  3. Contact us ASAP.    Any email that includes phrases like “Sometime last week…” make it extremely difficult to provide a satisfactory answer.
  4. Be as specific as possible. 
    1. Pictures -- “I got a weird error” only works if you also include a snip/screenshot/transcription of the exact error wording. 
    2. Dates -- “Yesterday Afternoon” is much better than nothing; but “Sunday Afternoon, Feb 16th ” is even better in case we don’t see the email right away, or can’t get to it right away.
    3. Details – what steps did you (or the patron) take? Did it happen more than once? What did you try to solve/figure it out it yourself? 
  5. Email us both.   When in doubt who to ask, or in a hurry, contact both of us. We’ll sort it out at this end.
  6. Be persistent.   If we haven’t gotten back to you in a timely fashion, please remind us!! It is incredibly easy for an email to get buried under a deluge of other email.    Reminders are especially helpful if you called on the phone and we didn’t resolve the question on the spot.

Bonus Excel Tip: Filtering can make analyzing your annual/monthly statistics reports easier.  

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