TLC’s CARL Customers Rise to the Pandemic Challenge
TLC’s CARL•X™ Library Management Software customers are a knowledgeable, tight-knit group of libraries who are involved in developing CARL•X™ products to reflect their emerging needs. The CARL Customer Relations team has recently organized a series of Post-Pandemic group video calls with CARL’s libraries to share ideas, strategies, and workflows regarding re-opening and providing curbside or hands-free services. Participants lead the calls and collaborate with a focus on protecting staff and serving patrons effectively.
The Metropolitan Library System in Oklahoma had 20,000 check-outs in the first week of curbside pickup. Metro’s staff pulled 37,000 holds using CARL•Connect Staff and the CARL•X™ router list functionality. In response to customer requests for a random assortment of kids’ materials, they are creating “bonus bags” of five items on any single word/topic, and checking-out up to 50 bags a day at one location. Risa Sargent, Regional Director, shared, “I ran the numbers for the same week last year. Charges for last week were 44% of the same total charges for the same week as last year. On-shelf returns (currently reflecting filling holds but last year included on shelf browsing) are up 135%.”
Somerset County Library of New Jersey is reaching out to patrons who had holds before closure, and making appointments for pick-up, calling their new service approach “Hands-Free Holds.” Lynn Hoffman, Director of Operations, encouraged the group to reflect and plan for future closures and the likelihood of the virus returning. She sees this time as an opportunity to reflect on best practices.
Leaders presenting during the meeting discussed the amount of time needed to properly quarantine returns, the power of marketing during changing times, handling card expiration dates, and also had the opportunity to ask CARL staff questions about functionality.
Amanda Lee, representing OWLSnet in Wisconsin — one of CARL’s newest customers currently migrating to our system, stated that it was nice for TLC to organize the call, to which Hoffman replied, “That’s how we CARL folks roll.”
“Libraries across the globe are rising to the challenge of serving their communities in the time of COVID-19 and CARL•X™ users are leading the way,” stated TLC’s founder and CEO Annette Murphy. “We greatly appreciate how their collaboration drives the development of our products and we look forward to these partnerships as the needs of our industry evolve in the coming months and years.”
About The Library Corporation:
TLC has operated continuously under the same ownership since 1974 and employs over 200 people dedicated to delivering enterprise software and hardware solutions to public, school, academic, and special libraries worldwide. TLC’s cumulative products are deployed in more than 1,100 organizations, representing over 5,500 locations in North America. TLC is certified by the U.S. General Services Administration, Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, and the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program. TLC’s Headquarters is based in Inwood, W.Va., and has additional offices in Denver, Minnesota, and Singapore.