Allow Fulfillment Network Member (AFN) to lend resources, but not serve as a physical pick-up location for other network members' patrons
Since some institutions have buildings with perpetual restricted access, we have some AFN fulfillment network member libraries that are willing to send their materials to another AFN member library for pick-up, but, for all functional purposes, they are closed to the public. They don't want patrons from the other AFN institutions to visit their library in person, and thus, don't want patrons from another AFN institution to select their library as a pick-up location.
This need has been heightened during the pandemic, with more institutions closed to the public.
We know that turning off all circ desk hold shelves will fully remove an institution from the list of pick-up locations visible in Primo VE; however, if an institution is allowing local requesting for their own patrons (including curbside delivery or for USPS mail delivery), then they need to have the hold shelf enabled.
We need a setting that would allow Institution A to lend/renew/borrow/request/fulfill-requests for Institution B, without allowing Institution B's users to select Institution A as a pick-up location.
Also, if Institution A will lend material to a patron from Institution B, we also need a way to prevent a patron from selecting Institution C as a pick-up location, if Institution C is not open to the public.
The functionality would need to be consistent for the patron for both local and AFN requesting, because it is difficult to teach patrons contingencies.
Swati Wagh commented
We should make it convenient for patrons to access materials at convenient locations. But that has to be balance by staffing, COVID restrictions are examples depending on the climate we are in. This is not going to be permanent, so we should have delivery options convenient to our patrons. This our "strength".
Aaron Krebeck commented
Thanks for this idea. Love to see ideas for AFN development. In addition to this update, I would love to see a way for an IZ to be its own RS fulfillment network partner. If an IZ could see itself in its AFN rota, it would simplify much of the resource sharing structure. I've created that idea here: https://ideas.exlibrisgroup.com/forums/308173-alma/suggestions/41674906-allow-an-iz-to-be-its-own-rs-fulfillment-network-p
Pattie Piotrowski commented
It is always a disservice to patrons to place an obstacle in the way of getting the materials they need. Allowing them the option of choosing a pick-up library is a convenience that many patrons in a statewide consortia use, due to online education. With the pandemic, members of a consortia have local decision-making on opening their buildings to anyone not of their campus community. Patrons select the option for pickup that is most convenient for them and this places a barrier in accessing their material. Software should solve obstacles, not create them.
For now, rather than create a new functionality for libraries to opt out of holding books for non-member patrons, is there a way to instruct patrons not to do this? Perhaps a simple ribbon or banner notice on the page, to the effect that patrons may only pick up items at their home library? They would then be more likely to know whether their own library is open, closed, or not accepting deliveries.
Timothy Jackson commented
The SUNY system is investigating AFN functionality. We're not positive we'll implement any AFNs within our system, but I think the functionality would be a lot more attractive to us if a library could participate in an AFN as a lender only.
Marcella Nowak commented
It is a disservice to patrons to allow them to choose a pick-up library that is not receiving deliveries as this makes the item unattainable while it sits in a warehouse. There is no way for the patron to have the book sent somewhere else since no one can access it.
At the same time the hold shelf can't be shut down because it is required to serve the local patronage.