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Project ARS: Use

Some people wonder how the process for making a pick request works at our library when the item is store din the ARS. This page offers a mini review of this process.
(More below)

Pattern for Use:

(If you wish to see some example sessions with captures browsers, you may want to examine the Netscape Session or the LYNX Session pages to see how a request might appear from a graphical browser (Netscape) or a text-based browser (LYNX).)

  1. A patron wishes to locate a title in the library for reading and possible checkout.
  2. The patron accesses Snoopy (our new online system) to locate the library materials they need.
    1. The patron may search for items using Author, Title, Subject, Keyword, and possibly other criteria.
    2. Items found in the Snoopy system that are not stored in the ARS will have a location specified to allow the patron to independently locate their items just as they have been located in our present (older) library.
    3. When an item is found by the patron in the Snoopy system that is stored in the ARS, the patron may be given the option within the Snoopy system to have the item pulled from the ARS and delivered to one of a few library locations as specified by the patron.
  3. When the patron requests an ARS stored item be delivered to one of the few library locations, the Snoopy system contacts the ARS system to relay the request for the ARS.
  4. The patron's name, ID, Item Barcode number, and desired pickup location are sent to the ARS. (This process is expected to take less than a second or two.)
  5. The server adds a pick request for the bin containing the into with the above information to its work que.
  6. A workstation at the Circulation desk that is tied into the ARS Manager, can then be consulted for pending pick requests and work.
  7. At a prestated time-interval, a library employee will visit the ARS and complete all of the pick requests that are pending in the work que. (Originally, we had a library employee on staff in the ARS workroom who would audit bin contents when no patron pick requests were in the que. This plan was abandoned when we found a decrease in human resources and student help left us with insufficient staffing to continue this procedure.)
  8. The library employee will use the ARS software to ask the ARS to deliver a bin with an item requested by a patron.

      The bin retrieval part of this process has been timed to take from 24 seconds to 70 seconds.

      The employee does not need to know which bin has a particular item. The system tells the employee which bin it next to be retrieved and picks it up when the user tells it to retrieve it.

      The crane does not start to move unless an employee is present to tell it to move. (For safety reasons and realism- why ask a crane to move if nobody is present to pick an item out of a bin?)

  9. After the bin arrives, the library employee will locate the item.

      Most bins are divided into six sectors: 3 horizontal spaces by 2 vertical spaces.

      location of the item done with help from the ARS Software:

      • On the screen, the employee is shown which sector contains the item requested by a patron. The employee may then search the sector specified by the ARS Software.
      • On the screen, the employee may see the entire barcode of the item request with the last 4 digits highlighted. (During the initial load, the last four digits of the barcode for each book was printed on the top edge of the book.)

        The time required for a pick of an item from a sector depends upon how quickly the employee can locate the item. Experiences suggests this may take on average 10 to 30 seconds unless there are many small items to examine in completing a search.

    • When they locate the requested item they pull the item out of the bin and scan it. Confirmation of the proper item having been scanned leads to a ticket being printed at the station. An incorrect pick leads to no hardcopy printout, but instead a message on the screen instructing the employee they did not scan the correct item.
    • Assuming the pick was correct, the last name of the patron is written with felt tip pen across the left margin of the ticket.
    • The ticket is then placed is then placed in the book or item with the felt tip name sticking out of the top to allow it to be easily read.
    • If a location was specified in the ticket, the ETV may be called into service.
      • The employee dials an address for delivery of the item into an ETV control panel found at each ETV pickup and Delivery point.
      • The item is then placed into the next ETV to depart and strapped down. (Though first floor ETV delivery locations allow for the ETV to only travel orthogonal with respect to the ceiling plane (vertical) and right-side-up on the first floors, on the second and third floors the ETVs actually travel upside-down. The straps help to decrease risk of books being dropped through the ceiling onto people.
      • The ETV lid is then closed.
      • The "send" button on the ETV control panel is then pressed to tell the ETV where to deliver its contents.
      • The ETV leaves for its destination.
      • The time for this operation depends upon the pickup location. Delivery to the first floor pickup location from the ARS probably takes about 40 seconds or less while the 2nd floor location probably takes about 2-5 minutes.
    • Upon arrival to its destination, the ETV is emptied of its contents. Items are placed onto a shelf with each ticket's left margin sticking out of the item. This margin with the patron's name included in big letters makes it easy for the library desk employee to find items requested by a patron when they come to claim their item.

Here is a sample of a print ticket. (Some values have been modified though the formatting should be close to the expected final ticket.)

Sonoma State University

2000/07/11 12:52:51

Patron's Name..: Firstname Lastname
Patron's Code..: 01234567890123456789
Pickup Location: Circ 1

Item Code..: 30850014898565
Call Number: TK5105.55 .S74 1994 v.1

This is an example of a print ticket with some of the labels described.

Our University Name


Patron's Name..: Patron's name
Patron's Code..: Patron's ID #
Pickup Location: One of two locations

Item Code..: Item Bar Code
Title......: Item Title
Author.....: Item Author
Call Number: Item Call Number

The process for storage of an item is a reversal of the above. An item is scanned before it is stored. When it is scanned, the ARS Manager software can recall the size of bin the item should use, and calls forward a bin with "free space" to allow the employee to store the item.

Comments and/or suggestions?: Email me at: dugan@passwall.com

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