Make It Easy for the Borrower

Organization Name
Walla Walla Public Library
Mission Statement

The Community Resource for Information, Knowledge and Reading

City & State
Walla Walla, 
Question 1
The Before: What was the challenge, issue or problem your organization was facing? Or, what was the opportunity you were not able to take advantage of before you put a technology solution in place?

Answer: The challenge is to provide easier follow through on patron requests. Two areas were identified. Letting borrowers know about happenings at the Library. The Library has been successful in informing borrowers about scheduled events with flyers, but unschedule events and borrower reminders were a difficulty. Consolidating and tracking borrower requests not handled by the Libraries Integrated Library System. Holds, reserves and scheduled reminders are handled by our Integrated Library System. It was the oddities that there was no avenue for. Borrowers would want to request a book be held in the future. Staff would like to look for a missing item again in a week. Little pieces of paper littered desks and bulletin boards and reminds to check these types of requests.

Question 2
What Microsoft software have you used/are you using in your organization to more effectively engage your beneficiaries, donors and/or volunteers and/or to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Microsoft Office 2007 or 2010 (Includes any of the following: Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, OneNote, Outlook, and Word)
Other: Live Writer

Question 3
The After: How have these Microsoft products allowed you to engage your stakeholders more efficiently or effectively to make a difference in your community?

Answer: Live Writer became the answer for unscheduled and scheduled happenings at the Library. Our web page included a Live Writer blog. It is used to display items we weren't able to let the borrowers know about from announcements to services. These are blog entries. It’s great to inform borrowers and point out areas of the Library not yet experienced.We used Outlook for email but the Calendaring was barely utilized. We now use calendar events like ticklers. No pieces of paper as reminders to: look for an item, replace a hold. These were made into calendar entries and generated reminders. What was I will try to remember, is a scheduled event. Next is to centralize requests to common staff machines. Taking care of the ticklers is part of setting up the Library

Question 4
What about these products (the features or the way you used them) made them particularly helpful in enabling your organization to expand and improve upon its community impact?

Answer: Live Write is simple to use. We can add text, clip art, pictures, links, tables, maps and video clips. We can format entries as needed. Entries can be saved and readded later. Just about anyone can use it! It has really helped us reach our borrowers. The Outlook Calendar is doing so much for for us now that we have discovered its reminder aspect. We still use it for scheduling appointments but now use it frequently for reminders. It is easy to schedule a reminder, there is lots of room to include lots of notes to each calendar entry. Cut and paste works great in the Calendar also.

Question 5
Please provide any examples, stories or data that illustrate the difference the use of Microsoft software has enabled you to make (i.e., # of new clients reached, new program added, increased dollars raised, increased volunteers, etc.

Answer: We believe our ability to give the borrower more of what they want has come to the surface with these products. Borrowers no longer have to physically come to the Library to pick up a flyer or learn about Library events. We recently added Overdrive to our list of services and used our Live Writer blog to announce it to our borrowers. In no time, people were signing up to use down loadable books. In the past, we were reluctant to tell a borrower we would be able to do somethinging for them in the future as there was nothing in place to assure that it would happen. Now with the use of the Outlook Calendar we can schedule these little tasks for borrowers in the future and know that they will become reminders and get done.

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