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Branch service requests through SuRF: Putting U in the Services Request Form

Sacramento Public Library

Problem Statement

Quite often, a customer’s library experience is reflected through their view of facilities and experience with technology. In many instances, the old way of reporting repair and maintenance problems to the correct support unit was confusing to staff. There was a lack of knowledge about the role and services of each support unit such as Facilities and Information technology departments. As a result, services were not performed on a timely basis and branch staff had very little idea when the repairs would be started or completed.


As a commitment to improve customer service, the Facilities and Information Technology Departments teamed up to identify a system-wide software package to better manage support issues. The goal was to identify the right software package that was staff friendly and featured the necessary functionality and flexibility to serve the two units. Staff chose a package that integrated into the existing Microsoft Office e-mail system, sending a trail of actions, sent automatically to staff, until the problem was resolved. As part of the implementation, Facilities and IT developed Service Level Agreements that listed staff’s commitment to problem resolution based on specific criteria and associated response times. As a result, branch managers and support unit supervisors are able to monitor incoming requests, set priorities, and identify trends requiring further evaluation.


Branch staff have adopted the SuRF system wholeheartedly. The input process is very simple, through the email system, and the status of each service request is sent directly to the staff initiating the request. In addition, Facilities and IT staff can easily organize and prioritize tasks each day so that resources are focused appropriately on the most urgent requests. Statistics are kept that show trends and successes. Since January 2009, the SuRF system has been used 22,512 times. Of these, 6431 were Facilities requests and the remaining 16,081 were for IT repairs and issues. To monitor for compliance to support commitments made to staff by the two departments, the SuRF system has a Dashboard by problem type, staff , and department. Most importantly, the quality and appearance of our facilities and technology services is higher than ever. A review of the system revealed that 44% of IT requests are resolved within 24 hours of submission. It is a system that works.