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We Have the Hots for You

The Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, OH
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Innovation Summary

In service of our strategic focus on making the library convenient to use and exceeding customer expectations we offer a variety of automatic “Hot” holds services that include the newest print, eBooks, eAudibooks, and DVDs. We have also established staff mediated, holds services to provide individualized reader’s and listener’s advisory.

Problem Statement

As we expand our digital collections in all formats, we continue to pursue opportunities for our customers to have easy access to all content. Our commitment to doing so includes removing barriers such as requiring customers to monitor new releases from their favorite authors or tracking when the newest movies in their favorite genres will be available. Likewise, our customized, staff-mediated reader’s and listener’s advisory services provide customers regular, individualized suggestions. Materials are sent to customers’ favorite locations reducing friction and fulfilling expectations that Library staff can find just the right item someone wants when they want it.

Innovation

Our “Hot Authors,” “eHot Authors” and “Hot Tickets” services mean that customers need to select what they want one time — we do the rest. Every time an item becomes available by an author a customer selected in the format of their choosing, or a DVD is released in a genre of interest as identified by a customer, a hold is automatically placed. This ensures that customers will not miss their favorites. Our Book HookUp and CD of the Month services allow staff to make personalized recommendations based on a user-completed survey with items delivered to the customer’s favorite location.

Progress

In the new e-format world it is essential to reduce and eliminate barriers to service when possible. “Hot” services offer a seamless avenue for ensuring customers receive the newest titles from their favorite writers. 1752 people have subscribed to Hot Tickets and 12,780 to Hot Authors. Staff have fulfilled 530 Book HookUp requests since November 2015 and our CD of the Month club just completed their 20,000th recommendation, an event broadcast live on Facebook. The CD of the Month led to another staff innovation — an insert placed in reserved CDs where the selecting librarian signs, reinforcing the personal touch.