Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Online request system eases access to Special Collections Library

The U-M Special Collections Library has launched a new online request system that should ease the way for users seeking access to MLibrary's rare and special materials.


Click here for more on the Special Collections Library.

Click here for more information about the new request system.

Records in the Mirlyn catalog for items that reside in the Special Collections Library now display a "Request this" button connecting users to a New Request form, which is automatically populated with the necessary bibliographic information. The requester must provide a visit date, and can include other information if necessary in the "Notes" field. The system, which uses Aeon circulation management software from Atlas Systems, requires one-time user registration.

Previously requests for Special Collections Library material had to be made in person via handwritten call slips. Now requests can be made anywhere there is a connection to the Internet.

Martha Conway, interim director of the Special Collections Library, hopes the streamlined process will encourage people to request and use MLibrary's rare and special materials. She says the new system "certainly allows patrons to plan ahead and make the most of their visit to the library."

She adds that Special Collections Library staff also use the system to better manage each step of every service transaction, from item request to retrieval to return to the shelf, and to generate a variety of statistics and reports.

The Special Collections Library holds internationally renowned collections of books, serials, manuscripts, posters, playbills, photographs, and original artwork. It is home to some of the most historically significant treasures at U-M.