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A couple of points regarding your reply to my comments (and to the entire
discussion).
 
1.  Yes, conditions do change.  I wouldn't get mad if someone didn't pick
up a rush because conditions changed.
 
2.  I get the impression form the discussion that everyone has a few
cronic offenders.  If a pattern develops where sometimes circumstances
change, but in addition some people really do "cry wolf" you can handle
the situations differently---providing as you said you have a policy.
 
3.  Getting tough on the few true offenders is not hitting people over
the head with rules to show your power.  You're actually giving good
customer service to everyone else.  It's one thing if you stop a caloging
project to do a rush.  It's another when you put some other patron's work
aside.  If a patron asks the librarian to get information, the librarian
starts the task and, say, a true emergency comes up so the first patron's
job is put on hold, the first patron would understand (I hope).  If on
the other hand, you put #1 aside to do a so called rush (which was never
picked up) doesn't patron #1 have a right to get a little ticked.  After
all they needed their information.  If, as I seem to be hearing, a few
people are making it bad on everyone else by "crying wolf" shouldn't
handling that be giving good service rather than hitting people over the
head with rules.
 
4.  I've always worked in small institutions and always used interoffice
mail.  Most patrons consider it great to get items delivered to them
rather than having to come to the library to pick them up.  Maybe
interoffice mail isn't as practical in a large institution.  If the
patron can't wait for the mail why not deliver to him.  Again my hospital
is small.  Maybe that wouldn't work in a large building.  Some people in
this discussion have implied that items are true rushes but the
physician, etc. can't get away to pick them up.  That would be an
opportunity to give good service by delivering.
 
Nancy E. Ward, Librarian                [log in to unmask]
Hawthorn Center
18471 Haggerty Rd.                      810-349-3000 ex. 208
Northville, MI  48167-8513