Ben Seabourne

The view from above: how consolidating Library enquiries led to a streamlined and enhanced service

Abstract

At the beginning of 2013 Edith Cowan University’s Library Services switched the management and handling of all incoming electronic enquiries from campus service desks to a centralised Communications Team (Comm’s Team) composed of three library technicians and a coordinator. The team was to handle not only phone calls and incoming emails, but also an internet chat service and eventually also the Library’s Twitter account and maintenance of the library website.

The primary objective of the new Comm’s Team was to field all these electronic enquiries and function as a virtual library enquiry desk. At the team’s core is the customer relationship management platform called RightNow CX Cloud Service, a phone management system called Solidus eCare and a knowledge management system called Confluence. Solid efficiency gains were made as the team used their systems to streamline activities such as Alumni library relations, lifting library record blocks, and the creation of a more formalised librarian referral service.

Soon the new team’s activities revealed both insights into and inconsistency within ECU’s Library service policies. Usage reports and statistics generated by the Comm’s Team were used to justify changes to library loans policy to better serve ECU’s clients, while their use of RightNow combined with a high level of connectivity within the Library Service created new interdepartmental synergies.

Biography

Ben Seabourne studied Multimedia, worked in the service industry and as an ESL teacher before started as Library Assistant with ECU in late 2011 where his prior experience served him well. Promoted to Technician in 2013 he helped found the Communications Team and was instrumental in its development and success.

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