What should I do during a Canada Post postal strike?

[Holiday/Closures] We've received a few questions about how to proceed in OutLook OnLine in the event of a Canada Post postal strike. We've contacted a variety of libraries for feedback on handling this situation. While we expect libraries to make their own decisions that work best for their individual situation, we are providing some additional information based on library experiences/feedback.

Updates directly from Canada Post (email notification also available): www.canadapost.ca/update

Please Note: OutLook OnLine will remain available and fully supported during any strike action!

Every library may individually proceed within OutLook OnLine but here are some generalisations that have been expressed so far (last updated 2016):

  • InterLINK: Will continue using OutLook OnLine to process ILLs within the InterLINK library system (and with some academic libraries where possible) due to an internal shipping/delivery process and the UBC Depot.
  • Other Public Libraries: Many will suspend ILLs during the duration of any strike action as they are unable to ship items except by Canada Post. Some may request or loan items via courier. Please contact the individual Borrower/Lender library for assistance.
  • Post-Secondaries: Many will continue local area ILLs where resources and the situation permits, while others may suspend all interlibrary loans for the duration of any strike action. Some may request or loan items via courier. Please contact the individual Borrower/Lender library for assistance.

Suggested options based on feedback and past experiences:

For Patrons:

Patron-Initiated Interlibrary Loans activated in OutLook?

  • Consider suspending your PI-ILL requesting during any strike action. Login as Admin and under Staff Dashboard > ILL Admin > Maintain Participant Record> Show Request This Button > De-select "Guests" > Submit your changes to save. Check-out the PDF, HTML or video guide on Setting Holiday/Temporary Closures for additional information.
  • Continue to collect patron-initiated requests but consider adding a notice. For example add a Footer notice to your OutLook OnLine that mentions the delay. Login as Admin and under Staff Dashboard > UX Admin > Header/Footer Options > Footer tab Enter your message including any HTML > Submit your changes to save. Leave your requests in Awaiting Approval until any strike action is suspended or continue approving/processing requests where applicable.

Patron requests only available from your website or paper forms?

  • Consider suspending requests for the duration of any strike action.
  • Or place a warning notice on your website informing patrons that due to strike action requests may take longer to be filled.
  • ILL Staff can continue creating requests in OutLook OnLine Awaiting Approval until any strike action is suspended and/or continue approving/processing requests where applicable.

For Borrowers:

If you continue to submit borrow requests during any strike action:

If you are unable to return items during any strike action:

  • Consider requesting a renewal of any items you are unable to return so they are not placed in Overdue.
For Lenders:

If you or your borrowers are unable to ship items until any strike action is concluded:

  • Consider adding your closures during any strike action to your Holiday List so you will not receive any Pending requests. Check-out the PDF, HTML or video guide on Setting Holiday/Temporary Closures for additional information.
  • Consider rejecting Pending requests where there are other available Lenders that may be able to supply the item sooner.
  • Consider providing the item via courier if the borrower library has expressed they are willing to pay for shipping costs.
  • Consider granting Renewal requests for items that may not be returned by a Borrower library until any strike action is suspended. This should prevent requests from automatically entering Overdue.

If you continue to receive requests in Pending during any strike action:

  • Consider rejecting the request with a note about the postal strike if you are unable to process the item.
  • Consider setting the item to Will Supply if you are the only Lender shown as available for that particular item. Process and ship the item when strike action is suspended.
  • Consider rejecting the request if you are unable to ship the item and there are other libraries available on the lender list that may be able to provide it faster.

Remember to contact other Borrower/Lender libraries directly if you have a concern with any requests during the strike. 

Have additional questions or suggestions/feedback that you'd like to add to this FAQ? Please contact us!

 

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