LCI has designed numerous automated processes to allow libraries to work more efficiently, all of which are optional for those libraries who choose to implement them. This includes automated renewals, hold pickup reminder notices, emails welcoming new patrons, notifications to patrons expiring soon, and more.
LCI's professional catalogers work closely with our libraries to maintain a high-quality bibliographic database. We constantly upgrade brief and temporary vendor records to higher quality records and merge duplicate records. Our members are granted the flexibility they need to catalog at the level they desire, with our libraries ranging from full OCLC members to those who rely more heavily on LCI staff for anything beyond vendor-provided records. LCI staff also load many digital resources into our catalog, including shared OverDrive records, Hoopla, and more.
As a supplementary service to the Connecticut State Library's deliverIT service, LCI contracts with Yankee Courier Services, LLC. to deliver materials among our libraries. This service visits all member libraries that require service twice per week. No additional fee is charged for this service beyond our members' annual assessment.
Whenever possible, LCI staff work with vendors to provide discounted prices and increased efficiency to our members through group purchasing. This currently includes products such as WebDewey and Wowbrary, and has in the past included one-time purchases of products and services such as Library Insight and wireless barcode scanners. When member libraries are interested in new products or services, we encourage them to contact LCI so that we can work directly with the vendor on behalf of all our members.
Public Catalog Interface
LCI staff maintain and customize Encore, our public catalog. In addition to features designed by LCI staff, such as list of new items, New York Times bestsellers, and staff picks, Encore is enhanced with the integration of 3rd party services. Patrons are able to see the availability of OverDrive materials directly in Encore and can borrow or place holds on those materials without leaving the catalog. Integration with Content Cafe provides cover images, summaries, reviews, and more, while integration with Library Thing for Libraries provides lists of similar titles, similar authors, other editions, and other enhancements.
LCI provides access to numerous reporting tools, including several from our ILS vendor. This includes tools for assessing current collection information, collecting circulation statistics, and collection management. In addition, LCI has designed over 30 custom reports targeting information our libraries need that is not easily available through the vendor-provided tools. This includes easy-to-run reports for the CT State Library annual report, hold reports targeting specific categories of holds, weeding reports, inventory reports, reports to aid in cataloging cleanup, and more. Many of these reports can also be scheduled and automatically emailed to library staff on a regular basis.
Whenever needed, LCI staff is glad to provide training to member libraries. This is done through in-person and virtual training open to all interested libraries, training provided to individual libraries, and one-on-one training with individual staff members.
All LCI member libraries have different workflows and processes for the various tasks related to the ILS. However, over time, as the system changes and libraries see staffing changes and new strategic goals, some of the practices can become outdated or less efficient. To help our member libraries keep their operations running smoothly and efficiently, LCI team members are available for workflow consultations. During meetings with the library director and/or department heads, LCI team members will answer questions, review processes, discuss best practices, and develop recommendations for ways to revise their workflows.