Friday, 6 June 2014

Interesting performance stats

Staff at PLS continue to extract data from the system to help us to understand how customers are using the system, with the aim of improving system performance for both staff and customers.

I have just been provided with a report which looks at holds performance at a very high level.  For this financial year to date customers have placed 1,943,010 holds. Of these, 1,537,134 (79.1%) have been filled.   So what about the other 20%+?

Customers chose to cancel 234,845 (12.1%) of all holds placed.  I'm curious to know more about what these holds were & why they were cancelled, but we don't have that data.  I am pleased that this number of holds were cancelled on the basis that we would not have shipped most of these items - saving courier costs.  Of course, if a hold is cancelled after an item has been shipped we still do all the work associated with fulfilling a "live" hold.

The number of items which have expired on the shelf  - i.e. arrived at the library but were not collected is 171,031 (8.8%).  From my recollection of discussions about this topic in libraries, this figure doesn't seem too bad.  However it does mean that lots of work was done by staff and our couriers only to have this effort go to waste.  If would be good if we could reduce the number of items  which are reserved but not collected.  If any libraries have run a demonstrably successful program in the past about reducing the number of uncollected holds we'd love to hear from you.

As further stats become available I'll share them with you.


  1. Perhaps some of those cancellations are staff cancelling duplicate holds as records are manually tranferred? I don't know that there would be any way to tell though.

  2. Geoff Strempel6 June 2014 at 16:17

    Yes Heather - there are a number of possible reasons for some of these figures. While it is good to have some numbers, they really don't mean too much unless we can drill down further to see who did what & why. This will be an ongoing quest for us.

    I do have some data about the relationship between holds and people who have a status of "delinquent" or barred", so we are getting some more fine grained data. I would need lots more information before I acted on this information to make changes to our system or whatever.