March 25, 2015

Interfiling Large Print

Question:  Since all libraries have to be the same regarding interfiling fiction and youth and teen non-fiction being separated from adult NF, will this also apply to Large Print where some libraries have both fiction and non-fiction in the same section vs some having the large print non-fiction interfiled with regular non-fiction?

Answer by Sonia Alcantara-Antoine, Public Services Manager:  At this time, there are no plans to interfile Large Print.  (Currently, Large Print Fiction is not interfiled, but there are branch locations where Large Print Non-Fiction is interfiled.) 

It can be argued that there is a very specific segment of our population that needs access to this discrete collection.  Interfiling with regular type would mean keeping Large Type out of the hands of the people who need it most. 

The Materials Management Team will be asked to consider proper placement of Large Print Collections going forward.  Any decision to change how and where Large Print collections are organized would need to come as a proposal to LET first for vetting along with a justification as to why we should do this and benefits to our customers.  

March 24, 2015

Backdating at JUL

Question:  Why does the JUL not backdate their book drop on Sundays when they are closed?  Do all the other libraries with AMH that are closed on Sunday also not backdate?  I returned an item on a Sunday, which was due on the prior Wednesday, and got fined for 4 days late.  I know it's only 25 cents, and I will pay it, but shouldn't the rule be consistent across all libraries? 

Answer by Becky Day, Supervisor, TCC/City Joint Use Library:  Thank you so much for letting us know of this problem!   The backdating program of the AMH was not updated when the decision to close the JUL on Sundays was implemented.  This has been corrected and backdating at JUL is now consistent with all other libraries closed on Sunday.  

February 2, 2015

Microsoft Home Use Program

Question: In the past we were able to purchase Microsoft Office when the city upgraded to a new version (for a heavily discounted price) for our home use. I tried to purchase the new Office 2013 and was told I needed to have a valid program code from my company or institutions beneficiary Administrator and a use of a work related email as well. I verified that I had a city email address. Does this mean we are no longer eligible to get this software discount any longer?

It was really nice to have the same version of the software at home as we have at work. I will be sad to hear that is no longer available.


Answer by the Library Communications Team:  This benefit is once again available to employees.  The information needed, including the product code which is unique to the City of Virginia Beach, can be found here.  From home, log into Beachnet using your Active Directory login and password.  Choose the Technology Services tab at the top of the page, then select Software from the drop down menu.  Microsoft Home Use Program is at the top of the list of the next menu that pops up.    After clicking on that page, you can then copy the product code, use the enclosed link to go to the ordering page and you’ll have Office 2013 in no time!

January 13, 2015


Question:  Will there ever be a resolution to the problems customers encounter when logging into SAM?? This has been an ongoing problem for months and months.  Customers will get a message saying their PIN is invalid. They often will have to try 2 to 3 different computers.  Also, they will have ample funds on their card to print, but SAM will show they have no funds on their card.  This is not good customer service.

Answer by Susan Morris, Library Technology Services Manager:  Both TS and ComIT are aware of the ongoing issues with SAM and the invalid PIN message.  Much investigation by the vendor and ComIT has not exposed the source of the problem.  Without being able to catch an occurrence as it is happening, they’re not able to obtain diagnostic data needed. We’re asking staff to be our eyes and ears for noticing any patterns that might be related.  Locations should document and send issues as they occur to TS.  Include specific date and time, computer number, customer id, and what you did to resolve the problem (Please note that in most cases, restarting the computer will resolve this issue.).  TS will follow up with the vendor again.

TS is also aware of the payment processing issues with SmartPay (perpetual spinning wait cursor, payment not processed). We are in the process of upgrading the online payment software with Comprise. Testing began this week.  Once complete, TS will announce the date it will be available in the live system. If you are experiencing other issues related to account balances in SAM, please report to TS as soon as possible.

Over the next six months, TS will be analyzing the department’s requirements for PC activity management and printer control software for potential replacement or upgrade.  Watch for future announcements on how you can participate in the process.

December 15, 2014

Service Awards

Question:     How is it determined whether you get a service award or not when part of your time served is part time and part is full time?  1 year award received as part time then moved to full time.  Does it start over with another 1 year award, or does your time keep going to 5 and 10 years?

Answer by Dawn Chabrol, Library Administration:  Initially, the City only recognized full-time members for service awards.  When VBPL decided, several years ago, to recognize part-time staff for service awards, the Service Awards Team decided that we would only give (one) 1-year pin. This pin would be the one reflected by the member's current PT/FT status as of the November 30th deadline of the award year.  

For example, if a member was part-time from September 2013 but went full-time October 15th 2014, this would mean that on November 30, 2014 (the deadline/cut-off for eligibility) they were actually full-time.  They would receive a 1-year pin for being full-time at the December 2015 program.  They would not receive a 1 year pin for being part-time at the 2014 program because their status had changed from part-time to full-time before the November 2014 deadline.

Mandatory Training

Question:  Why are mandatory trainings being held continually when it leaves a skeleton crew in the library to assist customers?

Answer by the Library Communications Team:  Recently there were some mandatory trainings held for managers, IS IIIs and Supervisors that utilized previously scheduled meeting times.  In addition, required EEO training was scheduled for the rest of the staff.  Several training dates with varying times were available for that training to accommodate agency staffing.

Calendar Templates

Question:     This is more of a request than a question.  I'd like to ask that our marketing department try a bit harder to be responsive to the needs of the front line staff.  We have to submit items for Update months in advance but we don't get the same courtesy in receiving the calendar templates in a timely enough fashion.  Templates for January 2015 were just posted Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, and with the holidays, vacation time, and not a lot of off-desk time, that's a pretty short window for staff to get all the entries made and calendars produced. (Note that 6 months of calendars are posted at one time and this problem happens each time we are waiting for the next set.) Everyone in the Library department is extremely busy, so if marketing could please realize that the front-line staff have time-sensitive needs as well, it would be greatly appreciated.

Answer by Christine Brantley, Community Relations and Development Manager:  Thanks for your sharing your comments. Please know that the marketing team understands that front line staff have time-sensitive needs for materials and our goal is to get the right resources to you in a timely manner. Like all staff at VBPL, our team manages a variety of projects and must constantly adjust priorities and deadlines based on most pressing needs. So there are times when materials are not distributed as soon as intended. We apologize for the inconvenience that causes.

In the case of the calendar templates you mentioned, the first 8 months of 2015 (Jan. - Aug.) were posted to SharePoint on Wed., Dec. 10. The remaining 4 months, (Sept. - Dec. 2015) are scheduled to be posted by April 1 if not sooner. Our team is always assessing our internal processes and our capacity and we'll continue to make adjustments as we can to ensure we're providing the best possible materials and information to you and for our customers.