News & Notes

New Special Collections Request System (SCRS)

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LSU Libraries Special Collections went live with a management software system called Aeon on July 16, 2015. This system allows us to manage collections and requests much more efficiently by closing the typical gap between “discovery” and “delivery” and by enabling users to place reading room paging requests automatically from the catalog. LSU joins several of the top Special Collections Libraries in the United States who use the Aeon system, including Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Duke, University of Michigan, the Newberry Library, the Huntington Library, and Harry Ransom Center at UT-Austin.  The LSU Libraries system is called SCRS (pronounced “Seekers”), which is short for “Special Collections Request System.”

What is SCRS?

SCRS allows researchers to submit requests for items in Special Collections from anywhere, and plan their visits to Special Collections with efficiency and accuracy. Researchers are now able to register and manage personal information and track requests from any computer using the SCRS system. Previously, registration and requests were done manually, while on-site. Paper forms will be a thing of the past! This will save precious time for researchers, and allows us to better understand what our patrons need and when.  All Special Collections patrons are required to register for Aeon in order to use materials, which is an easy and quick process.

How does SCRS help make research easier in special collections?

Once researchers are registered, special collections’ staff approve requests and retrieve materials more efficiently. Researchers can watch the progress of each request to determine if an item has been retrieved, put on hold, or returned to storage.  Requested  materials in Special Collections are retrieved until the patron visits the library, but we are able to see when you are coming and anticipate your visit and needs.

Researchers can also store all request information in their profile for future review of citation information regarding materials consulted in special collections and also place photo-duplication/ digitization orders.

Are researchers able to request special collections manuscripts, books and periodicals using SCRS?

Yes! Books and periodicals housed in special collections are found by searching LSU Libraries’ online catalog. If an item in the catalog is located in special collections, the record in the catalog clearly displays an option to request the materials.

Archival collections can be found in the catalog and through Special Collections online Finding Aids. Once you find the Archival Collection you are looking for in the database, you can request materials from individual collections via a request button.  We anticipate that in 2016, users will be able to link directly from finding aids to request specific boxes of archival material.

Are professors be able to request materials for their students to use for class projects?

Yes! Professors can set up class visits as “Activities” within their SCRS accounts. Instructors at Hill are also be able to set up “Activities” where students and teaching faculty can readily see the material they will be using for a specific class. The history of materials requested for a class can be stored and viewed for future use.

Jessica Lacher-Feldman is the Head of Special Collections at Louisiana State University.

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