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A Slow Return to the New Normal

In early March 2020, COVID-19 blindsided public libraries. With little time to plan, library facilities across the country closed to protect the safety of their customers and staff and moved to online services only and work from home. For many libraries, digital content was already in place, providing research support and customer access to ebooks, eaudiobooks, and streaming video. But what about new customers, who needed library cards to access all this good stuff? We've heard from many libraries how eCARD helped keep the virtual doors open, and we're sharing a couple of stories below, from San Joaquin Library System, which implemented eCARD to be able to serve customers without a trip to the library, and Chinook Arch Regional Library System which already had eCARD in place. In other news - Robert moved to Fort Wayne IN (what?!) and Carol went canoeing! - Melissa, Scott and Robert
eCARD Implementation in the Time of COVID, Wildfires, Hurricanes and Murder Hornets 

If you need an agile team with experience with complicated algorithms, look no farther. At Quipu Group, we pride ourselves on reality-based deliverables, and work with each institution to address their staff and customer needs for a customized online library card registration system.

Check out what we heard from Christopher Wymer, Chair, San Joaquin Valley Library System Administrator - "SJVLS is excited to launch Quipu’s eCARD service. eCARD will provide our patrons with a convenient way to sign up for a library card and quickly access our electronic collections without requiring a trip to the library.

"As a public library consortium with 10 member library systems, each with their own electronic collections and access restrictions, we had some complicated self-registration requirements. eCARD’s ability to provide name and address verification was an important consideration and one of the reasons we were excited to partner with Quipu. Quipu worked with us to ensure our eCARD form met all of our requirements, and borrower records followed our established procedures for registering patrons."

"I am especially happy with how responsive and helpful Quipu’s staff are. During set up, all of my questions or concerns were promptly addressed, and any requests for updates or changes to the form were made the same day."

Can we brag a bit more? Especially because this very happy customer is Chinook Arch Regional Library System, based in Alberta, Canada, adding to our international reach! This is what Pat Wauters, Bibliographic Services Administrator had to say:

"As a consortium of 33 public libraries, each of our 33 member libraries sets their own policy on the type of memberships that they offer and the privilege fees that they charge. We have system policies to determine a user's home library based on where they live in our region as well. Quipu was able to develop an online registration service that incorporated all of these policies into it so that the correct home library and privilege fee is assigned when users from within our region register online. We launched eCard at the beginning of January. All of our libraries closed mid-March due to COVID-19."

"It's been a chaotic year for everyone and having a service in place for users to register online has been amazing.  Since launching the service it has been well used by our patrons and we've received compliments on how easy it is to register for a library card. The timing of our implementation of eCard was perfect. I’m not sure what we would have done this year if we didn’t have a way for users to register for a card online. I’m looking forward to being able to offer online renewals to our patrons too."

Wow. This is what makes us get up in the morning happy to go to work! We're happy to report that Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County and Frisco Public Library have also joined the eCARD family, and we hope to highlight more new customers soon!
The New Normal Includes ePASS

As cultural institutions look for ways to re-introduce their performances, collections and attractions, you can be confident that ePASS can accommodate the multitude of ways physical attendance can and has been rolled out. Museums, zoos, botanic gardens and historical societies all share the same challenges when it comes to reopening to the public.This article, "How to Get Ready to Open the Doors" from the American Alliance of Museums, presents a very common sense and forward-looking outline that may assist you and your cultural partners in putting together a plan to open up your ePASS service.
Robert Becomes a Hoosier, and Puppies!

After years of persistent domestic nagging, Robert agreed to move to Fort Wayne, Indiana, his partner's "ancestral" home.This is the first time the Quipu partners have lived more than a few zip codes apart since 1997, but in the days of Zoom meetings and Facetime, it really shouldn't faze anyone.  And with Robert in the ET, Melissa and Scott in the MT, and Carol in the PT, Quipu has just about all the time zones covered!

And what could be more fun than moving across the country with two puppies, only to find that all your belongings won't get there for another two weeks? And then the shipments arrive, and that box marked Xmas Ornaments? Don't believe it - one silver ball and flour and spices and is that a toilet brush in there!? Robert told the puppies they had to move because Ike was bad and got on the old kitchen counters, but in the video (no, this was not shot by a professional) you can see that Ike and brother Asher really are loving their new digs.

Dragon Boats Strike Curious Poses...

What are you doing to keep in shape and stay connected to your community of friends?  We've all become creative, haven't we?!  You've probably heard about Carol Gyger's dragon boating adventures but with current COVID restrictions, it isn't possible right now to practice or race dragon boats. An informal group formed to fill the void - the SD (Social Distanced) Flotilla. They meet twice a week on various lakes and rivers in the Seattle area and it's BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat) or  kayaks, canoe, SUP (stand up paddleboard)... There is lots of catching up with friends, picking blackberries along the river, meeting new folks, and enjoying nature. Message from Carol - "Stay safe, everyone, and be creative. :-)"
Don't forget to put Virtual TLCU, Oct. 26-28, on your calendar! Quipu will have a Virtual Exhibit Room and can set up individual meetings with people and answer questions from attendees… contact us for details!
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