Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Interactive Voice Response for Libraries

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

Interactive Voice Response for Libraries

Article excerpt

Enhanced Systems has introduced a new library interactive voice response (IVR) system that automates patron notifications and other library tasks.

The Hello! IVR system for libraries was created as a cost-effective method to inform patrons when a book is overdue or that an item placed on hold is ready to be picked up. The system is expected to reduce both costs and personnel hours associated with routine library tasks such as renewal requests.

Using advanced text-to-speech conversion technology, Hello! can greet the patron by name and read book titles. The IVR system uses information stored in a library's host database to retrieve patron names and phone numbers. The system then groups calls to be made according to the type of message that will be delivered. The Hello! system then places the calls and delivers the appropriate message.

Librarians can set the number of times the Hello! system will retry calls that result in a busy signal or no answer. At the end of the day, the system creates a list of the patrons that it was unable to contact so that they can be tried again on the following day.

The system is capable of distinguishing between local and long distance calls and can be set to deliver messages only to patrons living in the local calling area. …

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