Policies

(as revised by the Resource Sharing / Automation / ILL Committee on August 28, 2001)

Included in this document are policies regarding:

Placing a stop on a patron’s record

Please note that patrons with a stop on their record are unable to participate in HomeAccess (access to electronic databases from home) or Request-A-Title (placing holds on materials from home). Specific situations in which a manual stop on a patron’s record is permissible are:

· change of address verification

· phone number verification

· offline and newly-online library has delinquent situations from manual system

Do not place a stop on a patron’s record to remind them of such matters as:

· ILL awaiting pick-up

· lost personal property

· to reinforce a system-generated delinquency (“owes $4 at Library X, 5 books at Library Y”)

When a manual stop is placed on a patron’s record, detailed information must be entered in the delinquency notes field, which does continue to the notes field if more space is needed. This information includes:

· today’s date

· library name or 3-letter code

· the person placing the stop

· details on the reason for the stop

Under no circumstances should a manual stop be placed on a system-generated delinquency solely to “reinforce” the system-generated delinquency.

Please remember to remove the notes and the manual stop once the situation is rectified.

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Registration

In order to ensure that each patron in the system has only one card, it is imperative that a search be done against the FASTCAT database before a new card is issued. In particular, make sure that the search is being conducted across the entire database and not just against your library’s patrons. Press <F16> to show the entire database. Search by all possible names to avoid issuing a duplicate card to a patron.

If after searching you discover that the patron does have a card from another MHLS library and has moved into your library’s service area, re-register the patron. Do not just give them a new card.

When entering patron information, please use upper and lower case, i.e. John Smith, 5 Main Street, Greatville, NY, and include the area code in the telephone number.

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Re-registration

Patrons that already have a FASTCARD but have moved to another library’s service area need to be re-registered, so that their borrowing and delinquency information transfers to their new card automatically.

If you delete the old card and then just register them with a new card, you will cause all that information to be lost to all the libraries.

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Lost materials

Lost during ILL

If a requesting library fails to return an ILL-requested book (via VDX, ALA forms, fax or e-mail), the requesting library is responsible for the replacement cost. MHLS will reimburse the requesting library for 50% of the replacement cost.

Lost during system holds by a patron

If a patron loses a material acquired through the system holds process, the money paid to the loaning library can be kept at the loaning library if under $10. If over $10 the money is sent to the owning library. Use the replacement cost listed in the database.

Lost during system holds in transit (includes items with status Going home)

The library that last touched the item is responsible for the replacement cost. MHLS will reimburse the library 50% of the replacement cost.

Material was lost, paid for, and then found

This situation is a local issue on whether the library accepts the return of the lost item or not, or refunds the money paid back to the patron or not.

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Fines

Fines are paid at a library and are kept at that library.

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System Holds

System holds vs. local holds

Online libraries use system holds and not local holds for faster service.

Renewing an item

The renewal can be processed if there are no extenuating circumstances, such as:

· owning library does not allow renewals of that item

· your library’s rules do not allow it

· your library is an offline library

· there is at least one open hold on that title

Limits on system holds

There are no limits on the number of system holds a patron can place.

Awaiting pickup

Items remain in “awaiting pickup” status for no longer than 7 days (1 week).

Collection development

Libraries should continue their buying procedures and receiving of purchase alerts as in the past until there is more data available on the impact of system holds.

Offline libraries

When offline libraries checkout system holds’ materials, they should use their own loan period and keep a written record of the transaction.

MHLS collections

Do not fill a hold with any MHLS Rotating Collection item. MHLS items are not available through system holds. Use other means to request these items—paper ALA form, a faxed request, an e-mail or VDX.

Missing Items

If an item is missing from your collection, change the item status to missing so the catalog status display will more accurately reflect its status and the item will no longer be eligible to fill a system hold.

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Routing slip

It is acceptable to staple delivery information printed from a computer onto a delivery slip.

For delivery to an offline library please include the patron name and phone number. Note that patrons using Request-A-Title are placing holds unbeknown to the offline library that receives the material. Without the patron information the offline library has to call the owning library and ask them to look up that information, delaying delivery to the patron.

When using two-sided routing slips, please remember to cross-off the used side before using the clean second side to eliminate any confusion.

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Magazines

For requests for an entire issue, whether through regular ILL or system holds, each library should follow its policy on the lending of magazines.

If a library normally would send a copy of an article but not loan entire issues, that library can contact the requesting library or patron and inquire if there is a particular article desired, and then copy and send that article.

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May 4, 2001, revised August 28, 2001