The Book Club
in a Bag Program is a collective effort of
MHLS member libraries. They have pooled their resources to create
over 100 kits, each including ten copies of one title and discussion questions
as a "DIY book discussion kit" for patrons. This page is designed
to help member library staff answer patron questions that might arise
about the Bags.
Staff Procedure [please note that this procedure applies
to all staff, in all libraries]:
- Patrons may not
book their own bag, they must ask a member library staff person for
assistance. Any patron
from any library may request a bag.
- The bags are
advertised to patrons through the online public library catalog,
a link on local library web sites and posters in libraries.
- Patrons learn
about the program and what bags are available through the
main program page they are directed to.
- Library Staff should use
Calendar to help a patron find a title
that suits their needs.
- Library Staff may then use
the online Request-a-Bag
form to place an order for their patron. Please allow 1 to 2
business days for this form to be processed. If you have any questions
please call Kerstin Cruger at x250.
- MHLS Staff reserves the
bag for your patron and delivers it to your library at the requested
not override and place a hold in Millennium.)
- No more than
2 kits can be borrowed at one time by a patron.
- When the item arrives at
your library it will have a note on it that:
- asks the library
to call the patron and notify them of the arrival of their bag (the
phone number will be on the tag) and
- provides the
date by which the bag must be picked up by. If it is not picked
up within a week from the date you've received it then it should
be returned to MHLS. The patron will have to re-book it.
- When the patron comes to
pick-up the bag, check it out to them in Millennium just like you would
any other library item.
- If a bag is
held up because the previous patron has not returned it when your
patron inquires about their bag:
- Bags can be renewed once
allows. Patrons cannot renew through the OPAC, staff will renew by overriding
in Millennium after checking the availability
calendar. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org when a kit is
renewed, so the online availability calendar can be updated.
- When a bag is returned:
- check the bag
to make sure the contents of the bag are complete (the tag attached
to the bag or the attachment note in Millennium lists the contents)
- if all items
are present check in the item in Millennium and send it via delivery
to MHLS, attn: Kerstin
- If items are
- if titles
are missing, immediately bill the patron for the item. A sample
bill is available.
- if the
folder is missing, immediately bill the patron for the item.
A sample bill is
- If MHLS
contacts you because a bag is overdue you should call your patron
and ask that it be returned. If it is not you must bill them
for the entire bag. A sample
bill is available.
- If a bag is not returned:
- MHLS Staff
will contact you and ask that you call the patron to request that
it be returned.
- If the patron
does not return it after this call is made you should bill the patron
for the entire kit. A sample
bill is available.
- Payment for
a kit goes to the owning
- Q. Who may borrow
a MHLS Book Club in a Bag?
A. Any patron from any MHLS member library.
- Q. How do you
book a bag?
A. A library staff person must do this for the patron using the Availability
Calendar and online
- Q. Who is responsible
for returning the books included in the Book Club in a Bag?
A. The patron that borrows the bag is responsible for returning all
10 copies of the title by the due date.
- Q. If a book
is lost by a member of the borrowing patrons group, who will pay for
A. The borrowing patron must pay for a book missing from the bag.
- Q. How long is
the loan period?
A. Six weeks.
- Q. Who owns the
A. The library that paid for the bag owns it. It is simply housed
at MHLS for distribution purposes.
- Q. Why are there
two records in Millennium for each bag?
A. One record is used to display the item information in the catalog
as a holding Statement with an "Ask staff" status.
The second record is suppressed from the OPAC view and will be used
as the active record for checking in and checking out the bag to patrons.
Libraries will follow the guidelines for Linking items to Book Club
in a Bag records [guidelines coming soon].
- Q. What should
I do if a one or more titles are missing from a returned bag?
A. If titles are
missing, immediately bill the patron for the item. A sample
bill is available. The patron is responsible for tracking
down all items included in the bag. Please
Do not wait for a replacement title to return the kit to MHLS. In
many cases there are people waiting for the kit and they can still
use it even if a few titles are missing.
a Bag for a Patron
Promoting the Program
in your library
How to become a
If you would like to join in and contribute a Book Club in a Bag kit
1) Call or e-mail Kerstin (x250 or email@example.com)
with your preferred title to make it hasn't already been claimed. Check
here to see what has already been claimed or to get ideas for a title
for your kit.
2) Fill out an order form and
return it to Kerstin @MHLS (you
will be billed separately, do not send a check) [Please note: The
bag is included in the base price. You can order an additional "display
bag" to keep at your library to promote this program to your patrons.]
3) Purchase or otherwise obtain at least 10 copies of your chosen title
- preferable paperbacks.
4) Affix 10 of the customized bookplates sent to you in your books (Yes!
You do have 1 extra bookplate! Customize it and send it in with your books
for the folder that will go in your bag.)
5) Develop discussion questions and e-mail
them to Kerstin
6) Develop a 100 word synopsis of the title to include on the Available
Titles page and e-mail
it to Kerstin
7) Send in your books, the extra bookplate and an unattached barcode to
MHLS, attn: Kerstin