The Unclassifiable Library Remix

Friday, April 06, 2007

Fine Free!

Today is Good Friday and indeed a four day weekend is good - as I took yesterday off in addition to today's holiday. The week, therefore, has been very short, but not uneventful.

The biggest happening of the week was the consortial meeting I attended on Tuesday. My library is in a three school constortium, which met this week to discuss loan rules, fines/fees, and circulation notices. It was very exciting, especially as one of the biggest topics was going fine free. This has long be a hope of mine since coming to my current institution, as I have felt that these daily penalties are no longer adequately serving their original purpose of getting the items back and deterring patron misuse of materials. Instead, we are discussing converting to a system of billing for overdue items, and when the items are returned the billing fee will remain as the penalty. Fines would remain only on short term items, such as reserve materials.

Of course making this happen is a lot easier said than done. We are going to be meeting next month about some of the logistics - mainly the editing of our system loan rules. This is not something you do on a whim! Editing loan rules truly gives you an understanding of the complexity of an ILS and how all of the different parts of it interact. Even something that seems as simple as adding a patron type or changing the number of days between overdue notices, becomes a lot more complicated when loan rules come into play. A healthy understanding of the system and handy access to your ILS manual are definite prerequisites before playing in this arena. However, once you are finished, it always seems worth it.

I'm very excited about this project, and will post about it more as we progress.

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