Recently in Borrowing Privileges & Fines Category

Borrowing Privileges: A Thumbnail Sketch

As with many departments in the Libraries, the primary aim of the Borrowing Privileges unit is to assist users in accessing the Libraries' collections.

To date there are over 72,000 active borrowing accounts, including 60,000 faculty, staff, and students. The remaining borrowers include: faculty and students from other educational institutions, corporate borrowers, Friends of the Library, Alumni, U of M academic departments, and Libraries and MINITEX processing units.

Besides working one on one with users to set up borrowing accounts and resolve problems the Borrowing Privileges unit collaborates with U of M programmers to ensure that the Libraries systems are in sync with the U of M Admissions systems. Borrowing services are transparent for our affiliated borrowers--they need only present a U-Card. Over 8,300 unaffiliated borrowers world-wide have applied for borrowing privileges since 1999, an average of 1400 applications per year. In the future the Borrowing Privileges unit wants to automate the application process, similar to that of purchasing membership to a museum online.

Staff at service desks may be asked about borrowing privileges. Borrowing Privileges staff are available Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm, or at 624-3383 to answer questions or provide assistance. If BP staff is not available, a complete list of borrowing options and privileges for all user types is available on the Borrowing Options page.

~ Submitted by Matt Bowers, Head, Borrowing Privileges and Fines, December 2005

Billing and Item Process Statuses

IADS staff has been working on a project to clean up item process status information and to simplify item process statuses. Searches have been completed or are underway in several libraries for items marked NR or LO. If the item is found, the record is updated. Once searches are completed, the NR and LO statuses will be eliminated. We will begin using MS for items that are missing and MF for items that are not found after one year. This change is intended to make holdings records more accurate in the OPAC and eliminate some confusion about which item process statuses should be used.

IADS will also use some features in Aleph to automatically bill a patron replacement charges for items that are more than thirty days overdue and automatically cancel replacement charges when items are returned. Fines offices will depend on daily reports to manage the return of these overdue items. This will eliminate the need to physically handle NR and LO items, cutting out some of the lag time between returning and reshelving.

~ Submitted by Matt Bowers, August 2005

Borrowing Privileges & Fines Marches On

The Borrowing Privileges and Fines Office is having a great year. We have had good success with the renewal policy changes for grads and undergrads that were initiated at the beginning of spring semester. Our patrons really appreciate the flexibility and complaints about renewal problems have gone down dramatically.

We have also been busy getting into compliance with credit card security rules. The Asset Management Office and the External Sales Office conducted a survey about credit card security compliance across campus. BPF has been busy revising procedures concerning filing of information and day-to-day operations. Matt attended a compliance workshop which was a great source of information and ideas for improving information security. On the public service side, Wilson BPF has been averaging nearly 1000 phone queries and service desk queries a month in 2005. Thanks to our great staff and thanks to all IADS staff who give outstanding BPF services at all of our libraries.

~ Submitted by Matt Bowers, June 2005

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