January 13, 2010

Courtesy Card Usage

Hello all,

It has been requested that all the libraries review the use of courtesy cards when it comes to helping patrons. Magrath Circulation has a courtesy card with $10 in value in our locked key box. This value is reset to $10 at the beginning of every month.

When to use this card to help patrons:

* When there is a mechanical/technical error with the printer or the
  copier including a jam or other problem and the patron has lost
  money on their own card.
* When there is a computer issue when sending the job to the
  uniprint station such as if a patron chooses black and white and
  is charged for color printing.

When NOT to use the courtesy card:

* Do not use the card if a patron says they do not have a UCard or
  enough money to print even if it is "only" one page.  If the
  patron does not have a UCard inform them they may buy a copy card
  from the Value Port, but be sure to tell them that the card costs
  $1 and that it comes with no value on it.
* Do not use the card if the patron is complaining about something
  which you determine to be a user error.  If the patron printed
  extra pages they didn't want such as almost empty pages from the
  internet we cannot refund them.

When using the courtesy card do not hand it to the patron. Always use the card yourself so that we do not lose the card and so that it is not used for things it shouldn’t be used for. If using it yourself keeps you away from the desk for a short while get Perry, Alli, Steve, or I to cover the desk while you use the card. When you’re done using the card remember to put the value remaining on it and the date on the little brown case so we can keep track of the value. In summary, use the card to help people with mechanical or technical problems, but do not use the card if the problem was user error or if the patron does not have a card or money. Also, if a patron becomes upset that you are unable to help them because of user error please get a supervisor to speak with them or if none of us are available give a business card to the patron. If you have any questions about any of this such as what constitutes mechanical and user errors please let me know.


Nick Fugate

August 29, 2008

Value Ports!!!


Okay, so the biggest change over the summer is our use of the new value ports (cash to card). Our old machines will no longer work. The patron has to use the new value port as seen above. The new system was put in place so that patrons could add value on their UCards or GopherGold cards using their check cards online. Unfortunately, there have been some snags in that process. Hopefully, by October patrons will be able to go online and add value to their cards using a check card.

Since the UofM has changed the method of adding money to card, they have also had to change the UCard itself. You will notice that new UCards only have one magnetic strip. The issue with this change is that any amount of money you had on your old card will no longer show up. For example, if you left for the summer and have $20 on your UCard and you come the first day of class to print your schedule that $20 will be gone. You will have no usable cash on your UCard. However, if a patron wishes to get that money transfered back onto their UCard they can go to the UCard office in Coffman and they will transfer your old balance onto your new UCard. This doesn't mean you have to buy a new UCard it just means that the new system doesn't recognize the old cash on your card.

If anyone is having problems with the new method or is upset that their old money isn't showing up, we do have new courtesy cards that work in the new machines. The new courtesy cards are kept in the same place and are worth 85 cents.

The new machines are a little tricky for people to get used to. The new cash to card machine is more like using a credit card at a gas station (a quick in and out of the card). The printers and copiers are more like swiping your card at a grocery store. At the print station the swiper is actually a part of the keyboard. I encourage you to walk around in your first few days back and check out the new system. Give everything a try so you can accurately instruct patrons about how to use the new machines. Also check out an expertly written article Evaluating New Debiting System written by our very own Nick Fugate. If you have any questions, please, let a supervisor know.