CIRCULATION POLICIES & PROCEDURES MANUAL
as adopted on
By Rolling Prairie Library System's LLSAP User's Group
Library patrons, regardless of age, have the right to privacy of their information at the library. All patron information is protected, and may not be divulged to persons or agencies other than the patrons themselves.
The goals of patron registration standards are:
The Network Policies Committee tackled the task of creating the LLSAP's first-ever written sharing guidelines with fear and trepidation. Armed with angry complaints and accusations about the request system in particular, the Committee set out to do its homework. The information gathered by the committee included
During months of work, the Network Policies Committee concluded that the primary issues causing disruption in the smooth and prompt flow of services and materials to our patrons all reside within three basic truths.
- The concept of "resource pooling" to fulfill requests for high-demand items was never given a fair chance to work, from the moment of the migration to DRA and merger between the LLSAP and Lincoln Library in 1995. In fact, by establishing NO guidelines and encouraging local autonomy, the concept was in essence "set up" for failure from the start by the LLSAP User's Group itself.
- There is a complete lack of consistency in resource sharing policies and procedures at the local level. Many of these inconsistencies matter not at all, and may be applauded for preserving the character and meeting the needs of their communities. Some, however, have caused a chain-reaction ripple of discontent within the LLSAP that can preclude good service to patrons.
- The patron database is in danger of becoming out-of-control, due to both its sheer size and a lack of sufficient attention to the importance of clean, complete, and current patron records.
The following document proposes to resolve these issues through
The Network Policies Committee feels strongly that this can work. In many ways, the work of the committee exemplified the spirit of cooperation that is the reason systems and consortia exist at all. We cooperate and share because it makes us all better.
Rolling Prairie and the LLSAP were created to serve us all as we serve our patrons. But we must take care of the LLSAP in return. True, it was easier to cooperate and agree when we were a small group. But making an effort is worth it. The greater good is quality library service to all.
The Network Policies Committee
For complete directions on using DRA's CIRCLE circulation system, please refer to DRA's printed circulation module documentation.
1. The Patron Database
1.1 Public Library resident cards
1.1.1 Public libraries may issue resident cards only to residents or taxpayers of the library's physical district, village, city, or township.
1.1.2 Every effort should be made to clearly establish a patron's residency within the library's jurisdiction. Requiring identification, marking mail to the patron "do not forward" or "address service requested", and maintaining current maps or street files of the library's jurisdiction are all encouraged.
1.1.3 All cards must state an expiration date of 3 years or less from the date of issuance.
1.2 Public Library nonresident cards
1.2.1 Public Libraries must follow RPLS policies and procedures for the issuance of nonresident cards.
1.2.2 The system-wide card must be offered at the established annual fee.
1.2.3 Local use only cards may be offered as an option.
1.2.4 All nonresident cards MUST bear the appropriate gold system-wide or yellow local use sticker as provided by RPLS, as well as a current expiration date.
1.2.5 Nonresident cards may be paid in either 1-year or six-month increments.
1.3 School Library patron cards
1.3.1 If school patrons are given a school library card to carry, it must be clearly marked as a school card, and must bear the same information as a public library card. Students should be cautioned that the card is good only at the issuing school.
1.3.2 Schools may use a student's graduation date as the expiration date for the patron record.
1.3.3 School library cards are valid only at the school where issued, except where a local intergovernmental agreement exists.
1.4 Academic Library patron cards
1.4.1 If academic library patrons are given an academic library card to carry, it must be clearly marked as an academic card, and must bear the same information as a public library card. Students should be cautioned that the card is good only at the issuing school, except where a local intergovernmental agreement exists.
1.4.2 Academic library patron cards may use graduation dates for expiration of the patron record, or as the individual institution's policies dictate.
1.5 Special Library patron cards
1.5.1 Special library patrons should not be given a special library card to carry.
1.5.2 Special libraries may determine their patrons' expiration date; however, a 3-year period is strongly suggested.
1.5.3 Special library cards are valid only at the library where issued.
1.5.4 Special libraries should insert their institution's name in the notes field.
1.6 Patron records on DRA
1.6.1 Minimum required fields
1.6.1a ID number
1.6.1b First name
1.6.1c Middle name or initial when available
1.6.1d Last name
1.6.1e Street (in Address2 field, if a PO Box is the mailing address. Mailing address should be in Address1 field.)
1.6.1h Patron class
1.6.1i Expiration date
and for public libraries, two of these three:
1.6.1k Social Security
1.6.1l Birthdate (mm/dd/yy)
1.6.1m Driver's license OR State of Illinois ID card (of parent, or may be excepted for children)
and for school and special libraries
1.6.1n the institution address and phone may be substituted for the patron's address, city, zip, and phone
and for special libraries
1.6.1o the institution name in the notes field
1.7 Forms of ID acceptable for patron registration
1.7.1 Driver's license or state of Illinois ID card
1.7.2 Voter's registration card
1.7.3 Tax bill
1.7.4 Social Security card
1.7.6 Utility bill
1.7.7 Current student ID
1.7.8 Birth certificate
1.7.9 Printed checks
1.7.10 Personal knowledge
1.7.11 Printed class schedule
1.8 Expiration and renewal
1.8.1 Patron records must be clean (no fines or delinquencies), and address and phone number re-verified before a card is renewed.
1.8.2 Renewals must be done at the home library.
1.8.3 Library cards must reflect the new expiration date.
1.8.4 Overriding an expired card.
1.8.4a A library other than the home library may override the expiration date ONCE only. Only the patron's home library may override a delinquency.
1.8.4b If an override is performed, it should be recorded in the notes field complete with the date of the override.
1.9 Patron record maintenance
1.9.1 Sanctity of patron records
1.9.1a A patron's home library has control of the patron's database record.
1.9.1b Other libraries may not change patron records, except the notes field.
1.9.1c Other libraries may not add or delete manual delinquencies.
1.9.1d Libraries should communicate promptly about patron record issues.
1.9.2 Expired patron records
1.9.2a Public and special libraries will annually run a patron purge to delete records with expired status for ten years and more. Patrons with delinquencies will not be deleted, and a report will be generated. A list of expired cards may be run before the purge.
1.9.2b School and academic libraries will run a patron purge annually to purge graduated students' records.
1.9.3 Unbarcoded patron records put into the database must be maintained or deleted after six months if not expanded following a Borrower Academic Load.
1.10 Patron delinquencies
1.10.1 Patrons moving between jurisdictions
1.10.1a Patron records must be clean (no fines or delinquencies) before a new card is issued.
1.10.1b Former home libraries should be contacted by the new home library when a new card is issued or the old record converted, unless those two libraries have agreed that no communication is necessary.
1.10.2 Delinquencies from another library
1.10.2a Academic library fines should not be collected by other libraries, and academic libraries should not collect other libraries' fines.
1.10.2b Fines of $5.00 or less may be collected on behalf of another library (except academic), and kept by the collecting library.
1.10.2c Fines over $5.00 may be collected on behalf of another library (except academic), but must be forwarded to that library with a complete record of what the payment covers.
1.10.2d Charges for lost materials may be paid for at the home library or at the lending library. The money collected is returned to the owning library, accompanied by a complete record of what the payment covers.
1.10.3 Overdue notices should be sent directly to the patron by the library owning the materials. They should not be sent to the patron's home library to be sent to the patron, except where a school library has chosen to enter the library's address into the patron record.
1.10.4 Duplicates or photocopies of third overdue notices should be sent to the patron's home library. The home library is expected to make every effort to retrieve the material.
2. Resource Sharing and Resource Pooling
2.1 Bestsellers and other high-demand items
2.1.1 Resource pooling
2.1.1a All bestsellers will circulate for 2 weeks with no renewals.
2.1.1b Local request may not be used for bestsellers, but libraries may fill their own requests first.
2.1.1c All libraries will add a copy to the pool for every seven requests per title and format (i.e. 7 requests for an audio + 7 requests for a print version = 1 audio and 1 print copies of the same title).
2.1.1d Libraries unable to meet purchasing requirements in 2.1.1e should simply limit the number of holds placed on DRA to seven per title at any given time.
2.1.1e Only borrow what one is willing to loan. One may borrow a format not owned, but may not request a format owned but not shared.
2.1.1f Holiday books, high-demand subject areas of nonfiction, etc. may be local request during the home library's peak demand. This should be for not more than 3 months at a time. Rebecca Caudill books should not be local request for more than 6 months. Bulk loans between libraries with different subject strengths or demand schedules are encouraged.
2.1.2 Building request lists
2.1.2a In an effort to limit patron-initiated requests in subject areas, the public access module of DRA (currently Gateway) will display a welcome message stating, "If you need more than 10 items in one subject area, please ask a librarian for assistance".
2.1.2b Bulk loans are encouraged between libraries for topical / subject needs rather than individual title requests which may "clean out" another library in one collection area.
2.1.2c Patron requests should be placed onto DRA as soon as they are received. The on-order workform as approved by the Database Standards Committee must be used for items not yet received, and requests should be placed onto that on-order record as necessary. The on-order record MUST be overlain or expanded, rather than a new record being entered into the database as items are received.
2.1.2d Priority levels may not be changed from "9" except in extremely rare circumstances, i.e. technical services needing a particular copy for repair, or some other reason that the item should not be allowed to fill additional patron requests.
2.1.3 Filling requests
2.1.3a Libraries may fill their local patrons' requests for high-demand items and bestsellers first, or they may participate in the resource pool at their own discretion.
2.1.3b Use of "new book shelf" patron records to satisfy browsing needs is encouraged.
2.1.3c Special attention must be made to filling and clearing send-item lists early each day.
2.1.3d Patrons must be notified of requests being held in a timely manner. If possible, phone notification should be made. If notices are sent, they should be stamped or marked on the outside in a manner that distinguishes them from overdue notices, i.e. "Material on Hold".
2.1.3e Unclaimed items must be pulled from the hold shelf in 7 days or less.
2.1.3f There may be NO RENEWALS on items with outstanding requests...this MAY NOT be overridden.
2.1.3g ONE renewal is possible ONLY if no requests are outstanding. However, libraries should not allow any patron more than four weeks' total use of another library's materials without the express permission of the owning library.
2.2 All libraries must adopt policies and follow practices which adhere to any and all current and prevailing state interlibrary loan and resource sharing statutes, Illinet policies, and RPLS policies and procedures.
3. Reciprocal Borrowing
3.1 Services available to reciprocal borrowers
3.1.1 All services available to resident borrowers should be available to reciprocal borrowers, with the possible exceptions of (a) Internet use, (b) equipment loans, and (c) out-of-state interlibrary loans. 3.1.2 Home libraries must comply with RPLS and DRA User's Group patron registration standards in order that their patrons may be accepted as reciprocal borrowers. This includes both a complete and current computer record, as well as a properly marked library card.
3.2 Local loan periods
3.2.1 Uniform loan periods are encouraged, though only mandatory for high demand items in the resource pool.
3.3 Delinquencies and fines
3.3.1 Academic library fines should not be collected by other libraries, and academic libraries should not collect other libraries' fines. 3.3.2 Fines of $5.00 or less may be collected on behalf of another library (except academic), and kept by the collecting library.
3.3.3 Fines over $5.00 may be collected on behalf of another library (except academic), but must be forwarded to that library with a complete record of what the payment covers.
3.3.4 Charges for lost materials may be paid for at the home library or at the lending library. The money collected is returned to the owning library, accompanied by a complete record of what the payment covers.
3.3.5 Only patrons' home libraries may set and remove manual delinquencies. No delinquency may be overridden by other than the patron's home library.
4. Routing and Delivery
4.1 Routing sleeves
4.1.1 All member libraries will use the approved DRAGON routing sleeves. Local modifications are not acceptable.
4.1.2 Routing sleeves must be placed over the front cover of books, never the back cover.
4.1.3 Routing sleeves may either wrap a book cover or be taped to it. However, NEVER tape a sleeve to another library's book, only to your own.
4.1.4 Routing sleeves must be properly filled out per RPLS Procedures Manual.
4.1.5 Videotapes, CD's, and audiotapes not circulated in plastic or protective boxes should be placed into padded envelopes for delivery purposes.
4.1.6 Videotapes, CD's, and audiotapes not in padded envelopes for delivery should be secured with a rubber band.
4.1.7 Before sending an item back through delivery, always cross off your library's name in the "Route To" box using a large "X".
4.2 Route On To labels
4.2.1 "Route On To" labels should be used to overlay the "Route To" box when an item is being sent to another library, not its home. Tape the label to the routing sleeve in the appropriate place.
4.2.2 "Route On To" labels should be used to return materials to their home library when they have been returned to your library, though were not checked out there. Secure the label to the top of a stack of materials with a piece of tape on a single rubber band.
4.3 Sorting delivery materials
4.3.1 The 1/2-sheet "Route To Library" sorting label
4.3.1a This master must be copied onto colored paper, not white. Orange is suggested.
4.3.1b This label is used to label items sorted for delivery to a library after yours on the delivery route. It should be secured to a bag, or to the top of a stack of books with a rubber band.
4.3.2 Materials to be delivered to libraries after yours on the route should always be on top, or in a clearly marked separate bag.
4.3.3 Libraries are responsible for maintaining a copy of the current delivery schedule. If unsure, the current schedule may be printed from the RPLS web page.
5. Problem Resolution
The policies and procedures of DRAGON are intended to create and maintain a smoothly functioning system which operates consistently in fairness to all members. Participating members will make every effort to communicate and resolve problems between themselves whenever possible. Continued non-compliance with adopted policies and procedures will result in the following remedies:
5.1 The library will be notified by the Network Policies Committee of recurring non compliance issues reported to the committee by participating members. Staff training and assistance will be offered to insure that all policies and procedures are understood and followed. Appropriate RPLS staff and / or a mentoring Librarian will be called upon to assist in training to resolve problems.
5.2 If after training, assistance and a 30-day period in which to comply with DRAGON policies and procedures, a library is still not in compliance, then a letter of notification will be sent by the Governing Board of the DRAGON User's Group to the Library Director stating the problem and the recommended resolution.
5.3 If after training, assistance and written notification of non-compliance by the Governing Board to the Director, the problem is still not resolved, within 2 weeks a letter will be sent to the appropriate Board, Superintendent, Agency, or Corporation administrator notifying them of the non-compliance issue and requesting a resolution to the problem.
5.4 If a resolution cannot be reached, the Governing Board or the noncompliant DRAGON member may request mediation. The Governing Board will be called to meet with the library personnel involved to hear the problem and to make recommendations to resolve the issues.
5.5 If a library does not comply with the mediation committee's recommendations within the time specified by the Governing Board, then a recommendation will go to the full membership requesting that their LLSAP Participation Contract be terminated on the grounds that policies of DRAGON have been intentionally violated. A vote of at least two-thirds of the membership must be in favor of terminating the library's contract.
5.6 Following such a vote, the governing boards of all parties involved will be notified prior to a final termination in accordance with the terms stated in the LLSAP Participation Contract.