Billing as RUL Access Services Committee Focus Judy Gardner was welcomed by the group. Judy announced that billing would be a focus this year in RUL Access Services projects and procedures. She proceded to lead discussion regarding GEAC LOST items, Cash Transmittal forms, Request for Payment forms, plans for Knight Express, old academic holds (pre GEAC, extending back to the 1970s and IBM keypunch circulation/billing), and new procedures for when to place academic holds.
All billed items carried over from the GEAC circulation system to Unicorn WorkFlows are currently being searched one final time prior to their removal from the catalog. Procedures on how to annotate user billing records for these items, and any subsequent long overdue items on WorkFlows which may be identified for removal from the catalog because of the extended time period that they have remained checked out, long overdue, and not paid for, need to be developed and finalized. The goal is to get these old items, for which we have diminishing expectations of their return, out of the catalog.
The group discussed with Judy how far back we should be expected to maintain academic holds. We reviewed the status of our old, pre-029 report hold lists and the billing records associated with them. We will examine this area further and determine what we wish to do with managing and maintaining these records.
Judy emphasized that there is now one systemwide book fund. Selectors will be receiving reports for lost and paid books. Judy went over the form, distributing an annotated example of how it should be filled out. Cash transmittals are expected to be completed at least once a month. In some units such as Alexander, where larger sums are taken in, more frequent transmittals are done.
The Request for Payment Form, used for refunds, was reviewed. Nancy Hendrickson has added an extra zero to the account number for the new systemwide book fund.
The procedure for accepting payment by IPO’s was discussed. The faculty member who is paying in this way, needs to provide a departmental account number. After receiving the form at the unit, billing staff should send it to Nancy Hendrickson, Library Budget Office.
Judy announced that the purchase of a Knight Express machine or New Brunswick is being considered. This would enable users to pay for fines and replacements with a swipe of their debit card. Of the money taken in, 3.5% of each transaction would go to the Knight Express Office. Since 65% of total payments in New Brunswick are made at Alexander, the group agreed that Alexander would be an appropriate location for the Knight Express option.
The group discussed its proposal for placing holds on a 2 to 3 times a year basis, rather than every day. Judy concurred that this made sense. Barry proposed barring users with the 40-day overdue report, but not placing an academic hold. Research since the inception of Unicorn Workflows has revealed that too many academic holds are placed and removed within a 2-week time frame by staff. And all evidence suggests that users returning material within this period are not doing so because they are on academic hold. Too few of them bother to engage in any interaction with staff to have an academic hold removed. The large majority of academic holds are being removed by the NBAS Billing Functional Group Coordinator through the daily barred users report. The group identified October, March, and April as key periods for running reports of users who are barred because of long overdue material and who now, because of their failure to renew or return their material, should be placed on academic hold. Users who are barred, but not on academic hold, may be given the option to renew their material provided they have a discussion with Access Services staff regarding their PIN, how to renew materials through Self Services, and the consequences of not renewing or returning materials and being placed on academic hold. It is also important that the barred users acknowledge that they are indeed in possession of all the long overdue materials. A report identifying barred users near the end of the semester would be matched with a report of graduating students for the purposes of placing diploma holds.
(UPDATE: On October 10, 2002, this proposal was approved at the Access Services Committee Meeting and became the new established procedure in RUL Access Services.)
Nita related her experience in working with a user who tried to provide a replacement copy which was clearly stolen from a public library. Nita also reviewed with the group a case where a user set off the alarm with a defaced Douglass book which she initially claimed to be her property but is now agreeing to replace.
Jeff pointed out that the “Guidelines for Waiving Recall Fines” document needs to be updated in certain sections which refer to how to update email addresses. Barry agreed to make these changes.
Shirley discussed a situation where a user expressed his interest in placing multiple holds on an item so that no one else could recall it from him. Georgina pointed out that the new RDS module would not allow that; only one hold can be placed on an item by the same user.
Georgina, as the Coordinator of the RDS Functional Group, offered her insight on how the new module is functioning.
Antoinette suggested that we work in concord with Student Financial Services so that we can place academic holds prior to the established cutoff dates for student registration. Judy said she would discuss with Student Financial Services their projected schedule for these place holds deadlines.
Next meeting: Wednesday, October 23, 2002, at 3 pm at Kilmer.