The group welcomed Roselyn Riley of Alexander to the group.
The group examined its annual report, reviewing the activities, accomplishments, and statistical analysis of the past year and reaffirming its goals for 2003/04.
Barry cited the 10 per cent decrease in money collected for recall fines over the past year as an indicator of several trends. The successful introduction of PALCI has caused a decrease in recalls. The decrease should continue as users choose to request a book from another institution—and get it quickly—rather than recall a copy from RUL and possibly need to wait two weeks for it to become available for pickup. This is good service news for the borrowers who have already checked out the RUL copy(s) and for those who now need the material as soon as possible. It should be noted, too, that keeping users informed through multiple means—email notification, SELF SERVICES—of what they have out, what is overdue, and what has been recalled does help to keep fines and bills from accruing.
Barry distributed WorkFlows Version 2003 Release Notes related to billing functions. Scheduled to arrive in January 2004, the new release will offer new billing capability. It appears that the new package would permit Systems to designate books that are long overdue as billed and produce bills for the users, something not done now, but done before when the libraries used GEAC. The group agreed to brainstorm the advantages and disadvantages of this new functionality. Georgina said that one advantage would be that users would finally be able to see something under “BILLS” in their SELF SERVICES displays when they have long overdue material. Currently, bills only appear when recalls have been returned late or when bills are created manually by staff. Barry said the new function may be good for dealing with users who have material that is excessively overdue (one or two years). He questioned whether it is worthwhile to create bills for over 90 percent of the users who do have the long overdue material, will return it, and will not have to pay for its replacement. Currently, users with material 40 days or more overdue do not have bills, but they are BARRED. If they do not return their material or renew it after being BARRED, they are placed on academic hold. The group discussed the irony of the situation. It feels library staff have successfully shaped procedures to jell with the way billing works in WorkFlows. To return to a GEAC way of thinking about billing—something wished for a few years ago—presents many questions. Do we want to do this? Can we select portions of the new release and not others? Do we want to automatically create bills? If so, what time frames should we use? How long overdue should items be before they become billed? Barry asked the group to look through the new release notes, think about how the new module would work for us and come up with observations and suggestions. Antoinette asked when would the test system for the new release become available. Barry said he would find out.
Antoinette reported that Knight Express capability for Alexander Library is proceeding. A port and workstation at the front desk near the elevator is being considered as well as an area closer to undergraduate reserve. Ines said that she hoped another Busch/Livingston Campus workstation for Knight Express could be made available as well. She cited the difficulty in parking on the College Avenue Campus as a problem users wishing to use this option for payment would face.
Nita volunteered to take the editing comments provided by Ana, Andy, and Nita and update the Billing 101 document and accompanying PowerPoint.
Ana reported on the activities of the newly formed Intranet team. The group congratulated her on her move to the Annex.
Shirley described her experience with handling a billing problem involving 3 totally damaged books put in the LSM bookdrop.
Andy reported on RDS and PALCI developments.
Georgina announced that Kilmer is undergoing a major stack shift, led by Collection Management Group Coordinator Mary Gadek, on its second floor.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 at 3 p.m. at Kilmer.