Group members welcomed Don Wilson, who is now assisting with billing at Alexander Library, to the Billing Functional Group.
The group reviewed Judy Gardner’s email of 5/20/04 regarding summer patron loads. For ¼ of the year—the summer months of June, July, and August—all staff need to know that the way we handle address changes is different than the other 9 months. The only user records updated during the summer months are current faculty/staff and undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in summer courses. Therefore, students continuing in the fall who are not enrolled during the summer will appear in the WorkFlows user database with a last load of 504 (May, 2004). If these users need address changes during the summer, Access Services staff members need to make those changes for the users in WorkFlows. At the same time, Access Services staff members need to inform users to go ahead and make their address change in the Rutgers Online Directory. The user-edited ROD record will dataload in WorkFlows beginning in September.
Barry discussed how he heard from a PhD student, who couldn’t understand why her privileges had suddenly been changed to alumni status, preventing her from remote access to databases and RDS requests. Contacting Systems, it was discovered that PhD students not taking summer courses, were being loaded as alumni, reflecting the masters’ degrees they had automatically earned in their programs. Because of this glitch, which affected approximately 200 graduate students, Systems decided to suspend loading alumni records over the summer.
Barry distributed to group members a packet of sample new notices that had been written by the Billing Working Group ( Katie Anderson, Judy Gardner, Maggie Harris, Barry Lipinski, Sandy Marsh, Antoinette Peteet, and Chris Sterback) and presented to the Access Services Committee on 5/13/04. The new notices text covered the following areas: 1) Bill for Replacement (a bill sent to users who have material one year overdue); 2) Claims Returned; 3) New graduates (alumni), with checkouts; 4) New graduates (alumni), without checkouts; 5) Withdrawn students, with checkouts; 6) Faculty/Staff who have left the university, with checkouts; 7) Community borrowers about to expire, without checkouts; 8) Community borrowers about to expire, with checkouts; 9) Guest borrowers about to expire, with checkouts; and 10) Guest borrowers about to expire, without checkouts.
The thrust of all the new notices is to promote clear communication between the libraries and the users regarding borrowing privileges and user accountability for items checked out.
Group members examined a bulleted summary of procedures “ILL & PALCI Billing (Borrowing),” prepared by Brian Beyer of ILS. The summary offers a clear, helpful explanation of the steps ILS takes to bill delinquent users, including the text of the email message each user receives when a supplier sends ILS a replacement invoice. One key element for Access Services staff to understand is that once an RUL invoice is sent to the user with the long overdue ILL or PALCI material, the user is required to pay full replacement cost and is not eligible for a refund. A refund is not given, because RUL has already paid the supplier. ILS staff will create PUBNOTEs in the user WorkFlows record. The invoice and PUBNOTE both explain that payment must be made directly to the ILS office. An academic hold is placed on the user’s record by Access Services if the matter is not resolved within the established time frame.
Members reviewed last year’s statement of goals in the annual report and the progress made in reaching each goal during the past year. Possible goals for 2004/05 suggested by the group thus far include: 1) A “helpful hints” document for staff that would provide sound guidance for how to handle discussions with users regarding bills, including claims returned, claims never borrowed, claims never received notice, etc; 2) A “need to pay a fine or bill?” handout/brochure for users that would outline their payment options; and 3) Obtain an electronic file of graduates that Systems could customize to produce a single report of barred users to be placed on diploma hold.
Shirley described how she had worked successfully with a user to get back long overdue material and avoid the user’s payment in excess of $800 for books that the user—as Shirley suspected—was able to find and return.
Ines reported on the emergency flood from an LSM bathroom that caused the temporary closing of the facility.
Antoinette and Don discussed how they are working together on claims returned follow-up letters to users.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 at 3 p.m. at Kilmer.