The group reviewed the highlights of the annual report. The prime goal of reorganizing and integrating information from the former groups (Circulation, Billing, and Security and Facilities) into one Circulation and Public Services Group web page is close to being achieved. From the Access Services Committee come two activities for the group in the upcoming year: 1) Identify item records, patron records, and old delinquent accounts in the Unicorn database to cleanup in preparation for migrating to a new open source (OLE) library system; define core patron data needed for a shared VALE catalog and resource sharing; and 2) Investigate capabilities for sending text message Notices to users.
Jill Locascio and Zohreh Bonianian answered questions about the draft of the new group web page that they had done. The group agreed that the HOW TO framework with alphabetized entries would work well. The next step in the process will be to meet with Sam McDonald.
Judy Gardner presented new procedures for manually entering new users into WorkFlows. So that new users whose records have not yet been data loaded can immediately log into library services by using their NetID, staff will now make use of a Web Auth ID field and enter the new user's NetID there.
The group examined a set of revised notices that had been drafted by Judy, Jill, and Krista Haviland. All agreed that the notices had been improved. The language was clearer and helpful in providing the user with options.
Judy said that in working on the notices and thinking about ongoing Delinquent Accounts work, she wondered if changing the bill notice schedule so that a bill would be mailed at 90 days overdue instead of 180 days overdue would improve user accountability for the library material. The group advocated giving this a try.
As a way of addressing the emerging problem of laptop theft, which had recently struck at Alexander Library, Judy Gardner discussed some approaches that the libraries could take. She presented to the group a few signs she had designed that carried the theme to students studying in the libraries that they were using a public space, i.e. students need to be aware of protecting their personal property. Two of the signs were particularly well received by the group and thought their placement as posters could be helpful. Judy said another option would be to ask RUPD to give scheduled presentations to students in the libraries concerning awareness and safety precautions. Barry Lipinski said that he believed the recent wave of laptop thefts at Alexander Library were the work of one or possibly two individuals working together who thought they had a good thing going because they had not been caught. He said that catching them in the act and arresting them was the key. Barry pointed out that while we want to make our students aware of their surroundings and not suffer the hurt of theft, we should not lose sight of the number of hours the libraries are open, the number of users coming into our buildings each day, and understand that the number of thefts occurring per year is actually low (11 thefts in New Brunswick libraries in 2008-2009, 14 thefts in 2009-2010, and 22 thefts in 2010-2011.) Zohreh advocated having RUPD speak with students as part of their first-year orientation.