Minutes of September 25, 2003 meeting

Ray Balter, Judy Gardner, Ines Gessner, Shirley Lewis, Barry Lipinski(recorder), Nita Mukherjee, Antoinette Peteet, and Daphne Roberts.
Georgina Alonzo and Roselyn Riley.


Welcome Guests Judy Gardner and Daphne Roberts
The group welcomed Judy Gardner and Daphne Roberts, who attended the meeting as invited guests.

1. Academic Holds Placed

All group members and billing staff at Dana and Robeson reported that their academic holds were placed before the September 19th deadline. The group remarked on how smoothly and efficiently the procedure of using 3 times per year barred user reports to place academic holds has become.

2. Credit Card Payments

This year the group has worked with Judy in developing a method for accepting credit card payment in New Brunswick for bills and fines. Judy delivered to the group a document “Miscellaneous Term Bills—Guidelines for Use in New Brunswick.” At the four larger units in New Brunswick—Alexander, LSM, Kilmer, and Douglass—billing staff will now be able to create Miscellaneous Term Bills that will permit students—with some restrictions indicated below—to pay bills and fines by credit card at any University Cashier’s Office. The guidelines are as follows:

Use only for students who:

Use for fines and lost book replacement fees.

On the three-part Miscellaneous Term Bill form, fill in:

Instruct students to take the form to a Cashier’s Office where they can pay by credit card. If students want to immediately clear their library record, they need to return to the library with a carbon copy of the form, which the Cashier has run through the register.

In addition, the Cashier will do a cash transmittal, a custom report, and send it to Head University Libraries Access and Interlibrary Services, arriving in a day or two. This report will be cross checked in WorkFlows to clear any lingering records.

Any questions that staff in the units have about these procedures may be directed to their Billing Functional Group representative. Staff in the branches who encounter students who qualify for credit card payment as per the guidelines stated above and who state a desire to pay by credit card, should direct those students to the circulation desk of either Alexander, LSM, Kilmer, or Douglass.

Each of the four larger units in New Brunswick has a supply of the Miscellaneous Term Bills. Statistics are being maintained on how often this option is chosen. When reciept of credit card payment is presented from the Cashier’s Office, staff should enter the payment as “CASH” in the WorkFlows billing module.

A reminder: Students who are already on academic hold for long overdue books may always choose to make a credit card payment directly to the Cashier’s Office for the amount for which they are on hold. For these students already on academic hold (they will be listed on the Delinquent Accounts 029 Report and there will be a PUBNOTE in their user record in Work Flows indicating the academic hold), no Miscellaneous Term Bill is filled out by staff. If they wish to pay by credit card at the Cashier’s Office, these students already on academic hold, will be charged the average cost of $102 per item.

3. Knight Express

A port and a tentative location have been identified at Alexander for a Knight Express machine. Final budgetary approval for the machine needs to be given. The group recommended that LSM be chosen for a second Knight Express reader, if the budget permits. Ines reaffirmed that providing this option on the Busch/Livingston Campus as well as College Avenue would be helpful to users.

4. WorkFlows New Release

Having examined the Release Notes for the upcoming new release of WorkFlows, the group recommended that the automatic creation of bills capability be used for material that is significantly long overdue, perhaps 6 months to 1 year. All other material that is 40 days overdue currently results in the automatic barring of borrowing privileges for users. This process, the group feels, is working well, providing users with the incentive to return their materials. Students who do not respond to the barring of privileges are placed on academic hold on a 3 times per year basis. Diploma holds are placed on students who are scheduled to graduate and have material checked out that is 40 days or more overdue. Judy suggested that the automatic creation of bills capability may be well suited for first addressing some of the long overdues that go back to 1999. Barry said it appears that the new billing module may be useful in working with the thousands of GEAC-LOST items that are shadowed. These GEAC-LOST items are preSIRSI items that were carried over as bills in SIRSI. The “assumed lost” function of the new release may permit the libraries to leave a bill on a user’s record and allow the item to be withdrawn from the catalog. How much of this can be achieved automatically and how much will require staff data entry in user records needs to be figured out.

5. Information Sharing

Barry informed the group that Nita has agreed to be the group’s Intranet representative. Nita has been converting previous meeting minutes into html and has made the editing changes recommended by the group to the training documentation.

Nita asked Judy about the status of Self Checkout as a future user option. Judy said it was not in the immediate future. One main hindrance is that the machines are expensive.

Shirley described a billing situation where a user attempted to make payment by filling out a check bearing another person’s name and address. Shirley informed the user that this was not acceptable.

Antoinette reported that Alexander billing had been relatively light at the beginning of the semester, but she did expect that to last much longer, particularly after long barred students receive their academic holds in mid to late October.

Daphne Roberts described to the group the process that the Media Center uses to get Faculty/Staff borrowers to return overdue material. She discussed the bookings module and the problems that can occur when overdue material is needed for an imminent booking. Barry asked Daphne to share with him, in the future, examples of bills she needs to create so that the billing interaction between the circulation module and the bookings module can be clearly understood.

Ray Balter remarked that he had been gaining experience in billing procedures at Douglass. He also described to the group his activities as the Douglass Student Coordinator.

Next Meeting: Thursday, October 30, 2003 at 3 p.m. at Kilmer.

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/billing_group/minutes/billing_group_min_03_09_25.shtml
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