I. General Policies
The ALS Shared System Administrator will work with supervisors and/or library directors to determine the authorizations that are to be allowed by the library staff for circulation, cataloging, serials, and acquisitions.
The ALS Shared System Administrator will set the authorizations as recommended by the supervisors and/or library directors. The supervisors will be notified of any changes and are responsible for checking to see that the authorizations are set as requested.
Supervisors and/or library directors will notify the ALS Shared System Administrator of any staff changes that require changes in authorization. This may include changes in staff duties, additions of staff, retirement of staff, or staff no longer employed by the library.
PINs are required for patrons who want to access their accounts online via RockCat to view checked out materials, fines, to place holds, and have “My Reading History” access. PINs are not required to search library holdings in RockCat.
ALS RESOURCE SHARING POLICY
In accordance with the ALS Resource Sharing Policy, member libraries agree to lend all circulating materials to other ALS libraries without restriction. However, the Circulation Committee may allow exceptions for specific types of materials or for specific formats. These exceptions have been formally agreed upon and can be found in Appendix D.
RENEWAL OF LIBRARY MATERIAL
ROCKCAT libraries agree to renew materials owned by other ALS libraries regardless of where they were borrowed. The system calculates the due date according to the owning library’s parameters. Material cannot be renewed if the system indicates there is a hold for another patron. Patrons can also renew items in ROCKCAT if the items are eligible for renewal.
RETURN OF LIBRARY MATERIAL
- ROCKCAT materials may be returned to any ALS library.
- When damaged or incomplete material arrives follow damaged or missing procedure in section VII.
ITEMS LOANED FOR IN-HOUSE USE
When circulating materials for in-house use, the item must be marked for in-house use and the borrowing library must be notified that the material will be used in house.
OPEN HOLDS SHELF POLICY
Each library can determine if they will have an open holds shelf. If items are placed on an open holds shelf, every effort must be made to remove any patron identity information so that only staff and the patron will recognize that a hold belongs to a specific patron.
LIMITS ON CHECKOUTS AND HOLDS
Checkouts are unlimited, but individual libraries may limit specific items. DVDs are limited to 15. Holds are limited to 50.
PURCHASE POLICY FOR HOLDS RATIO
Patrons may reserve or place holds on materials with staff at an ALS library, from an ALS library computer, by calling an ALS library or via the Internet from a remote computer. ALS libraries agree to purchase a copy of materials when demand warrants. The library maintains a 6:1 hold ratio for books, 10:1 for audios, and 15:1 for DVDs. Unlike the three-week loan period for most materials, most DVDs have a one week loan period. The shorter loan period results in a more rapid turn-around time and justifies the higher "hold to purchase" ratio.
II. Patron Registration and Maintenance Policies
A form of identification is required and must include valid identification and proof of current resident address.
Acceptable forms of identification include but are not limited to: driver’s license, Wisconsin identification card, school identification card, fishing license, check book, bank account, change of address form from post office, credit card bill, and medical bill.
Identification must include: current name, date of birth and valid current resident address. All patrons must supply these to be given a card.
Libraries will need to verify a minor’s parent/legal guardian. Parent/legal guardian’s name must be put in the Guardian Field in the minor’s record.
PATRON HOME LIBRARY
According to ALS policy, a resident of a Rock County municipality with a library can have a valid library card from any library in the county, but their Home Library, Patron Agency, PCode 4 and Patron Type should reflect the municipality in which they live. Rock County townships, Footville residents and those residing outside the ALS system boundaries may choose their home library. If the individual has more than one residence, determine which residence is considered the primary residence.
For patrons that do not live in a library’s municipality but own property in that municipality, that library may determine whether or not they will allow these patrons access to their library.
OUT OF STATE BORROWERS
Libraries may issue a local library card to a nonresident who does not qualify for an ALS member library card, e.g., or residents of another state. Local library nonresident cards are not required to be honored by all ALS member libraries.
Each library will make a decision about whether or not to have an expiration date. Libraries can update any patron’s expiration date if expired. Staff should also update current address, phone, patron type if no a longer juvenile card, and other information as necessary. Extend the expiration date for three years.
Patrons may not hold more than one ALS card, with the exception of children with divorced parents. Children with divorced parents may have two cards. The cards must have the same name and clearly indicate “Card 1” and “Card 2” in the name field.
MERGING PATRON RECORDS
Each library will be responsible for determining who is allowed to merge patron records. The library will then notify the ALS Shared System Administrator to establish the appropriate settings for merging records. Staff without the permissions will not be authorized to merge patron records.
DELETING PATRON RECORDS
Only the home library may delete a patron record. Each library will be responsible for determining who is allowed to delete patron records.
Patron records with outstanding transactions or stops or blocks shall not be deleted. Outstanding transactions must be cleared before deleting. Place a block on the card and an explanation in the notes field. Library staff creating the note shall put library and personal initials and date of note at the end of the note.
ALS TEMPORARY CARDS
ALS Temporary cards will no longer be issued (May 2015). Libraries can issue their own library card for new patrons that live in another city/village within the system. The issuing library will verify that Pcode 4, Patron Agency, Patron Type and Home Library within the patron record match the municipality in which the patron lives. If a patron moves from one municipality to another, they may keep the card, but all municipality fields need to be reflect the change in address. A form of identification is still required for new patrons and must include valid identification and proof of current resident address.
Library Temporary Cards
Individual libraries may give out temporary cards. These temp cards are honored at other libraries.
ALS libraries may issue Institution cards to schools, staff, business and other organizations. Individual libraries can determine what identification is required, the loan periods and fines. The institution is responsible for any lost or damaged material. ALS libraries may choose to issue Institution cards under the following conditions:
- The President, Director, Principal, or individual with signing authority for the institution must sign for the card, agreeing that the institution accepts responsibility for all materials checked out on the card.
- The card should be given an expiration date of one year from the date the card is issued. When this card expires, the President, Director, Principal, or signing authority should sign for the card again in order for the card to remain valid.
- The use of the card must be for materials which support the institution and not for personal needs.
- Bills for any materials checked out on the Institution card must be sent directly to the Institution.
FINES AND FEES
Each library will determine their fines and fees.
Patrons may pay any late fees and replacement costs at any ALS library. Libraries will keep all of the money they collect, no matter who owns or circulated the materials, with the exception of billed or lost items over $10.00. Collection payments can be made at any library. If partial collection payments are made, the collection fee must remain until all the collection amount is paid. All collection fees, with the exception of any replacement fees for that library, should be sent to the collection library. Do not remove collection agency block from the patron record, nor delete the patron record. The record can be deleted after the collection agency record has been updated and block has been removed. Typically 24 hours.
Collection fees should be sent to:
Beloit – Michael DeVries/Nicole Ballok
Clinton – Mary Bieber
Edgerton – Sherry Machones
Eager Free – Megan Kloeckner
Hedberg – Michelle Dennis
Milton – Stacey Schultz
Orfordville – Sarah Strunz
Checks or cash can be sent directly to the receiving library with a completed ALS Lost Item Receipt form. A check can be made out to ALS if the patron owes money to more than one library. Send the check with the ALS Lost Item Receipt form and ALS will send the owning libraries the payment.
Authorized Staff may override blocked checkouts because of overdue fines and fees, with the exception of collection and court accounts.
Authorized library staff will notify the Shared System Administrator of any special promotions to reduce or eliminate fines, such as Food for Fines or amnesty day.
Patrons must contact the owning library of a found item in order to determine if a refund is possible.
TYPES OF NOTICES
Each library will determine the type of notice sent to each patron. Overdue and holds notices may be sent via telephone, e-mail or regular mail to patrons. Billing notices are sent by mail and courtesy notices are sent by e-mail only.
SCHEDULE FOR SENDING NOTICES
Each library will determine the schedule for sending notices to patrons. Notices will be sent to patrons at a minimum of twice a year.
WORDING OF NOTICES
Each library will determine the wording to appear on fine, bills, holds, courtesy and other notices set to patrons. The supervisors and/or library directors responsible for the notices will notify the ALS Shared System Administrator of any changes to the wording in the notices.
DENIED BORROWING & CARD PRIVILEGES
Patrons are denied borrowing and card privileges at all ALS libraries if they have an expired library card; exceed the system limits on late fees/fines, miscellaneous fees and unpaid bills. Authorized Staff may override blocked checkouts because of overdue fines and fees.
Each library may develop their own policies and procedures related to patron behavior. Library staff must put a message on the patron record stating the reason a patron is blocked at their library. Library staff creating the message shall put library, personal initials and date of note at the end of the note. Other ALS library directors and boards may then decide if the patron is also blocked at their library for behavior or other issues.
Libraries will use the banned patron type to identify that a patron has been banned from their library. Staff must add information about the ban in a message in the record as well.
PATRON RECORD MAINTENANCE & COLLECTION AGENCIES
All libraries can make updates to patron records and merge records with the exception of those patrons in collections and court action.
Libraries that use collection agencies can merge accounts, per Patron Home Library Policy (Page 4), so those libraries that do not use a collection agency have a better chance of receiving their billed material. Procedures for receiving payment for billed material should be followed as described in the Fines and Fees Policy (Page 5).
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