Is there any chance you could modify your courtesy reminder notifications system so that patrons are notified when there's still time to do something about it? I just received a courtesy reminder for an ILLiad item. It tells me the item is due soon, but according to the due date printed in the message, it was due today. The Resource Delivery Services office closes at 5pm; the notice went out at 5:02 pm. So I'm left here not knowing whether I've incurred fines. No one at the main number or the Circulation department seemed to know, though one clerk speculated that I'll be okay if I return it within 2-3 days. I seem to recall reading somewhere that standard fines for ILL items are extremely high, so that kind of guesswork is unsatisfactory. Your ILLiad page says renewals cannot be done on the due date. Your Fines document says there's a 3-day grace period, but doesn't say whether it applies to ILL items. It also says courtesy reminders are sent out PRIOR to the due date. I would like very much to renew this book, but it appears that now I cannot. Because it is critical to a paper I am writing that is due before I could get another copy, I will probably have to photocopy large tracts from it, which I think violates the spirit of interlibrary loan. I also will lose critical writing time tonight because I need to make a special trip to campus to photocopy and return this book. I understand that it is my responsibility to monitor the status of materials I check out. But when you put in place an automated notification system, it's reasonable for your patrons to rely on it to do the monitoring for them. All of this confusion, frustration, and wasted time could be avoided simply by adding a little lead time to your notifications. I hope you'll consider it. Thanks.
From: a library patron
Shirley Thomas, Head, Resource Delivery Services, replies....
Thanks for sharing your concerns about overdue fines and renewal of interlibrary loan materials.
There is no overdue fine for interlibrary loan materials. There is a $110 minimum replacement fee per item for failure to return interlibrary loan materials. This fee is charged to you once the item becomes at least 14 days overdue. At this same time, your ILLiad and Library records may be blocked . A hold may be placed on your account which will prevent you from registering for classes, receiving your diploma and receiving your transcript.
If an item is returned after the 14 days, you will be charged a non-refundable $10 overdue processing fee instead of the $110 replacement fee. Your ILLiad and library records will remain blocked until this fee is paid, and your university account hold will be removed.
Renewal requests must be submitted via ILLiad prior to the due date. If an interlibrary loan item is already due or overdue, it can not be renewed. Interlibrary loan materials can not be renewed through the Circulation Services or My Library Record. The wrapper on your interlibrary loan item gives you the due date, tells you whether an item can be renewed and how to renew the item. You can also find information online.
Go to the ILLiad Web site for more information (fees, cancellations, etc.) about interlibrary loan and document delivery services.