Annual Reconciliation 2021 (5/10/21)
Annual reconciliation is meant to help libraries regularly clean up PCIRC transactions for long overdue and missing items, which can help in local de-accession, acquisitions, and reserves work. Last year, due to the pandemic, it was necessary to completely cancel our annual reconciliation process for Summer 2020. This year, though, ICS would like to encourage libraries to pursue the reconciliation process to the extent that is possible locally. For some libraries, this may be close to a normal process, while others might not be able to complete the process at all this year.
For libraries that are able to pursue annual reconciliation, ICS recommends for this year:
- At minimum: Owning libraries that have staff currently working on-site in the library should run the report to find items that are 365+ days overdue and locally search the stacks for these items.
- As possible: Owning libraries may send inquiries to patron libraries (following the normal practice) for any long-overdue items not found locally. An updated template for this email can be found on Ostaff. An additional template is also included for libraries to follow up with patrons, though this patron-facing template is a suggestion only.
- As possible: Patron library sites may respond to these inquiries. If a patron’s library cannot respond to the inquiry, it should retain the items listed for its own records. These items may be checked in at the owning library, making this notice/list the only record of the transaction at the patron library location.
Max Renewal Extensions (5/10/21)
Currently, the max renewals for OhioLINK items are set at 27 for non-faculty; 18 for faculty; and 63 for media. This allows items that were checked out at the start of the pandemic to be renewed through the end of May 2021.
Because of the challenge in recovering long-renewed items, the relatively small number of items in the system believed to be at the current number of max renewals, and the options available to patrons to return items at this time and in the near future, the max renewal limits for PCIRC items will not be further extended. The current max renewals may remain in place, however, until ICS is able confirm a plan to return the max renewals to their pre-pandemic levels.
Increasing Max Renewals for OhioLINK Items (8/31/20)
Recognizing that many faculty and students continue to be off campus for the fall term, ICS recommends that institutions take advantage of newly extended Max renewal limits.
- Non-faculty/21-day loan rule initially had a renewal limit of 6 renewals, was increased in April to 14 renewals, and has now been increased to a maximum of 21 renewals.
- Faculty/42-day loan rule initially had a renewal limit of 6 renewals, was increased in April to 10 renewals, and has now been increased to a maximum of 14 renewals.
- Media/7-day loan rule initially had a renewal limit of 3 renewals, was increased in April to 27 renewals, and has now been increased to a maximum of 48 renewals.
These adjustments will allow currently checked out material to be renewed through the end of January 2021.
Return of Print Materials (7/24/20)
The recommendation below states and formalizes current PCIRC practice as a best practice.
OhioLINK institutions are encouraged to facilitate the return of all INN-Reach materials.
INN-Reach materials may end up in a non-affiliated library where staff are unable to process the items in the standard manner. In these cases, PCIRC staff return the item to the owning institution through Priority courier.
The RPLPT, ICS, and OhioLINK recommend as a best practice that OhioLINK institutions accept for return:
- Any items borrowed through INN-Reach, and
- Materials that are not associated with a library’s own users or collections.
It is recommended that OhioLINK libraries enable to the extent possible the continued professional courtesy of “return anywhere”. These materials are part of the greater OhioLINK shared print collection, and facilitating their return helps to maintain this collection. PCIRC staff should continue to check in returned materials when possible. If an item is not associated with their collections or patron requests, PCIRC staff should return the materials to the owning library through the Priority Dispatch courier service.
Some institutions may have new campus and library access limitations for individuals that are not current students or staff. In these instances, it is recommended that library websites are updated with information about access to facilities.
It is also recommended that libraries work with their users in order to help those users identify an open, accessible, participating OhioLINK institution for the return of print items. If returning an item to a library other than their home library, patrons should be encouraged to contact in advance the library to which they plan to return their items to confirm how the materials should be returned.
Pickup Anywhere and Visiting Patron (5/26/20)
Pickup Anywhere: This is an INN-Reach system setting. It is recommended that locations provide Pickup Anywhere options as an important part of OhioLINK services. Because some institutions will have limited access to facilities when OhioLINK print lending is restored, libraries can temporarily opt-out of Pickup Anywhere options by submitting a support ticket to OhioLINK.
Visiting Patron: This is a local institution access policy and requires no system change. If institutions limit facility and collection access for non-local individuals, the Visiting Patron option will be effectively unavailable. To provide good service to all Ohio users, it is recommended that library websites and communication include information about access changes for non-local individuals.
Disinfection and Quarantining of Materials (5/26/20)
The RPLPT is not able to make a recommendation on collection material quarantine times. We do recommend that institutions refrain from using disinfectant equipment and/or chemicals on OhioLINK materials, based on advice from local institutions and the Inter-Institutional Circulation Policy, which states that "OhioLINK libraries are stewards of a shared collection and should strive to maintain the integrity of the collection."
OhioLINK libraries should inform themselves with available science that pertains to quarantining and/or disinfecting materials, as it applies to the above policy. The RPLPT has identified some information that might be of interest:
- Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections
- EPA Pesticide Registration, List N: Disinfectants for Use against SARS-COV-2 ["Novel Coronavirus"]
- Reopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM) Information Hub: A COVID-19 Research Project
- ALCTS Materials Handling Resources
Handling of Items Currently In Transit (4/10/20)
Priority Dispatch is storing the backlog of materials that were in the process of delivery when print lending was suspended. Items with an 'in transit' status will remain 'in transit' until Priority is able to resume normal service and deliver the stored OhioLINK bags. These bags will continue to their pre-closure destinations, and when they are delivered libraries can follow one of the options below:
- Return 'in transit' items to the owning institution without check-in and 'Return Unwanted' processing (that is, simply unbag your own library's items and ship back other items to the owning libraries). When the owning institutions checks-in the items, OhioLINK holds will be canceled.
- Process 'in transit' items using the standard procedures and 'Return Unwanted' to the owning library.
- Process 'in transit' items using the standard procedures and proceed to place item on local hold shelves or deliver to patrons through local processes.
Delay of 2020 Annual Reconciliation for PCIRC (4/10/20)
Although OhioLINK libraries typically complete an annual reconciliation process every summer (more details on this process can be found on Ostaff), the 2020 summer PCIRC reconciliation process will be delayed until further notice.
Patron Fines for OhioLINK Items (4/10/20)
Please note that with OhioLINK's current patron-initiated circulation policies institutions may apply their own local procedures and fine policies to checked out OhioLINK items. This includes waiving patron library fines associated with OhioLINK overdue charges while lending and courier service is not available.
Cancelling Holds for Items Checked Out Via INN-Reach (4/3/20)
For INN-Reach holds, it is normally recommended that all libraries run the Requested Too Long report on a weekly basis. Instructions for running this report can be found at https://www.ohiolink.edu/content/inn_reach_report_calendar_and_instructions. As it will not be possible to fill or deliver any requests at this time, it is now recommended libraries run this report as soon as possible and that all unfilled INN-Reach requests be cancelled at this time. This will allow requesting patrons to make alternate arrangements for materials, while patrons who currently have the materials will be able to renew the items.
For INN-Reach items that still cannot be renewed, if they wish libraries may contact the item’s owning library PCIRC contact to determine if a local hold, for example, can be removed to allow renewals by the patron. Note that simply removing the hold may not allow renewals to proceed – if an item has moved into a “renewal denied” (or similar) status, the patron’s library will have to start a ticket with Innovative so that the virtual records can be individually updated.
Libraries are encouraged to be as generous as possible if contacted to cancel a local hold. Though cancelling holds is not ideal, with courier service suspended these items cannot be returned, and cancelling the hold will allow patrons with holds to make alternate arrangements for materials, while patrons who currently have the materials will be able to renew the items until delivery of print items can resume.
Increasing Max Renewals for INN-Reach Items (4/3/20)
On renewals, institutions are able to temporarily adjust the max renewals allowed for OhioLINK items from 6 to 14 renewals (for the non-faculty/21-day loan rule), from 6 to 10 renewals (for the faculty/42-day loan rule), and from 3 to 27 renewals (for the media/7-day loan rule). These adjustments will allow currently checked out material to be renewed through September. Max renewals for all items will be returned to their normal levels when regular lending and courier service can be re-established. At that time, the Project Team will send additional guidance on how to find items that have been renewed more times than normal so that these patrons can be contacted and asked to return items.
Temporary Stop of OhioLINK Courier Delivery (3/20/20)
Because of an overwhelming number of courier stop closures, courier service through Priority Dispatch was suspended for all OhioLINK courier locations as of March 20th.
While courier delivery is unavailable, Priority Dispatch has agreed to safely store all items that were in the middle of the delivery process until service can be restarted and these items can continue on to their intended locations.
Temporary Stop of INN-Reach Lending (3/17/20)
Due to the library closures necessitated by the COVID-19 response, print lending through the Central Catalog was stopped on March 17th. This decision was made in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Higher Education and OhioLINK’s Deans and Directors.
In the Central Catalog, the request button has been removed, and no requesting is allowed by OhioLINK institutions from the SearchOhio Catalog.