Tip of the Week - #033 (Those Darn Microfiche!)

Keywords: microfiche

Often the item that users are requesting (maybe without realizing it) is on microfiche. If this item is a government document or perhaps an ERIC ED, then it usually requested from either the State Library or from Kent State. The practice at these institutions for microfiche that is not copyrighted is to make a copy of the microfiche, cancel the request, and send the microfiche to the user's home library for pickup. In these cases, the user is expected to KEEP or DISCARD the copy and not return it to the original owning institution.

Rules of thumb when receiving a microfiche:
1. Check to see if the request has been canceled. If so, then just GIVE the microfiche to the user and indicate that it is theirs to keep (i.e. do not return). You will not check out the item since there is not a request. If the user returns this type of microfiche or never picks it up, then it is okay for the user's library to DISCARD the microfiche. The owning library does not expect it back and will only discard themselves if it shows up.

2. If the microfiche is truly a returnable, it will still have a request on the patron's record, have a barcode for checking in, and can be checked out to the user when picked up. In this case, it should have a three week loan rule with six renewals just like the books and the user should be told when it is due back. These situations are much more rare than number 1 since most institutions do not circulate their microfiche.