Policy created October 2009
Approved by the Library Board December 16, 2009
I. Purpose of Policy
A. The collection of the Mount Horeb Public Library (hereafter referred to as MHPL) will be kept attractive and current by a continual program of repairing, discarding, or replacing worn and out-dated materials.
B. This policy will be used by library staff to facilitate maintenance or weeding of materials.
C. This policy also highlights practices and guidelines adopted by the LINK consortium to manage the electronic holdings of LINKcat, the online catalog of the South Central Library System, in which the MHPL's collection is represented.
II. Maintenance of Electronic Holdings
A. The physical collection of the MHPL is also a part of the electronic holdings of LINKcat, the online catalog of the South Central Library System; as a result, MHPL holdings are also managed by consortium agreements and practices.
B. Reports are run and distributed twice a year (May and November). These reports list items in the MHPL holdings which have been "lost and paid for," "lost and not paid for," "claims returned," and "trace, lost in transit, mending, missing."
1. Items listed on these reports are, in some cases, replaced, as appropriate, i.e. a popular title, an important work in a genre, or if they were a title in a series, etc.
2. Many items on these reports will simply be deleted in a batch file by LINK staff as per consortium agreements and practices.
III. Damaged Materials
A. Most library materials are processed in such a way as to ensure their maximum use under normal circumstances. Inexpensive paperbacks may be an exception to this policy.
B. All materials returned to the library are inspected for damage.
C. Damaged but still usable materials are mended according to an established set of procedures.
D. Customers are charged a replacement cost for materials they check out that are irretrievably lost or damaged beyond repair.
1. Unless the item is damaged to a point where it is unhealthy to remain in the building (mold, mildew, etc.), MHPL's damaged items will be made available to the payee if payment is made within 3 months of the bill issued. After 3 months, damaged items will be discarded. Discarding items does not absolve the patron of the fine for damage.
2. If the item is owned by a library other than the MHPL, the customer must make it known that they want the damaged item. The staff will note it in the computer record and with the paperwork sent with payment to the owning library.
3. If the item is retrieved from the owning library the MHPL will notify the customer to pick up the item and hold it for 30 days. After 30 days the item will be discarded.
4. The MHPL cannot guarantee retrieval of damaged items from other libraries as individual library's policies will govern the items they own.
IV. Lost Materials
A. If an item has the status of "Lost" it means that it has become misplaced while checked out to a customer.
B. A library staff member may change an item's status to "Lost" after a customer declares it lost.
C. An item may automatically (electronically) be assigned "Lost" status when an item has been overdue for 29 days.
D. Customers are responsible for the replacement of the lost item, unless the library chooses to waive that responsibility.
1. Once an item's status becomes "Lost," the link to the customer record remains until the item is found and checked in, the customer pays for the charges of the item and the customer's record is cleared, or the library waives the charges and clears the customer's records.
2. If an item's holding is deleted while "Lost," and the item was not paid for, a note about the deletion is added by the system to the customer's record and the financial obligation remains on the customer's record.
V. Trace Materials
A. If an item has the status of "Trace" it means that it has become misplaced while in the possession of the library.
B. A library staff member may change an item's status to "Trace" after it is unable to be retrieved from its designated location.
C. LINK staff runs and distributes Trace reports which list all items with this status on a weekly basis.
1. MHPL staff or volunteers search the collection for the items listed on these reports. Items found will be checked in which automatically changes the status from "Trace" to "in library."
2. The "Trace" status will remain on items not found.
D. Twice a year, LINK staff run and distributes Trace reports of all items with a "Trace" status that were set to that status a year prior.
1. MHPL staff or volunteers do a final search for these items.
2. These reports are distributed to the staff members who purchase titles for the collection to determine need/demand for replacement titles.
3. Every July, "Trace" items, set to that status a year prior, are batch deleted by LINK staff.
VI. Claims Returned Materials
A. The status is "Claims Returned" signifies that an item was checked out to a customer, but despite the customer's claim, was never checked in.
B. The "Claims Returned" status must be manually applied by staff; there is no automatic setting for "Claims Returned."
1. A customer may have up to three claims returned items in a 12 month period.
2. There is not a financial obligation for "Claims Returned" items.
3. This change in an item's status will be reflected in the customer's history.
C. Claims Returned reports are distributed on a monthly basis.
1. Library staff or volunteers search for the "Claims Returned" items.
s 2. Items found are checked in where upon they are removed from the customer's record and late charges are not applied.
D. Twice a year a Claims Returned report, of items with this designation set one year prior, is distributed by LINK staff prior to a batch deletion.
1. MHPL staff or volunteers search for the items one last time.
2. Items not found are passed along to those who purchase items for the collection to determine if replacement copies are necessary.
VII. Weeding Materials
A. Weeding is a positive and necessary function that upgrades the collection's appearance, usefulness, space it occupies, and the time required to maintain it. This task takes skill, care, time, knowledge of the collection, and knowledge of the community's interests and usage patterns to do a competent job. The library's goal is to review all materials at least once every five years for possible weeding. Some areas need more frequent attention.
B. Criteria to consider when weeding materials:
1. Information that is dated
2. Information that is incorrect
3. Availability of improved or newer editions
4. Material no longer in demand in the community
5. Duplicate copies of a title that are no longer in demand
6. Condition and appearance
7. Space availability
8. Low circulation statistics
C. Replacement of materials that are withdrawn is not automatic. The following criteria are considered when determining the need for replacement:
1. Number of duplicate copies
2. Existence of adequate coverage of the subject
3. Demand for the specific title or for material in that subject area
D. Discarded materials may be offered to other libraries or are passed on to the Friends of the Library for resale. Materials unsuitable for transfer or sale are discarded (recycled when possible). The library will not accept requests to hold weeded materials for individuals.