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Resource Sharing: Who's Responsible?

In a consortium that does unmediated resource sharing, items from one library (“owning library”) are checked out to patrons at another library in the consortium (“patron library”). The Consortia SIG is looking for insight on who is responsible for getting the item returned - the owning library or the patron library? In other words, who sends overdue notices, fines/fees notices, etc.?

Let us know both how you do it now and how you would like to do it in the future.

Since several different types of “resource sharing” exist, we’re looking specifically at what we label cross-tenant unmediated resource sharing as described here: https://wiki.folio.org/display/CONSORT/Resource+Sharing.

Here in the PALNI consortium we rely on the patron library to ensure the item is returned. In our case we would like all communication with the patron to originate from the patron library. In the case of a lost or missing item, we conduct an annual reconciliation to address those items through the consortium and any billing that would occur is paid library to library. Each library has the option to assess their own fines or fees for missing/lost items to their own patrons.

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In USMAI, the owning library is responsible for getting the item back. The owning library sends notices, established due dates, and assesses fines/fees for their items. As far as I know, this is the only way our current system setup allows. From talking to a few individuals, it sounds like this was the same setup in previous systems; it doesn’t seem that it was a decision forced on us by our current system.

I do like the idea of all communications with the patron originating from the patron library. I imagine that makes for a more consistent user experience.

I’m not sure if anyone from OhioLINK is on discuss.folio.org, but I know from my time there that the patron library is responsible for ensuring the item is returned – very similar to @Noah_Brubaker’s description in his earlier reply.

In the case of the Prospector catalog, which uses INN-Reach from III, the patron library is responsible for getting items back to the lending library. The patron library creates reports on overdue items and is responsible for notifying their patrons of overdue/missing items. The patron library also determines the fine amount for overdue items and collects and keeps the fees associated with fines. We have an end of the year reconciliation process where each library looks for long overdue Prospector items. If these items aren’t found, they don’t exchange funds. We’ve found that very little is lost and it isn’t worth the extra step of billing for so few lost items.

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At the library I previously worked for, the patron library was responsible for getting the item returned, if it was requested via the OPAC and shipped to the patron library. If the patron borrowed the item by physically walking into the owning library and checking out the item, then the owning library was responsible for communicating all notices and fines directly to the patron. I don’t believe this situation was ideal, but we lacked a good way to make the connection between the owning library and the patron library on the fly at the circ desk. Having the patron library be responsible would probably be ideal, as long as it’s not burdensome to enact.

At the GBV there exists a so-called regional function in a multi-tenant environment. Several libraries e.g. in a town are sharing the same library system but as separate tenants. An agreement between those libraries was set up that allows borrowing across tenants. If a patron of library A comes to library B and wants to borrow a book there, his or her data (patron_id, some address data, user type …) can be copied from her/his home library into the owning library’s system, using a look-up and import function. This way the patron becomes a user of the owning library and all claiming routines and statistics are handled there.

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At the Five College Consortium in Massachusetts, all overdue notices and fine notices are sent by the owning institution. If relevant, any associated fines/fees are later exported to the patron library, who charges the patron themselves through their bursar’s office. We reconcile fines/fees payments between each library once a year.

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