Introducing Automatic Renewals

Beginning July 1, items that are checked out will renew automatically on the Almost Overdue reminder notice, which is 3 days before items are due.  The first due date that will be eligible for auto-renewal will be those items that are due on July 5th.

Why?

  • We want to make it easier for our customers to avoid late fees. People often return their items a day or two late, and this will give them a bit of cushion in those cases.
  • If you continue to keep the item, it will renew up to 3 times, unless the item is placed on reserve or if it’s not eligible for renewal (like Express items)
  • If you do not return it after the final renewal, late fees will apply.

What’s the notice look like?

Automatically renewed items are included in the Almost Overdue reminder notice.

almost-overdue

click to see full view

  • the first section contains the items that are currently due back but could not be auto-renewed.
  • the second section contains the titles that were due back and were successfully auto-renewed.
  • the third section contains the other titles the customer has checked out.

Possible questions from customers

Why didn’t all of my items renew?
Conditions that prevent a manual renewal also apply to automatic renewals. It won’t renew if:

  • someone else has requested it
  • the item isn’t hold-able (like Express items)
  • the customer has blocks that prohibit renewals

When the item is automatically renewed, will I lose 3 days of my checkout?
No, it will renew 3 days before it’s due (at the time the Almost Overdue notices go out).  The NEW date due will be calculated three weeks from the ORIGINAL date due.  So, the customer won’t lose three days of check-out time when items are renewed.

When do automatic renewals start?
We will turn it on in Polaris July 1. Since the library is closed July 4 the first Almost Overdue reminder notice that includes auto renewals will be delivered July 2.  Please keep in mind this means that items due July 5th are the first items that will be auto-renewed.  Items due July 1, July 2, or July 3 will NOT be auto-renewed.  This is because the auto-renewal process is tied to the Almost Overdue process.  And, the Almost Overdue notices for July 1, July 2, and July 3 will have already gone out by the time we turn on auto-renewal on July 1st.

Communication Plan

Communications & Marketing are planning the following:

  • include an article in June 21 Library News Update
  • update the public webpages and a (week of June 27)
  • email a special  message to all customers (week of June 27)
  • include an article in the August-September Library News (delivered week of July 10)

8 thoughts on “Introducing Automatic Renewals

  1. Paul Brennan on said:

    Please remind customers that auto-renewal does NOT apply to ILL items. Users will still need to contact staff to request renewals on these items.

  2. andrea-bair on said:

    This is a great solution. As a patron, as well as staff, the automatic renewals process demonstrates the Library’s understanding of our harried lives, while still holding us accountable for the privilege of using the Best Library of 2016.
    Andrea

  3. Paul Brennan on said:

    I’ve made a change to the original posting in order to clarify the first due date eligible for auto-renewal: We will turn it on in Polaris July 1. Since the library is closed July 4 the first Almost Overdue reminder notice that includes auto renewals will be delivered July 2. Please keep in mind this means that items due July 5th are the first items that will be auto-renewed. Items due July 1, July 2, or July 3 will NOT be auto-renewed. This is because the auto-renewal process is tied to the Almost Overdue process. And, the Almost Overdue notices for July 1, July 2, and July 3 will have already gone out by the time we turn on auto-renewal on July 1st.

  4. kathryn-barnes on said:

    Is this just the patrons who get pre-overdue notices by email? What about texts? The patrons who have their notification as regular mail, will not get the auto renewals. Correct?
    Thanks!

  5. Paul Brennan on said:

    No, Kathryn, that’s not correct. All customers will have the advantage of auto-renewal regardless of what notification method they use. The auto-renewal process happens at the same time that almost overdue notices are generated but you need not be signed up for text/email to have your items renewed. The crucial difference for customers who get snail mail notices is that they won’t receive any notification that their items have been renewed or that some of their items didn’t renew. They’ll have to monitor their library account to see on what date their item(s) are due.

  6. Natalie Moreland on said:

    I got to tell some customers about this for the first time today, and they were very excited about it!

  7. Lissa Staley on said:

    With this starting tomorrow, I think more customers will want help monitoring their library account to see on what date their item(s) are due. Any advice for us on the service floor? Would it work to show people how to print an updated receipt from a kiosk? Any tips for people asking over phone/chat? Thank you! I am so excited about this! (And not just for my own late fee reductions…..)

  8. Paul Brennan on said:

    I don’t think more customers will want help monitoring their accounts. The pre-overdue notice will list items renewed, items that weren’t renewed, and then any other items they have out. So, they’ll get that info with each notice. If I were to anticipate confusion, it might that a few customers will think they HAVE to keep something longer because we renewed it for them. Remind them they can return things when they’re done with them. Even if it’s not actually due yet.
    As for demonstrating how to get an updated receipt, that’s great. If they want a paper receipt that’s the best way to get one.