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Notes from the 3/7/06 Telus Users Group


Print management update

Testing continues at SCLS Administration. There was a little delay as William, the programmer for print management, went on vacation for 3 weeks. Testing will resume shortly, and we hope to have Monona or Marshfield installed by the end of April.



Q: How you deal with tax season?

Portage County: We don't extend their time, but have a sign up that says "taxpayer special: If you do your taxes, we'll give you a temporary number for today only". We are only doing this for taxes.

People really haven't been asking for extra time for other things, or been upset that this is available for taxes only.

Madison: In previous years, we made a special type with 3 ½-hour sessions combined into 90 minutes. But we into issues with people sitting at the machine for longer times and not doing taxes, and we weren't sure what to do? We didn't do this change this year.

Sauk City: We've had a few, and the people have gotten them done in 30 minutes, so it's mostly been okay.

Sun Prairie: Normally, we have one machine that allows for 2 hours (the rest are ½ hour sessions). Patrons have to check in to use that machine, and we let them use it for taxes and resumes and things like that.

We haven't had much abuse of this, or had many questions. We have had some interpretive issues – for example, is booking airline tickets something that would take longer than 30 minutes?

McMillan: Patrons often don't tell them that they need more time until the patron has only a few minutes left in their session, and there is nothing they can do about it!!


Q: Who is using time-schedules to change booking lengths by time or day/day of the week?


Q: How do you deal with squatters (people who sit at workstations and wait for non-shows)

Marshfield: We tell them they need to vacate the seat. Our grace period is 7 minutes. Sometimes, the next person really doesn't show up, so it may not always be malicious.

Sun Prairie: It's generally a Sunday behavior. During the week, we actively monitor and prevent this, but on Sundays, there is less staff to monitor it.

Wisconsin Dells: We had a BAD squatter problem. We had people looming around the computers, and people with reservations were intimidated to go in. The squatters would have all of their login information typed in, and would login as soon as the screen changed!! We put up roping, and put all computers in one area, and patrons can't go to a computer without a reservation. The roping has helped a lot! This problem is mostly in the summer. We have an incredible number of no-shows (especially in summer), so the squatters know that they'll get on. There is a 5 minute grace period (we started with 10, but they went to 5 minutes because of the large number of no-shows we had. We couldn't justify the computers sitting there empty for so long.)


Q: What are most people's grace period?

Sun Prairie: 10 minutes

Madison: 10 right now, but wondering about going to 5…but the squatter issue may be worse!

Marshfield: 7 minutes

Prairie du Sac: 10 minutes

Reedsburg: 10 minutes

McMillan: 8 minutes


Q: We have been seeing some cases where individuals who come into the library actually have as conditions of their parole that they should not be using a library. What should we do with these situations? Should these individuals be banned system-wide or should it be a library-by-library situation?

After a lot of discussion, it was decided that, for right now, libraries who have patrons with this situation should send something out about the patron to the Telus list, and it will be up to the individual library to determine if they want to ban the patron on Telus.

If we can come up with a standardized sort of methodology to verify the conditions of parole that everyone is comfortable with, then we may ban them system-wide. Stef and Nichole will work on this.


Q: What are people banning patrons in Telus for? Do you have standard sort of language for the infraction records?

Wisconsin Dells: We are banning for people using multiple library cards (in one case, someone was using 6 cards!). We just put in "Using multiple cards" in the infraction record. We ban all of the cards involved. Mostly, they have been temporary cards, so they are just gone. We also posted a note saying that we do this.

McMillan: We actually made this statement the wallpaper! We knew that kids were signing in with other's cards. We ban them from the building (rather than from Telus) if it continues. We did have someone steal 6 temporary cards, and he's gone for the rest o the school year. We subscribe to the junior high year books (we would anyway), so it helps ID people.

Madison: After one warning, we ban them for a week. If it happens again, it's two weeks, then a month. If someone is using 2 cards, and we don't know which card is theirs, we make both cards lost in Dynix, so they have to go to the circ desk to get up and running again. But, normally, we only ban the offender's card. PINs do seem to be helping with this.

We try to use the phrase "inappropriate content" for porn, but people just have started using "porn" instead.

Sun Prairie: We are just giving warnings, unless it is something severe. If it is, we ban for different amounts – 1 week, 3 weeks, 6 months, and they can appeal to the director if they want.

Stoughton: We ban for 2 different things – adults sites and using other people's cards. We put an infraction on all cards, if someone is using more than one card We give a verbal warning, then they are banned for a week, then a month, then they have to speak to the director. For porn, they are banned for a month, and if they do it again, they have to speak to the director.

We are seeing people using other people's cards, since the default PIN is birth month and date, and that's something friends and relatives would know. We are not marking them to lost.

Reedsburg: We have a lot of using other people's cards. We give a warning, then a 1 week ban. We also ban for a year and the guardian will have to talk to us. We have had a couple of cases where kids have talked people they don't know into giving them barcodes! If this happens, there is a conference with the parents, and they are banned. This did happen pre-PIN.

Marshfield: We ban for 2 reasons different reasons. If people are viewing inappropriate websites or violate the user agreement, we give them a warning, and then ban for 30 days. A couple of people have been banned for stealing printouts. We don't worry about people using other people's cards. It hasn't been a big problem for us. We just think that, if they have the card, they have permission to use it, unless the patron does something that makes us believe otherwise.

We do have "Kid traffic" between 3-5, but we don't have a problem. We just added 2 15- minute express stations, and that's helped a lot. We do allow reservations on those stations.

McMillan: We don't allow reservations on 15-minutes stations, but they do have to log into them.

Madison: We changed our 15-minute stations to 20-minute stations, and it became much easier to redirect people over there. 15 minutes did seem too short for some people.

We also ban for noise, if there the patron has had a number of warnings. We've also banned for "chair dancing" [editor's note: Does this remind anyone else of the movie "Footloose" ;-) ]


Q: Telus has the capability to add another language. Should we add Spanish?

After some discussion, the group gave Nichole and Stef the assignment to check with the Telus developers to see if the choice to change to Spanish could be a link or button on the client, and not force everyone to choose one language or another (since this adds another step). Stef & Nichole will get back to the group.


Q: How are the libraries who are giving temporary cards in Dynix doing this?

This question came about because of something that happened at Reedsburg. A patron had 3 records in Dynix – one was a Madison temporary Internet card, one was a Sun Prairie temporary Internet card, and one was something else.

We determined that these cards are not eligible for check-out, and that sometimes there are multiple cards because it isn't certain that it is the same person (since the reason that they have a temporary Internet card is because they can't provide enough ID to get a permanent library card).

At Madison, if someone says "That isn't me!", they'll mark the original card lost, and then give them a new card with a note in the record. They don't require a birthdate for these cards.

At Sun Prairie, they are using these cards for anyone not eligible for a permanent card.

Stoughton has 1 15-minute station where people don't have to log in. They only give temporary cards to people who just got a new card, and won't be in the system until tomorrow.

Reedsburg has a similar 15-minute station, but it is rarely used.

McMillan used to give temporary cards more frequently, but are now requiring some ID.


Q: Is anyone blocking for particular applications?

McMillan: Yes, we are using the "application restriction" to block from the Internet, but allow the patron to use other applications. Generally, we also write them a letter, letting them know that they are not permitted to use other applications, and we don't have a big problem with people getting to the Internet from other applications.


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