Local Holds Workgroup Notes

November 1, 2022, 11 am

Phone/video conference


Action Items:



Present: Erin Foley (ACL) Cluster 1, Renee Daley (ROM) Cluster 1, Eddie Glade (PCPL) Cluster 4, Meagan Statz (PDS) Cluster 5, Jill Porter (MFD) Cluster 6, Bailey Anderson (BER) Cluster 8, Nate Snortum (DCL) Cluster 9-10, Margie Navarre-Saaf, Molly Warren, Susan Lee, (MPL) Cluster 11-13

Absent: Kendra Kimball (WID) Cluster 2, Lindsey Ganz (COL) Cluster 2, Heidi Cox (MCF) Cluster 7

Excused: Michael Spelman (MPL)

Recorder: Michelle Karls (SCLS)

SCLS Staff Present: Heidi Oliversen, Vicki Teal Lovely, Amy Gannaway, Cindy Weber


1.      Call to Order at 11:04 am

a.      Introduction of guests/visitors.  None.

b.      Changes/Additions to the Agenda.  None.

2.      Approval of previous meeting notes: 10/4/2022

a.      Motion: M. Navarre Saaf moved approval of the October meeting notes.  S. Lee seconded.

b.      Discussion: none.

c.       Vote: motion carried.

3.      Discussion

a.      Review responses to Local holds/Use survey sent to WI systems/libraries

                                                              i.      Discussion: H. Oliversen sent the survey results out via email yesterday.  B. Anderson said it seemed like most of the systems were talking about a Lucky Day type situation and not what we mean by Local Holds.  V. Teal Lovely agrees that most of the library systems seem to be talking about what we call Lucky Day items.  She also noticed a lot of the systems require the libraries to buy a circulating copy and a non-circulating copy, which gives equal access to all their patrons.  This is currently our policy now for Lucky Day collections.  The only difference is that they have these items linked to a title bibliographic record.  We have ours on generic records.  This is something we could do and it could make another case for Local Holds.  Some libraries have indicated they would like to do that.  Only one or two systems are actually doing Local Holds (IFLS and Northern Waters).  Monarch submitted their information via email and they asked us for information on how we deal with this in our system.  In their recent merger, some of their practices seem to be similar to what we do.  E. Foley said with Local Holds we are trying to achieve some level of local control that is currently missing from what the current policies offer.  E. Glade mentioned the ability to search for these items would be useful to extend to materials that must be picked up at the loaning library (i.e. projectors, baking pans, zoo passes.)  SCLS will write up a summary of the survey findings to share at the All Directors Meeting.  We will send it to this group for input first.  H. Oliversen will follow up with Wisconsin Valley Library System and Milwaukee County Federated Library System to confirm whether or not they have a circulating copy requirement as well.        

b.      Review responses to Round 2 Local Holds/Use survey sent to LINKcat libraries

                                                              i.      Discussion: H. Oliversen reviewed the survey sent to LINKcat libraries.  There were 30 responses total.  There is a slightly larger margin of people who would prefer a 60 day time limit for Local Holds materials than a 30 day time limit.  RTH setting is overriding Local Hold status, which was discovered during the pilot.  Development would need to be done to change this. There is a slight majority of libraries who said to leave it as it is (let RTH override Local Holds).  Some libraries needed more information.  Some libraries said that adding the Local Hold item status adds to the processing workload because this status is not available in the item record.  Libraries can use the Batch Edit Item Tool to add (or remove) the Local Hold status, and it can do multiple barcodes in one process.  BER has received questions from other libraries about her workflow.  The best practices seem like they haven’t been working for everyone and B. Anderson is not sure why.  Considerations mentioned in the survey include; Increased/decreased time for waiting patrons, erosion of resource sharing system wide, items sitting on the shelf while holds are being filled by other libraries, circulation increase/decrease, and a change to the total loaned/borrowed ratio.  Negatives expressed in the survey include patron confusion about being unable to place holds on these items, we have not been able to pinpoint repercussions yet, we haven’t had enough time to dig into the data, items get returned to neighbor libraries and never get back to the owning library, etc.  M. Warren mentioned that the purchase of SCIDs on some titles has been delayed because patrons are not able to place holds on records that only contain Local hold/use items. (a “dummy record” workaround would be a possibility to help with this).  E. Glade asked if there is a way to see if records only have Local holds copies.  C. Weber thinks we can get a custom report to libraries with that information but is not sure if you can find this information by searching the catalog.  Local libraries have the ability to remove these items from Local Holds participation at any time (i.e. if these items are not being checked out or filling holds at the owning library).  Libraries can change the item type and remove the custom status so the item can go out to fill holds for pickup at other locations.  There were lots of positive responses in the survey (i.e. patrons pleased with new books on the shelves, etc.)  The final vote was 53% yes and 47% no or undecided.

c.       November 17 All Directors meeting: report on the Local Holds/Use pilot project

                                                              i.      Discussion:  This workgroup is going to make a report at the November All Directors.  SCLS will draft a summary for the workgroup to review for the system survey results.  V. Teal Lovely said that we need to follow-up with some libraries from the LINKcat library survey regarding some of their responses. There are clearly libraries that are in favor of Local Holds and articulate it well.  V. Teal Lovely said that small libraries in general benefit from the Local Holds process because they can’t always afford to purchase two copies of the popular titles and they are servicing communities that don’t place as many holds.  Local Holds demonstrates to their patrons that tax payer resources will keep materials in their local library.  Some of these benefits do apply to larger libraries but it has a different impact.  Some libraries are not in favor because they feel it would impact resource sharing.  Can we demonstrate if there is an impact or no impact on resource sharing?  Will patrons wait longer for holds?  We may have difficulty quantifying the concerns.  (Data is not showing much change).  Can we demonstrate it’s not causing harm or causing harm?  RTH is not always an equitable application.  If you’re a library that has patrons that don’t place holds, as soon as you check in a new item RTH causes it to leave the library to fill holds at other libraries.  Does local holds balance the impact of RTH on smaller libraries?  We are striving for consensus on the issue of local holds.  Libraries in favor of Local Holds need to help other libraries understand the benefits.  For the Multi-part DVDs, we took the time and went through all the issues.  They prioritized the issues and the workgroup came to a consensus and then presented to the rest of the libraries.  This is what we will need here.  V. Teal Lovely is willing to attend cluster meetings in Jan/Feb to provide information to clusters that are divided.  There are some libraries in every multi-library cluster that want Local Holds.  Could we compromise at a 30 day limit?  Is it equitable if some libraries are borrowing more than they are loaning?  We need representatives from this workgroup to speak at the November All Directors (approximately a 30 min. presentation).  Volunteers for this were B. Anderson, J. Porter, and M. Navarre Saaf.  M. Navarre Saaf asked if it would it be helpful to present alternative compromise suggestions; 60 days to 30 days, allowing all libraries to put items on their shelf first before filling holds, allowing local holds for smaller libraries (population size), etc.    E. Glade suggested that maybe there's a threshold of library size (If a library is below a certain limit they could put anything on Local Holds and if they are above a threshold we would need to have an even ratio of circulating and local-use copies).  E. Foley worries where the boundary would be and it could be very problematic. 

4.      Action Items  

5.      Review Timeline

1.      April 6, ILS Committee discuss project and approve forming a work group

2.      Form work group to identify issues to study (including data)

3.      May 3, Work group meets

4.      May 10, Circulation Services Subcommittee: discuss parameters for pilot

5.      May 17, Work Group meets

6.      May 19, All Directors—update on project

7.      May 24, Work Group meets

8.      June 1, ILS Committee vote on pilot project (June 15 through December 30)

9.      If pilot is approved, the project progresses as follows

10.  Recruit pilot project participants and begin setup

11.  July 1, Pilot project begins

12.  Work group continues to meet to study issues through November 30

13.  July 21, All Directors—update on project

14.  October 5, ILS Committee decides if vote should be done by ILS Committee cluster reps at November 17 All Director’s meeting or December 7 ILS Committee

15.  November 17 All Directors meeting: Work group provide information on project

16.  November 17 or December 7 vote

17.  December 30, pilot ends Pilot extended to February 28, 2022.

18.  March 2023 vote.

6.      Plan for Next meeting:  December 6, 2022 at 11 am via phone/video conference


7.      Adjournment at 12:26 pm.


Parking Lot:

a.      Marketing / Talking points for patrons—done for pilot; tabled for now

b.      Data—tabled for now


For more information about the Local Holds Workgroup, contact Heidi Oliversen.


SCLS staff are available to attend cluster meetings to share information and answer questions pertaining to this committee meeting and other departmental projects.


Local Holds Workgroup/Notes/11-01-2022