As a result of a new library circulation program, University students and faculty no longer have to keep track of returning library books. The new program sends library card holders an e-mail notice three days before their checked out books are due.
Rackham student S. Gladney said he has been fined several times in the past for returning books late because he did not know when they were due. He said the e-mail warnings will solve that problem.
“As a graduate student, you need a lot of books,” Gladney said. “If you get 15 to 20 books for a class, they all are due at different dates. It”s kind of frustrating to make a calendar of when they”re due.”
Rebecca Dunkell, the head of onsite access services at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, said a year ago the library began sending e-mails to borrowers but only once books were overdue. She said the new program, which was implemented Dec. 6, was often requested by library users.
“Most people prefer e-mail because you get it right away,” she said.
Marla Clowney, circulation supervisor at the graduate library, said she has received several notes from students praising the new system.
“They love it, basically because it gives them notification ahead of time,” she said. “It gives them three days to renew them avoiding fines.”
Dunkell said although the library has sent letters to notify students of overdue books since its founding, only students who have attended the University for more than a year still receive these letters.
“The paper system we hope to phase out,” Dunkell said. “If you”re a new user, you automatically get your notices by e-mail. The e-mail we know would get directly to you, right away.”
Clowney said upperclassmen who want to get the online notices can easily register for them.
“People who have been studying for a while have to let us know to sign them up, which takes all of two minutes,” Clowney said.
Dunkell said online notifications and transactions are becoming a trend among university libraries across the nation.
“I think users that use the library are using online systems for so many things that doing online library transactions is what they”ve come to expect,” Dunkell said. “We”re happy to oblige.”