February 20, 2006

Library overdue notifications

Well i'm not exactly bowled over with the library email notifications:

FIRST OVERDUE REMINDER - University Library (024 7652 4103) The item(s) below are overdue and fines are increasing daily. Please return or renew without delay. Please disregard this notice if you returned/renewed the overdue item(s) since the notice date. If you have any queries please contact us.

Lovely. I must question why the first email is when they are already FOUR days overdue, surely a sensible system would be to remind you in the first instance the day BEFORE the items are due?

Seems to me that the system is setup this way to 'punish' people that dont keep track of the due dates – surely thats the big plus of it all being computerised. Suffice it to say I shall be having a word with them before coughing up the cash.


- 13 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. As I understand it they'll shortly be rolling out a system whereby you're sent a reminder two days before an item is due.

    20 Feb 2006, 11:50

  2. Apparently the reason they don't send it before is to save money on emails and internal letters, as most late books are returned they day after their due date.

    20 Feb 2006, 11:56

  3. Apparently the reason they don't send it before is to save money on emails [...]

    Uh… what?

    20 Feb 2006, 11:59

  4. Leigh Robinson

    As I understand it they'll shortly be rolling out a system whereby you're sent a reminder two days before an item is due.

    Pathetic. The system as it stands could be modified in less than 10 minutes to support such notifications. Hell i'll do it for them for free if need be…

    Apparently the reason they don't send it before is to save money on emails and internal letters, as most late books are returned they day after their due date.

    Emails cost? I wish they did. perhaps my public email addresses would not get hammered by so much spam…

    To me it appears the system was designed this way, which is wrong. The fines are to encourage books are returned on time not as a revenue stream.

    20 Feb 2006, 13:16

  5. Thats the response I had about 3 years ago when I asked the same question. Maybe that is why Groupwise is down – ITS forgot to pay the bill.

    20 Feb 2006, 14:30

  6. Pathetic. The system as it stands could be modified in less than 10 minutes to support such notifications. Hell i'll do it for them for free if need be

    Fair enough, I don't know anything about the technical side of this, just repeating what I've been told.

    20 Feb 2006, 17:03

  7. Leigh Robinson

    Sorry Luke, I did not mean to direct any anger toward you!

    Its just this has really annoyed me – and thankfully i'm not the only one

    I am currently awaiting an official response from the library.

    20 Feb 2006, 19:45

  8. I suspect the Library's official response will be to tell you that they're rolling out a system of telling people earlier.

    20 Feb 2006, 20:45

  9. Leigh Robinson

    Yeah they probably will say that. If so I will refuse to pay until I see concrete plans of the roll it out.

    Technically as I said it should be easy, depending on their exact system of course. Though If (as I imagine) they have a sql box a nightly query to check for upcoming overdue users and a subsequent email notification would be no problem.

    20 Feb 2006, 21:13

  10. You know, in the old days you didn't even get emails warning you after books were overdue… you relied on the old-fashioned method of remembering when to return them :)

    20 Feb 2006, 21:49

  11. Leigh Robinson

    You know, in the old days you didn't even get emails warning you after books were overdue… you relied on the old-fashioned method of remembering when to return them :)

    Yep, and butter were real butter with bread that were baked fresh every mornin' :P

    Sorry but the fines are only there to encourage that the books are back on time. Now I ask, had someone been waiting for these books to come back shouldn't the system have told me to return them 4 days ago and not wait for me to 'owe' them money first?

    That is if the fines are not being exploited as a revenue stream.

    20 Feb 2006, 22:29

  12. Ah, but real (unpasteurised) butter and freshly baked bread is so good…

    Anyway, I agree about the library. It's damn cheeky of them. I think I've probably paid about £20 in fines over the last couple of years (I tend to have about 10 books out at a time, so all those 10/20ps quickly add up). That'll almost pay for a new book. In the meantime, one of the books I would like to get was ordered by the library over a year ago and either hasn't arrived or just hasn't been stuck on the shelves. Bah! Humbug!

    21 Feb 2006, 01:17

  13. I'm trying to work out at what level it would be worth trying to bribe a member of staff to clear your account, rather than pay the fine.

    21 Feb 2006, 01:55


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