Richmond Public Library will implement procedures to regularly update and maintain its catalog of library holdings and its record of registered library users.
Patron Database Maintenance:
Library user records with no bills that expired over 3 years ago will be removed annually in January from the library system before forming the new state tax recovery file of users. As with items, a report will be run first to remove any bills more than 3 years old still attached to the user's record.
Catalog Database Maintenance:
I. Items with no bills attached
a. Discarded and Withdrawn items with no bills attached to the item: A report will be run weekly to clear these items from the catalog.
b. "Assumed Lost" items with no bills attached to the item: A report will be run weekly to clear these items from the catalog once they register a "last activity date" 6 months prior to the report date (this ensures that patrons who pay for Assumed Lost items will be able to receive a refund during the 6-month refund period).
c. Missing items with no bills attached to the item:** Missing reports will be distributed to branches on weekly and cumulative monthly bases (this ensures that Missing items will be searched for at least twice before removal from the catalog). Items not found in either search will be discarded from the catalog on a cumulative running 6-month basis.
II. Items with bills attached
Discarded, Withdrawn, Lost/Assumed Lost, & Missing Items with Bills : For these items to be cleared from the catalog, all bills must first be removed from the item. To synchronize with the State Tax procedure below, bill removal reports will be run annually in January before initiating the new tax year records. All bills more than three years old will be removed from item and the associated patron records. For example, bills older than January 1, 2009, will be deleted as of January 1, 2012. Once bills have been removed, items will be deleted by the regular reports outlined above.
Use of Debt Recovery Systems:
Recognizing that library resources are an asset, the library may use outside agencies to recover unreturned library materials and unpaid fines/fees. Consequently, schedules for retention and deletion of items with bills attached may need to be synchronized with the procedures of those outside agencies.
At the time of this policy adoption, Richmond Public Library uses the following debt recovery systems.
Virginia State Set-off Debt Recovery Program
A database of individuals owing $25 or more in unreturned library materials and unpaid fines/fees owed to Richmond Public Library is submitted annually to the Virginia Department of Taxation in January, at the beginning of each tax year. This database of library user records is matched against individuals filing personal income tax returns with the Virginia Department of Taxation. Fines/fees owed to Richmond Public Library are deducted from any income tax refund due to the individual. The library and state maintains this database of users through the tax year.
Unique Management Collection Agency
This national collection agency specializes in recovery of library fines/fees and materials. After a set period of time, all accounts of customer owing the Richmond Public Library $25 or more in unreturned library materials and unpaid fines/fees are referred to Unique Management. The Library and Unique Management keep these accounts current with daily updates. Accounts that are uncollected after a set period of time are reported to the major national credit reporting agencies.
Approved: March 23, 2011