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Your policies are very much like ours.  We are a state medical school, but
also serve a county public hospital, a non-profit hospital and the
university teaching hospital.  While we do limit some categories of users
to three items (foreign med-school grads who are taking the USMLE and
undergraduate students from area universities), most users can check out
unlimited numbers of items.  Our checkout period is also two weeks, but
they can renew over the phone (as long as the item is not on hold).  We
charge no overdue fines, per se, but if an item is 6 weeks overdue (and
they have been sent two notices), they are 'billed' for the item a flat
fee of $92.50 (this usually gets their attention).  If they return the
item, $77.50 of that bill is 'forgiven', but they still must pay a $15
fee.  This is the only 'fine' we charge.  A client must be severly overdue
in order to have to pay this.  We rarely get complaints.  We are liberal
in our waiving of the fee - if the client returned the item the day or
day after we sent the bill out, if the client is able to show extenuating
circumstances, etc.  I am new to this library, but I believe the idea
behind the policies was a recognition of who our primary clients were
(doctors and medical students) and how we could remove as many barriers to
our materials while still maintaining the integrity of our collection.  I
believe this policy works well for us.


On Fri, 13 Dec 1996, LINDA HULBERT wrote:

> As we move to a new system with all new bells and whistles in a shared
> system, we are being obliged to examine our current circulation
> policy.
> Philosophy #1 - we treat everyone alike
> Philosophy #2 - we don't charge fines
> We check out for 2 weeks for books.
> How many items do you permit your users to have checked out at one
> time?  For those of you who have liberal policies (eg unlimited?!?!)
> Any problems?
> TIA!
> Linda Hulbert, Assistant Director
>  for Technical Services
> Health Sciences Center Library
> Saint Louis University
> 1402 South Grand
> Saint Louis, MO 63104
> [log in to unmask]
> (314) 577-8603

Karen R. Harker                                 214-648-2001
Librarian I                                     214-648-3007 (fax)
The University of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
5323 Harry Hines Blvd.
Dallas, Texas  75235-9049
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