[minervacirc] 3-Week AV Minerva Loan Rules - 6 Months Later

Davis, Kevin kdavis at southportland.org
Fri Jan 9 11:18:28 EST 2015

Thank you, Lynn, for adding this clarifying information, as I suspect that libraries do, from time to time, forget about holds prioritization.

In the case of Ride Along, of the - currently 8 - outstanding bib level holds on the record with 4 copies, three of those holds (including the oldest) are for patrons from a single library and this library has not purchased the item (which costs $7.00 currently on Amazon).  If this library were to acquire a copy of the DVD, the holds would be satisfied quickly, as their patrons would get first priority on their copy.  In the meantime, while SPPL does not own a copy of this title, we also do not have any patrons waiting for it, and therefore feel no obligation to purchase one, regardless of the price, just because the system has lots of holds and few copies.

So, while more copies would help the system, to me it seems to be more a matter of libraries being responsive to their local need and not relying on the system – and the larger collections in the system – to supply items which, for whatever reason, are not being purchased, despite demonstrated local need.


From: Lynn Uhlman [mailto:lynn.uhlman at maineinfonet.org]
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2015 9:11 AM
To: Josh Tiffany
Cc: minervacirc at informe.org; minervacats at informe.org; Amber Tatnall; Shelly Davis; ncrowell at scarboroughlibrary.org; Tim McFadden; Davis, Kevin; Steve Norman
Subject: Re: [minervacirc] 3-Week AV Minerva Loan Rules - 6 Months Later

Duplicate Records:

I just wanted to note that in the instance of Ride Along there are two records in the system (b29449741 & b29441559). Both of which appear to be the same material and should be merged.

One of the records has two available copies just sitting waiting for someone to request. Patrons are unnecessarily waiting for items.

Material Types:

Some of the materials noted are Blu-Ray and some are DVD. Longer wait times will occur on Blu-Ray since most libraries do not purchase them. DVD seems to be more universal at this time.

How the system works for holds:

A record that has existing holds even as far back as this summer, may continue to have those holds idle if a patron from an owning library decides to jump on the hold queue at any time.
Example: If I were to jump on a hold queue that has 32 holds on it from other libraries and my library (otp) has a copy, my request will supersede the others when otp's copy is next checked in.

I think this is important to note, since some holds will always be put on the back burner until interest dims on a material regardless of how many copies exist in the system. Although, it would be greatly alleviated with more copies added.

On another note:

Several libraries have requested information regarding the number of libraries that have 3 week loan periods. Some have chosen to jump on board, but some are waiting to see how this all pans out.

They have expressed interest in making the move, however, they are hesitant in case the policy changes back. In the interest of keeping things straightforward for their patrons, they are waiting on the sidelines.



Lynn A. Uhlman
Systems Training and Support Librarian

Maine InfoNet
5784 York Village, Suite 58
Orono, Maine 04469-5784
(207)581-3095 (fax)
Email: lynn.uhlman at maineinfonet.org<mailto:mail+to:lynn.uhlman at maineinfonet.org>

On Thu, Jan 8, 2015 at 4:15 PM, Josh Tiffany <jtiffany at gray.lib.me.us<mailto:jtiffany at gray.lib.me.us>> wrote:
With the Minerva Executive Committee making its final decision on whether to permanently implement the 3-week AV checkout rule at its upcoming meeting, I would like to share the observations and conclusions I’ve reached regarding this policy.

Waiting Times

From July 2014 to December 2014, the ratio of holds to items (# of holds / number of items) has decreased from an average of 6.5 to 4.4.  During the same time, the average wait period for a high-demand item increased from 37 days to 55 days.  This indicates that libraries, as a whole, were purchasing greater quantities of high demand items yet the waiting time has increased.

When compared to other material types, DVDs as a whole have a much lower purchase rate than printed material types.  There are few select titles that reach 20 copies while most popular titles average about 11 copies.  By comparison, popular books regularly see between 50  to 100 copies.

Extremely long waiting periods were witnessed for moderately popular / requested materials where only a few items were purchased.  As of December 10, the film Ride Along, added to the catalog on 4/30/2014, has 4 items and 12 holds.  The oldest hold is from July 7, 2014. ((UPDATE: As of January 8th, the hold list has decreased to 9 with the oldest being from July 16th)

Blu-Ray, combo-packs, and music CDs are especially hard hit as there are only a handful of libraries that purchase these materials.  Examples: Belle = 12 holds on 2 item; Captain America: The Winter Soldier = 10 holds on 1 item; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes = 11 holds on 1 item; Guardians of the Galaxy = 17 holds on 1 item; Edge of Tomorrow = 14 holds on 1 item; Jersey Boys = 14 holds on 1 item.

With the potential for a 3-week checkout per hold, it means libraries may literally have to wait up to a year for an item to move through the hold list before getting back onto the home library’s shelf.

TV series as driving force of the policy

At the outset of the policy change, it was stated that the primary reason for the change from 1-week to 3-week was the increased popularity of DVD series which could not be watched in a single week.

Since January 1, 2012 10,758 bib-records added with material type of DVD; 84% of items have running time of less than 300 minutes while 16% have running times in excess of 5 hours.  Among these items purchased in the last 3 years, there are 1,000 with 3 or more discs.  Of these 850 were purchased by 3 or fewer libraries while only 42 were purchased by 10 or more libraries.

This number demonstrates the while TV series do grow in popularity, there are very few libraries that are providing the bulk of the materials to the collection and as a result experience the negative impact of this policy.

Since January 1, 2012, 66,783 items have been added to the system with item-types of DVD, Blu Ray, Combo, or Music CD.  Of those items, a total of 9,170 had 3 or more discs included.  This means that 13.73% of overall AV buying is “series”.

In the past three years, there were as many individual music CDs added to the collection as there were TV series.

It was also stated that the policy was implemented to prevent confusion on the part of the patron.  In examining local loan rules for the 40 copies of Downton Abbey Season 3, 27 libraries locally check the item out 7 or 14 days while 13 libraries check it out for 21 days.  If a goal was to prevent confusion, how is this accomplished by having differing due dates by a margin of 2:1 for local versus ILL copies?

I very much hope that the Minerva Executive Board will reconsider this course of action.  The 3-week loan rule was established to address to small percentage of the overall AV collection, creates more confusion on the part of the patron regarding due dates, increases waiting times for high demand items, and is punitive to the libraries who expend their collection development funds on more unique offerings.  Personally, I purchase titles that I believe would serve my local community – this is not accomplished by purchasing materials that I know will leave home and not return for up to a year.

As always, I am hopeful there will be more voices to add to the discussion so that the Executive Board will make its final implementation decision with full insight into the feelings of its members.

Thank you for your kind attentions.


Joshua Tiffany, MLIS
Director – Gray Public Library
(207) 657-4110<tel:%28207%29%20657-4110>
jtiffany at gray.lib.me.us<mailto:jtiffany at gray.lib.me.us>

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