[minervacirc] A question regarding the prompt billing policy

James Rathbun jrathbun at msln.net
Tue Dec 19 12:23:05 EST 2017

Hello all,

This regards the "Prompt billing for intra-Minerva inter-library loaned
items" policy. The language in that policy states:

"If the item remains unreturned after 45 calendar days from the due date,
the owning library may then bill the borrowing library directly for the
replacement cost of the item (no processing or other fees) at which point
the borrowing library becomes responsible for payment of the bill to the
owning library."

At our Roundtable, the discussion briefly turned to the bit about
processing fees. It was mentioned that it has long been frowned upon to
charge these fees within Minerva and that the purpose and intent of
charging full retail value, rather than the going rate we all pay, is to
cover such processing fees.

A question came up after the meeting that this policy does not currently
address; what about charging patrons of other libraries processing fees? As
it is currently worded, this policy only governs what a library charges
another library, not what a library charges another library's patrons.
Furthermore, the current billing template includes a line that says, "This
bill reflects replacement costs and related charges." This leaves an odd
discrepancy. A library could charge a patron of another library processing
fees even though they can't charge the patron's library those same fees.

I believe the intent of this policy is to also prohibit charging another
library's patron processing fees. I would like to suggest that we add
language specifically addressing this. Keep in mind, what you do to your
own patrons is entirely up to you. No matter the decision here, this only
governs what is done in an ILL setting. I'm fairly certain that there are
only a couple libraries currently charging processing fees, even to their
own patrons, and that most libraries would rather that neither they nor
their patrons get charged these during an ILL transaction. However, I could
be wrong and I don't want to insert language that changes what we discussed
without at least putting the question out there.

Thoughts? Feel free to email me directly.


James Rathbun
Library Director
Baxter Memorial Library
71 South St
Gorham, ME 04038
(207) 222-1190
jrathbun at msln.net
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