[minervacirc] Proposed SMS Renewal change

James Rathbun jrathbun at msln.net
Tue May 2 12:36:24 EDT 2017

Hello all,

At last week's Circulation Roundtable meeting, attendees discussed the
current SMS reminder system, the renew-via-SMS function, and the issues
that brought this topic up for discussion in the first place. We went
through all the pros and cons of the current system and discussed what our
limited options are with regard to altering this function. I presented
three possible paths forward. In brief, we could:

1. Do nothing.

2. Alter the wording of the text message but keep the renew-via-SMS option.

3. Alter the wording of the text message and eliminate the renew-via-SMS

There was a unanimous vote in favor of Option 3, editing the text and
removing the renew-via-SMS option. The exact wording of the new text
message has not been formalized but it would involve something like a
message that says, "Your Minerva item is due soon. Please return this item
or visit your account to renew: (insert link)".

This eliminates the problems associated with simply texting "renew" but
preserves the convenience of mobile alerts and mobile renewal. It's an
extra click but everyone seemed to think it's still pretty darn convenient
and that it will best serve the most people, which in the end is what we're
trying to accomplish. It also places the accountability for renewing items
back with the patron instead of on library staff or a computer.

This option lets patrons know that at least one item is coming due and they
can go attend to it and anything else on their account in whatever manner
they see fit. They will know whether or not the renewal worked because
they'll actually be doing it rather than relying on a computer to maybe do
it, or not, behind the scenes so you'll never get a patron who was
surprised by fines on items they assumed were renewed via text.

Since not every library attends these meetings, we're sending it out to the
list one last time for any further input before this moves on to the
Executive Board.


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