(CAUL Questionnaire - ANU 15/7/96)
The high cost of postage is encouraging ANU Library to re-consider its policies on mailing of circulation notices to borrowers.
Responses to the Questionnaire were received from 24 libraries. The following summary of responses includes ANU.
(a) Are notices mailed to off-campus addresses by ordinary mail? If so, what proportion of total notices?
All 25 libraries use ordinary mail to off-campus addresses, with the (in most cases) approximate percentage of total notices between 53% and 98%. Six libraries did not give figures or were unable to estimate the proportion. Three libraries used off-campus addresses and ordinary mail for students only.
(b) Are notices mailed to on-campus address for internal delivery? If so, what proportion of total notices?
All 25 libraries used this form of address and mail delivery, but for a much lower proportion of notices than for Question 1(a). Average proportion of notices sent by this method was between 2% (Southern Cross) and 33% (James Cook). Adelaide was well outside the norm, using this method for 80% of its notices. Eight libraries did not give figures (or gave figures that were not able to be used). Three libraries used this method exclusively for staff notices.
(c) Is email used? If so, what proportion of total notices?
Email was used by only 7 libraries, but another three indicated use of email was under consideration. Adelaide would like to use email as its sole method of mailing notices. ANU, with 15.5%, made the highest use of email.
Only seven libraries (ANU, Adelaide, Newcastle, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Wollongong) give a choice of delivery mechanism to students. These same seven plus Ballarat and Swinburne give a choice to staff as well as students. Melbourne is trialling this soon. The rest of the respondents give no choice of delivery mechanism.
No library charges a fee for postage costs, but Melbourne indicated it charged a fee of $12.50 for the late return of books which was to cover stationery, postage costs and staff time.
ANU 1 recall; followed by 2 overdues & a bill; Staff/PGs 1 overdue followed by a bill; UGs/External users 2 overdues & a bill. Adelaide 1 overdue, 1 invoice Ballarat 1st overdue at 3 days; 2nd notice 5 weeks; recall if item is wanted by another user; hold availability notice also sent. Bond 2 overdue notices; 1 recall followed by email/phone call if still outstanding. Central Queensland 1 overdue notice; 1-2 recall notices. Deakin 3 overdue notices; 1 bill. Edith Cowan 2 overdue notices; 1 hold notice. James Cook 3 overdue notices; 1 recall. LaTrobe 2 Melbourne 1 overdue; 1 bill. Murdoch 2 overdues, 1 invoice, 1 recall (about to be 1 overdue). Newcastle 4 overdues including pre-invoice and invoice notices; 1 recall and 1 recall/overdue. New England 1 overdue notice; 1 recall notice; later 1 long-overdue invoice; + 3 types of penalty point fine notices. New South Wales 1 overdue or recall; 1 fine notice. Northern Territory 2 overdue notices; 1 item reserved; 1 recall. Queensland Reserve items - bill; Short (3 day loans) - 10 overdues and a bill; Standard loan - 1 recall, 2 overdues and a bill. QUT First/final notice after 7 days. Billing notice after 35 days. South Australia No overdues; 1 invoice; debarrals; recalls; reservations. Southern Cross 2 overdues/notice or invoicing and/or 2 pink notices. Southern Queensland 3 overdue notices at 2 week intervals; 1 recall notice (when required); 1 hold notice (i.e. notification that item is available for collection); 3 fine letters at fortnightly intervals. Swinburne Up to 3 overdue notices; 1 recall notice (if required for reserve collection). Sydney 3 overdues; 2 recalls; fines invoices - fortnightly; 1 awaiting pickup. UTS 1 overdue; 1 bill for replacement; 1 hold; 1 recall; 1 recall overdue; 1 bill for replacement (up to 7). Victoria University of 1 overdue notice, followed by an invoice for Technology replacement cost. Western Australia 3 - (2 overdue, 1 account); or (1 recall, 1 overdue, 1 account). Wollongong 1 overdue; 1 bill cost; 1 recall; 1 overdue recall.
All libraries, with the exception of NSW, notified borrowers of reservations. NSW expected borrowers to check the availability of reservations themselves, as did three other libraries that did this in addition to notifying borrowers (Central Queensland, Newcastle, and South Australia to check short term loans). Of the 24 libraries notifying borrowers, 22 used mail, 7 used email (this being the sole method used by Newcastle, and used for staff only by Swinburne), with only three using phone notification. Ballarat uses the phone rarely or when a book on order for lecturer has arrived.
ANU $52,000 (Jan-Dec 1995) 48% Adelaide Zero. Paid by About 40,000 notices University at this sent annually. stage. Ballarat $10,600 Impossible to estimate. Bond Circa $12,000 Too difficult to estimate. Central Queensland $33,598 n/a Deakin Library does not pay postage. University plans to devolve postage costs to budget centres in 1998. Edith Cowan $87,000 One third. Half postage costs are for distance education. James Cook $22,398 45% estimated. LaTrobe $5,500 per month. 40% Melbourne $235,531 n/a Are reviewing invoicing and overdue procedures of sending notices. Murdoch Circa $32,000 Circa 70% Newcastle $36,000 approx. 60% New England $105,000 20% New South Wales Paid centrally by n/a University. Northern Territory Paid by University. n/a Queensland $93,462 (1995) 56.8% (1995) QUT n/a n/a South Australia Paid by University at n/a present, but will be charged to Faculties and Divisions from 1997. Southern Cross n/a n/a Southern Queensland $36,512 (1995) $2,000 approx. Most costs incurred in sending books and photocopies to external students. Swinburne $24,569 (1995 overdue Most and hold notices) Sydney $76,000 approx. 60-70%, but will be (excluding collection/ paying more in 1996 as postage handling Library will be sending charges). out more notices including fines and invoices. UTS $49,000 per annum 90% VUT $35,000 Two thirds. Western Australia Paid centrally by n/a University. Wollongong $23,000 (estimated 1996) $9,800 (estimate 1996).
Six libraries ( Central Queensland, James Cook, Murdoch, NSW, QUT and Sydney) are investigating the use of email because of the cost (and delay) of other methods of notifying users. NSW plans to use email when the majority of its borrowers (27,000) have an email address. Sydney is also "investigating the possibility of franking letters on site".
Southern Queensland says "Our library handouts state that we endeavour to send overdue and fine notices but have no obligation to do so".
UTS charges circulation postage to the fines fund since most circulation postage is for overdue and fine notices.
VUT is currently discussing proposals to reduce mailing of overdue notices and holds with client representatives.
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