Home Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Policies Materials Recovery and Collection

Hillsborough County
Department of Library Services
Policies and Procedures Manual

Subject: Materials Recovery and Collection

Effective: October 27, 2016

Supercedes: July 25, 2013

Suggested Review: 3 Years

  1. Purpose:
    1. Library Services contracts with a materials recovery and collection agency to provide material recovery services for delinquent Library customer accounts in order to provide the best possible rate of return of overdue materials so that they are available for public use and to maintain an accurate inventory control.
  2. Policy:
    1. Library Services monitors and manages the contract agreement on a regular basis with set written standards for performance to ensure efficient, timely and cost effective return of loaned library materials.
    2. Library Services shall monitor the materials recovery service (Service) performance in the following areas:
      1. A comparison shall be made of the dollars spent to the dollars and value of materials collected in order to determine the cost effectiveness of the contract. The standard shall be between $5.00 and $7.00 recovered for every dollar spent.
      2. The response rate of accounts shall be measured to ensure the effectiveness of the contract with a standard of sixty (60) to seventy-five (75) percent.
      3. The number of updated customer addresses or telephone numbers (skip-tracing activity) provided shall be monitored for a standard of one-hundred seventy-five (175) to two hundred (200) updates of accounts each month.
    3. Library Services shall reconcile the number of accounts sent with the number of accounts billed on a monthly basis to ensure that the Service properly bills the Library for these accounts.
    4. Library Services shall monitor the Service accounts on a quarterly basis for excessive fine amounts per account and any accounts with negative adjustments.
    5. Library Services shall monitor the Service’s performance for the content, timeliness and accuracy of letters and phone calls biennially.
  3. Procedure:
    1. Library Services shall refer delinquent accounts when both the following conditions are met:
      1. Customers who have not responded within thirty (30) calendar days after the overdue billing notification.
      2. Accounts are for $50.00 or more.
    2. Accounts are sent electronically via an automated report. This report is generated and sent after day-end processing in the Integrated Library System (ILS) circulation system once a week.
    3. Library Services' Operations Manager or designee shall obtain a "Summary Status Report" (Summary) from the Service's Web Site on a monthly basis in order to make the following comparisons.
      1. The dollar value of materials recovered is compared to the dollars spent.
        1. Using the figures on the Summary the calculations are as follows:
          1. Multiply the number of Accounts Submitted by $7.95 to figure the amount spent.
          2. Add the amounts of Dollars Received and Material Returned to figure the amount recovered.
          3. Divide the amount collected (ii) by the amount spent (i).
        2. The result should be consistent with the standard in Policy section 2. B. (1) above.
      2. The "Percent of Accounts Activated" shall be compared to the standard in Policy section 2. B. (2 ) above.
    4. The Operations Manager or designee shall monitor skip-tracing activity through the monthly "Change of Address Report" and compare to the standard in Policy section 2. B. (3) above.
    5. The Operations Manager or designee shall reconcile the number of accounts referred with the number billed on a monthly basis. Discrepancies shall be resolved with our customer service representative and the Operations Manager or designee.
    6. Security levels for staff ensure that fines/fees cannot be waived or overridden in the (ILS) circulation system by anyone below a Supervisor level.
    7. The Operations Manager or designee shall monitor and correct negative balances in accounts in the following manner. This shall be done on a quarterly basis at the least. Request a Synchronized file from Hillsborough County Innovation & Information Office which finds any discrepancies between the Service’s files and ILS account balances.
      1. All discrepancies shall be investigated individually and resolved in the ILS.
      2. The Service shall be provided the correct information to be identical to that in the ILS.
    8. The Operations Manager or designee shall monitor the Service’s performance for the content, timeliness and accuracy of letters and phone calls biennially in the following manner.
      1. A "dummy" account is created that is purposefully delinquent to test the service.
      2. The accuracy and timeliness of the Service’s notifications shall be measured in order to ensure compliance with performance as agreed to in the contract.
  4. Authority:

    Pursuant to Section 5(1) of Chapter 84-443, Laws of Florida, the Public Library Board has the duty and the responsibility, among others, to serve in a recommending capacity to the Director of Library Services and to the County Administrator in respect to all matters pertaining to the public library.