Monday, June 18, 2007

Copy Level Holds and Agency Hold Accounts

E-mail from Kevin Dixon to all reference and circulation staff, Friday, June 15:

We have received our first Pick List report! I have noticed that several copy level holds were placed with agency hold accounts on items showing available at other agencies. Copy-level, agency-hold-account holds should only be used when a staff member has the item in their hand.

If you are helping a customer who wants a book placed on hold that is available at another location, you have a couple of options:

First, you can suggest what we have always suggested: that the customer (or you) call the location with an available copy. That location would then place a COPY level hold on the item (because they have it in their hand) with the pick-up location's hold account (pkyhold, cenhold, etc.). This guarantees immediately that the customer will have a copy. Because we are placing a hold with an agency hold account, the customer will NOT be notified when this item reaches the pickup location. We give the same advice we always have ("I will send this book, it should be there tomorrow, but I would suggest calling to make sure it got there"). This process is described here.

Second, if the customer would rather not call or if the location with an available copy is currently closed, you can place a TITLE level hold on the item. It is necessary to place the hold to the customer's library card number (not an agency hold account) since it is not possible for a staff member to get their hands on the book. This hold will appear on the owning agency's next pick list report. If that agency ends up marking that item missing, the hold will appear on the pick list of the next agency that has a copy (because we placed a Title level hold). The customer will then be automatically notified as soon as the item reaches the pickup location. These are the same procedures you follow when the item is checked out, detailed here.

So, in short, Copy level holds should only be used when you have the item in your hand. Also, holds placed on agency hold accounts should only be used if you have the item in your hand. Otherwise, use a Title level hold and the customer's library card # to place the hold.

I hope this helps and thank you for your patience while we iron out the details!

Kevin Dixon, Technical Trainer

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