Monday, 23 March 2015

Email notices - new and old

Library users will be familiar with our regular emails relating to items you have borrowed or have requested. From today we are introducing an additional email which is a confirmation of renewal, whether these are done online, via self-service or at the library issue and help desks. The emails show the date and time of renewal, the title of the item and the new due date.

As with all our emails this is an in-house solution so there are a few constraints that mean that we can’t send you a confirmation email a few seconds after you have renewed.  Emails will be sent out once an hour, gathering up all the renewals in the previous hour, so if you renew at 11.01 you will get an email shortly after 12.00. If you renew at 11.58 you will still get an email shortly after 12.00.  There may also be a very rare occasion when renewing a number of items at, say, 10.59 where some items get a timestamp of 11.00. This would result in two confirmation emails. As ever if you have any concerns it is as well to check your account online via the library catalogue. If an item hasn’t renewed it may be that it has been requested by another reader.

With this new service it seems a good time to go over what emails we send, and when.

We currently send out 16 types of emails each morning from 09.15, some of which are fairly special relating to One Day Loans and Inter Library Loans. We also send out notices to alert borrowers if an item they have out has been requested. If additional requests are placed this will prompt further emails, but it is important to note that the due date isn’t changed. Of course if you have finished with the item then returning it for another reader to use is no bad thing.

Reminder emails go out two days before an item is due back and include all the information required to enable you to renew it promptly and thereby avoid the risk of any fines. If you don’t renew or return then a 1st overdue will follow a couple of days after the item was due back, followed by increasingly sternly worded messages a week apart until we send out a Billing Notice and start the process of replacing the item. In an ideal world of course we would never send any of these. If you do have problems with renewing or returning an item do please contact us. Another notice we would prefer not to send out is the Fines email which shows any fines accrued recently.

Having sent out all these the system has a rest (or did until the new emails were introduced) until 13.15 when the notices alerting readers who have a requested item to collect that it is available. We delay the sending of these just to ensure that the books are definitely on the shelf and avoid any wasted journeys.

Sending all this out by email allows us to provide far more in the way of reminders and notices than when we had a purely paper based system, and of course saves us a lot of money on post! We hope that you find it all useful. One final thing to mention is that once we send out the emails we can’t guarantee their delivery – a bit like putting a letter in a post box. You can help by adding our email address ( to any list of approved senders and if you don’t seem to be getting messages to check your spam or junk folders. It is your responsibility to manage your library borrowing, so please don’t rely solely on our emails as a means of keeping your account up to date.

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