Friday, March 06, 2009

Online Renewals

When customers access their account online, they have the option to renew their items. However, the list of items is not limited to those items which CAN be renewed. It simply lists all of their items they have checked out.

If a customer selects all items and renews, they receive a list of items that did renew followed by a list of items that did NOT renew. A problem occurs when customers do not examine this list and assume that all items were renewed. Fines continue to accumulate on the items that were not renewed, and the customer is not happy when they find this out the next time they try to check something out.

Not helping this matter was the brief message a customer received when they renewed items. It stated, "(x) items were renewed." A couple of weeks ago, I changed it to "(x) items were renewed. Please scroll down to see is some items were not renewed."

I also changed the message that appears below an item if that item could not be renewed. It used to state, "renewal failed". It now states,"Renewal failed. 1) Either item already renewed once; 2) Item is a Popular Book or New DVD and cannot be renewed; 3) Or another customer has a hold on the item."

I also added a bullet to the online help for "Renewing Items". It now states:

To renew online, follow these steps:

  • Log in to your account.
  • In the My Account area, click Renew My Materials.
  • Select the check box by items to renew, or mark Select All.
  • Click Renew Selected Items.
  • You will then receive a list of the items that successfully renewed followed by a list of items that could not be renewed. Please review this list carefully.
I have also submitted an enhancement request to SirsiDynix that could hopefully address this issue in future upgrades. Other library systems have stated that their customers report the same experience. One way would be to possibly limit the list of items that the customer sees prior to selecting items to renew. This list would be limited to only those items that can be renewed. Or, perhaps a simpler way would be to reverse the renewal results so that all of the items that failed to renew are listed first.

No comments: