Blocked Patron Reengagement

Blocked Patron Reengagement

Blocked Patrons? Now What?

Blocked Patrons

The slippery slope

When a patron fails to return an item or a few, you’ll send overdues, reminders, and then finally a bill. What happens then? If you are not partnering with Unique for Material Recovery, likely nothing happens with those patrons and a once valuable library patron is totally disconnected from their previous resources. Remember these were once active patrons, adding to your circulation and door count. When they are blocked, they remain totally disconnected from the library’s resources. All you need is a Gentle Nudge® to get them back in the door.

Our Process

How does Material Recovery help? Patrons referred to Unique for Material Recovery receive a series of gentle letters and phone calls over the next several months encouraging them to get back in touch with their library to return the items and restore good standing. We use a series of databases to find their best contact information, like if they’ve moved.

Positive outcomes

What are the results? Over 50% of patrons respond and bring their accounts back to good standing with the library, greatly reducing the number of blocked patrons from your system. What does that mean for your library? Only 1-2% of patrons are referred to Unique annually. Using Material Recovery process results in 0.5-1% of your patrons returning as active cardholders. That’s 50-100 patrons per 10,000 cardholders annually you are getting back in the door, not to mention the items that would be lost.

We work for you

What libraries does this work for? Unique partners with about 2,000 library systems including public and academic, both fines free and fines charged. Our partners understand that keeping patrons coming back to the library in good standing increases access while being good stewards of your resources. All libraries are unique, and all settings for Material Recovery can be custom set to your policies and preferences.

Curious what Material Recovery looks like for your library? Please feel free to contact us at for a free consultation and quote today.