How overdue materials affect everyone

How overdue materials affect everyone

Ripple Effects of Long Overdue Patrons

Impacting More Patrons Than You Realize?

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As librarians undoubtedly know, ensuring that books, resources, and materials are returned on time for everyone to enjoy can be a challenge. It’s not just about the loss of a single book or patron; it’s about the impact on the entire library community.

Recent data analysis from Unique Library has uncovered a ripple effect that’s much larger than we might have expected. With sample size of over 1,200 patrons and 5,000 items spanning multiple library sizes, patron populations and dates, we made an illuminating discovery.

Ripple Effect in Numbers

The data showed for every 4 patrons referred to our Gentle Nudge service, an additional 3 patrons are indirectly impacted. How? There are 3 pieces of material waiting on hold for every 4 long overdue accounts and patrons waiting with materials on hold are the silent majority affected.

Consider the numbers at scale: if you have 20 patrons each week qualifying as long overdue, there are another 15 patrons at a minimum who have holds waiting for those very materials as many popular items on hold have multiple patrons waiting for them. In essence, the Gentle Nudge isn’t just nudging one individual to return to the library as a patron in good standing: it’s potentially facilitating a positive experience for multiple patrons.

What This Data Means for Libraries

1. A Boosted Patron Experience

Addressing long overdue patrons allows more patrons already in good standing to access the materials they’ve been eagerly waiting for, ensuring continued patron satisfaction.

2. Revving Up Circulation

When materials are returned promptly, circulation becomes more efficient. Faster circulation means happier, more engaged patrons.

3. Asset Optimization

With Gentle Nudge, materials spend less time lost and more time in the hands of eager readers, ensuring libraries get the most out of every asset. Additionally, less popular materials will have to go through the costly and time-consuming repurchasing process.

Long Overdue Patron Calculator

Enter your library's annual material circulation and fines policy and hit 'Calculate' to estimate how many patrons your library has long overdue and how many other patrons with holds are being affected.

Beyond Just Reminders: Building a Cohesive Library Community

The power of data cannot be overstated, and this analysis only underscores the critical need for a service like Unique’s Gentle Nudge. Not only does it expedite the return of overdue materials, but it creates a more seamless experience for all patrons involved. It reminds us that the act of borrowing and returning isn’t isolated but part of a broader ecosystem where everyone’s actions impact others

Final Thoughts: The Gentle Nudge Promise

If your goal is to optimize the potential of your library’s assets and foster a sense of community and shared responsibility among patrons, Gentle Nudge is the way forward. Whether your library uses traditional fines, or is fines-free, Gentle Nudge is compatible with your structure. And remember, the Gentle Nudge is not a punitive service, and instead provides a communication needed to help long overdue patrons get back in good standing and materials back for all patrons to enjoy.

Ready to learn more?

Let's set-up a time to connect.

Our Unique team is happy to discuss details and how Unique can help your library manage the long overdue patron process and get more materials back for all to enjoy. Options are available for both traditional and fines free policies along with high value material recovery.

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