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Piping Up

SFU Library Feedback

Archive for the 'Loans & fines' Category

SFU Library’s overdue policies

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Q: would like to know why SFU Library’s overdue policies are so stringent in comparison to other universities in BC. At SFU, library borrowing privileges are suspended if the fine exceeds $5. At UBC, the limit is $50, and UVIC is $20. Canada’s largest academic library system, University of Toronto, has a $25 limit. UBC’s and U of T’s demand for library services far exceeds that of SFU, yet they have a more generous policy.

I am a graduate student in a humanities-related field, and thus, need to borrow many books. I had 21 books due midnight on Sep.12, but I missed the renewal deadline by 3 MINUTES (I have a screenshot to prove this). Now I have $21.00 in fines and can’t borrow anything. Food for Fines usually happens in late November, but I cannot wait that long and need to borrow books before then. SFU should consider changing its suspension policy and raise the fine limit to at least $20-25. This is the standard across institutions in BC and Canada.

I hope you will seriously consider this request. Thank you for your time and attention.

A: Scott Mackenzie, Head of Access Services, will get in touch with you about your specific circumstances. It has been some time since we established the $5 fine cut off limit and we will review the policy.

Thanks for the suggestion.


Reserve items from Surrey to Bennett?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
Q: Would it be possible to bring the reserve items at surrey library to Bennett library? The reason for asking is because the course BISC 202, is only offered at Burnaby campus this term and there is currently no reserve copies available at Bennett library. Also, if there more copies available, more students can utilize them. Thanks.
Which library?  W.A.C.Bennett (SFU Burnaby)

A: Is this the book to which you are referring?

Introduction to genetic analysis / Anthony J.F. Griffiths … [et al.]. http://troy.lib.sfu.ca/record=b5715074~S1a

If so there are actually 3 copies available at Bennett, one of which is on Reserve (2 other copies are lost). If you think having the stack copies also placed on reserve makes sense then please talk to the Instructor as Reserve requests must be made by the instructor of the course

Take care,
Scott Mackenzie
Head, Loans

Can I return books from VPL or BPL at SFU library ?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
Your question or comment: Can I return books from Vancouver Public Library or Burnaby Public Library at your library ?  Will they be transported back to the public libraries ?
Which library?  W.A.C.Bennett (SFU Burnaby)

A: Yes you can drop them off here but they will take between one and two weeks to get back to their home library. They will not be checked in until they get back home so if they are close to their due date it might not be a good idea.

Scott Mackenzie
Head, Access Services

Reserve Book Loan

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
Hi there, I took out a reserve book on Friday that had a 24 hour loan period. I planned on having it with me for the weekend and renewing to avoid fines. However  today I had to go out of town and could not renew the book and I now have a fine of $5.00. I am not complaining about the fine, as I understand that is to make sure that students return the book on time, however I would appreciate it if the book can be renewed until Monday as I originally planned to do. I cannot come to Burnaby on Sunday because I live far from Burnaby and coming to Burnaby would take up a lot of my day.

Thank you
Which library?  Bennett (SFU Burnaby Mountain)

A: It appears this was already dealt with by Loans staff on the weekend. In cases like this it is probably best to call the Circulation desk  778-782-4345, which I guess you did in the end
take care
Head, Access Services

Can Alumni Borrow Laptops?

Friday, February 28th, 2014
Q: I’m a recent SFU alumnus who’s going to be attending a club event at Harbour Centre on Saturday. I’ve been requested to bring a laptop, and with mine on the fritz was wondering if my alumni status still lets me borrow laptops from the library for on-campus use.

I checked the services pages, and did not find an answer. The alumni services page does not list laptop borrowing under either the permitted or ineligible lists. The external/individual borrowers page states they may not borrow laptops because they are not alumni/students/faculty/staff.
Which library?  Belzberg (SFU Vancouver)

A: Thanks very much for getting in touch.  You’re right that the policy is not very clear from the library website.  Unfortunately because of the very high demand for laptops, they may only be borrowed by students, faculty and staff.  Alumni may not borrow laptops.  There is an FAQ at: http://www.lib.sfu.ca/faqs/does-the-belzberg-library-loan-out-laptops which lists who may borrow laptops at Belzberg Library, but we will also add this information to the Services for Alumni page.  Thanks very much for pointing out the gap on our website.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Best regards,

Karen Marotz
Head, Belzberg Library
Simon Fraser University

Education Textbooks in Reserves

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Q: Please consider placing one copy of a textbook- required for SFU classes and/or texts used for curriculum design (K-12 texts) for education classes- on the reserve shelves.  All too often, materials needed for main/mandatory classes are checked out for use by one or two students, at the same time. By having one copy of frequently checked out texts on reserve, on hold, for a few hours or day, it allows more students access to these high-demand materials.
Which library?  Bennett (SFU Burnaby Mountain)

A: It is the instructor of the course who places items on Reserve. You need to talk to the instructors in these courses and ask them to request that these books be placed on Reserve

take care

Scott Mackenzie
Head, Access Services

Do Fines Affect Graduation?

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Q: I currently owe $5 in fines and my application for graduation is currently under review. Will this affect the approval in any way? I am out of the country right now, if it does affect the approval, what can I  do?
Which library?  Bennett (SFU Burnaby Mountain)

A: $5 will not affect your graduation. If your fines are higher than $5, you can no longer check out books, but with only $5 there are no restrictions on your library privileges.

Chuk Goodin
Library Loans Supervisor

Unable to Renew Borrowed Books

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

I am an SFU staff member and currently have  a number of borrowed books from the Bennett library. I just received notice  (through four emails) that 31 of these books are due on Jan 10, 2014.
Unfortunately, I am currently out of the country and not back on campus until  Monday, Jan. 13th. I don’t have my SFU library card with me so I can’t try to renew them online. Could you please either (a) renew these books for me or  (b) extend the due to date to Jan. 13th so that I don’t get dinged with a big  overdue fine.

A: I have renewed your books and the new due date is May 9th, 2014. Fourteen of the books had been renewed three times before and were not eligible for online renewal, but I have made a one-time exception in this case.

Chuk Goodin
Library Loans Supervisor

Library Access for High School Students

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
Q: My son is a Grade 10 student at Burnaby South Secondary.  He has to go to your library this Friday to research on a Lord of the Rings thesis.  Is the possible for him to get a temporary/1 time library card?
Which library?  Bennett (SFU Burnaby Mountain)
A: Only Grade 11 and Grade 12 students in accredited IB programs are eligible for temporary SFU cards and computer logins.

Your son is welcome to come to the library and use the books and journals within the library but he would not be able to borrow them. Also as he is under 18 years of age he would not be able to obtain a guest computer login.

If you have any other questions feel free to contact me directly

Scott Mackenzie

Fines for Late Returns

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Q: I think the way you fine students for late returns, is not fair. Especially the 24Hr reserved books. I forgot to renew the book online and received a notification email 5 hours after the due time and I was already fined 5$ and couldn’t renew it at the time. There was nobody who wanted the book and I just forgot to renew it and at the end paid 12$. As a student, I do not think this is a fair amount, or a proper way of notification. The library could have sent me a warning email 5 hours before the due time so that I could renew it online and would not pay 12$. I think this is a more helping way than what it is right now.
Which library?  Bennett (SFU Burnaby Mountain)

A: Reserves fines are substantial at $1/hour and they can mount up quite quickly. I am sorry you ended up with a considerable fine for an overdue item.

The reason the fines are so high for these items is to ensure that they are returned on time so that other users may borrow them. As holds on Reserve items need to be placed by staff and only one hold is allowed per item a lot of students actually don’t use the hold function but rather just wait for the book to be returned. Thus not having a hold does not necessarily mean someone else does not want to use an item when it is returned.

There is  no email sent to patrons warning them that a Reserve item is coming due because all emails from the library system are sent in a batch job at 4am. For books due back at a specific minute and hour rather than the end of the day this would not work. The email you did receive was an automatic email notification sent after any item is overdue. It would have been sent to you at 4am as well.

When I looked at your record I noticed that there are 3 other copies of this particular Reserve book, all are semester loan. If you are using this book on a regular basis for longer than 24 hours I was thinking it might be better for you to recall one of the other 3 copies that are checked out for semester loan. The patron who has the copy you recalled would be given one week to return the item and then it would be put on the hold shelf for you to pick up. You would then be able to check it out for longer than 24 hours.

Take care

Scott Mackenzie
Head, Access Services