Due Date Management
Due Date Calculation
The Circulation Manager uses three distinct methods to determine a Due Date:
Forced Due Date
When this is active, the selected date is used as the Due Date. This overrides all other Due Date calculation methods – you need a high level password to activate the option.
In Resource Manager, each resource can be assigned a 'Loan Mode' – the options are Year, Semester, Term, or Normal (Normal is set as default). When a Resource which is being loaned and it has a Loan Mode of Year, the Due Date will be the 'Year Due Date' which is set via the Circulation Options menu. Semester and Term loans are actioned in the same way.
Generally, this is the mode used for the majority of resources. When loaning a Resource, the Due Date is calculated using settings from Circulation, Resource Manager, Patron Manager and System Utilities.
BiblioTECH allows you to specify which days are 'working' and will automatically roll a Due Date forward if the calculated Due Date falls on a non-working day. In System Utilities you can adjust the Calendar to advise which days are library working days.
Note: In general, based on our experience, we recommend adjusting the Calendar from the Patron's perspective and not that of the Library staff (for instance in a school you would set a Pupil Free Day as non-working, however the staff may still be on-site).
How a Due Date is Calculated
The following procedure is used for 'normal' loans.
- BiblioTECH determines the MaxDays value that applies to the selected Resource and adds it to today's date.
- BiblioTECH then checks if this is after any of the effective LDDs; if so it uses the applicable LDD instead.
- Finally, BiblioTECH checks the Calendar and determines that if the Due Date falls on a non-working day it should roll forward the return date to the first working day after the date that otherwise would have been set as the Due Date.
Limit Due Dates
BiblioTECH provides a range of options to allow a librarian to control loan periods and due dates. There are three Limit Due Date (LDD) settings – Global, Level & Group.
The Global LDD entry is an over-riding setting and applies to all Patrons. When a Patron is selected, the system will look up their assigned Level and Group from which the system will identify their Level & Group LDD values.
BiblioTECH will use the 'earliest' of the three LDD values as the effective LDD. When calculating a Due Date, BiblioTECH will check the calculated value against the effective LDD and, if after this LDD, will reset the Due Date to the LDD value. This allows a librarian to put an upper limit on Due Dates.
However, do not set any of the LDD entries to a day that is set in the Calendar as 'non-working' as this result in LDDs not working correctly.
Setting the Global Limit Due Date
- Open Circulation Manager and select the menu Options.
- Click on [Global] Limit Due Date and enter a new date in the following selection screen by clicking on the desired date.
Setting the Level Limit Due Date
- Open Patron Manager and select the Levels tab.
- Uncheck the Read Only tick box.
- Select the target Level and click on Edit.
- You can enter a date to be used as the limit for the Level by changing the Last Return Date OR you can leave it as Not Set (i.e. No LDD is set for this Level).
To clear all Level LDD entries, click on the Clear ALL Level "Limit Due Dates" button.
Setting the Group Limit Due Date
The setting of Group LDDs is essentially the same as per that of Levels except it is done in the Groups tab.
Maximum Loans and Maximum Loan days
A librarian can set the maximum number of resources that a Patron can borrow and for how many days they can borrow them.
Additionally, when a loan is calculated, the system adds the Maximum Loan Days to the current date to obtain the Due Date.
Note: A Limit Due Date may apply, so the actual Loan Period may be less that the Maximum Loan Days setting.
You can set these limits in three ways – namely via an individual's Patron record, their Level, or their Group.
When BiblioTECH is processing a loan, it checks the Resource's settings first, then the Patron's settings, then the Level's settings, and finally the Group's settings. The first entry found that is 'set' is used (that is, after this BiblioTECH stops checking). For example, if you set the Patron's entry loan limit, their Level and Group are not checked – the Patron's personal limit is used. Further, if you set limits for all Levels then Group limits will never be checked. However, as the Group limit is at the bottom of the tree so to speak, you cannot leave the Group entry to 'Not Set' (it must be set).
Note: Generally, you would not set individual Patron loan limits as this requires significant management overhead.
Setting the Patrons, Level, and Group Maximum Loans Limits & Loan Days Limits
The setting of Maximum Loans and Loan Days Limits is essentially the same as per that of Limiting Level or Group Due Dates (not Global) except it is done in the MaxLoans and MaxDays (individual Patron in Patrons Manager), or Max. Resources and Max. Loan Days (Levels and Groups in Resource Manager) fields instead.