4-Rivers Resource Sharing Group
While all libraries in the Montana Shared Catalog consortium share the Symphony integrated library system (ILS), as well as access to system support and training, the 4-Rivers Resource Sharing Group ("4-Rivers" for short) libraries have additionally agreed to share materials. 4-Rivers is the smallest of the MSC sharing groups in terms of total materials held by member libraries. It includes multiple small public libraries and one school library in a central geographic region in the state. A patron whose library participates in 4-Rivers can place holds on items owned by other libraries in the group. Using a combination of local and regional transport, the item is delivered to the patron’s home library or any 4-Rivers library for them to pick up. 4-Rivers libraries agree on shared circulation rules, practices, and procedures to ensure smooth interactivity for patrons throughout the system.
- Boulder Community Library
- North Jefferson County District Library - Clancy
- North Jefferson County District Library - Montana City
- Dillon Public Library
- Madison Valley Public Library (Ennis, MT)
- Sheridan Community Library
- Thompson-Hickman Madison County Library (Virginia City, MT)
- Twin Bridges Public Library
- Whitehall Community Library
- Whitehall K-12 School Libraries
4-Rivers is a closed sharing group and is not able to add new libraries; libraries interested in sharing partnerships are encouraged to look at the Partners Resource Sharing Group.
4-Rivers Standard Operating Procedures (Last Updated 6/15/2010)
Checkout periods will follow the circulation rules and procedures of each 4-Rivers library and fined as determined by that 4-Rivers library.
- Patrons are allowed to place as many holds as they please.
- Patrons are notified of available holds within 24 hours, via phone, email or mail.
- Staff must check the Onshelf Items with Holds report daily and take appropriate
- If an item is not on the shelf:
- Search for a maximum of two days.
- To force the hold to another 4-Rivers libraries copy, check the item out to missing,
change home location to lost, or follow other library procedure accomplishing
the same end.
- If your library has the only copy and the hold is for your library’s patron, remove
the hold and notify the patron.
- If your library has the only copy and the patron belongs to another library, ask that library to contact the patron and follow through on removing the hold.
- If the patron belongs to another library, put the item into transit to that library
and add to the respective courier’s deliveries.
- If a patron presents an item for checkout that has an onshelf hold, proceed with
checkout by using the hold override. The hold patron will remain first in the hold
- Packing requirements:
- When containers include materials for more than one library, items must be
banded together and clearly marked according to their destination library.
- All containers must be secured (so books cannot fall out) and clearly labeled
with destination library.
- Staff must check the Expire Holds and Clean Holds Shelf report.
- An Expire Inactive Holds report runs monthly for each library. This report
cancels/expires holds that have been inactive or unfilled for six months.
- Patrons have a reasonable amount of time to pick up their holds, after which the book
will be sent back to the owning library.
Whether or not holds can be picked up for a patron by a spouse, child, or other
representative is at the discretion of the 4-Rivers library.
Patrons may elect to pick up their holds at any 4-Rivers library. Staff will not change
pick up location of holds unless asked to do so by patron. If the pickup location of an
available hold is changed, contact the library where the item is currently being held so
it can be rerouted accordingly.
- Items may be returned to any 4-Rivers library, regardless of where they were checked
- Use the Discharge (checkin) wizard.
- If item is scanned and the option “Release Item” appears, choose “Do Not Release
Item”. This means the item needs to continue its journey to another library.
- If item’s “Route/Transit to” location is FLOAT-RET, discharge item again.
Missing AV Items
- If a patron returns an item that is missing one of its pieces, call the patron and ask that
they return the missing piece (tape, CD, etc.) ASAP.
Patron has one month to return the missing item. At that time he/she will be billed for
the missing part or the entire set, whichever the owning library requires.
If the patron belongs to another library, ask that library to contact the patron and
follow through in retrieving missing materials (only the patron library can modify the
patron account to add extended info notes about having called patron, etc.).
Keep incomplete items where they were returned until the issue is resolved.
Maintaining Patron Records
Database entry guidelines must be adhered to by all libraries. Follow the MSC Patron
Registration Guidelines: Circulation - Registering Users.
Maintenance of patron records must be done at the home library.
Checkout Limits/Circulation Rules/Billing Structure
- Checkout periods will follow the circulation rules and procedures of each 4-Rivers library and patrons will be fined as determined by their home library.
- If a patron wants to check out items at another 4-Rivers library and their account is
blocked, staff can place holds on the items, choosing the patron’s home library as the
pickup location. The partner library can then trap the holds and send the items to the
patron’s home library for pick up.
- Because each 4-Rivers library card will work at any of the 4-Rivers libraries, each
patron may only have one card.
- Patrons may return 4-Rivers items at any 4-Rivers library.
Overdue Items/Damaged, Lost & Long Overdue Items
- If an item belonging to another library is returned damaged or in need of repair, return
the item to its home library with an explanation of damage or loss attached to that
item. Notify the owning library of the loss/damages so that an arrangement can be
made for the patron to pay fines/fees or replace the item.
- If a patron claims to have lost an item belonging to another library follow these steps:
- Mark item lost using default item price.*
- Contact the owning library to notify them item is marked lost.
- Collect money from patron and clear their account. (*The lending library can also mark the item lost.)
- If a lost item from another library is returned, refunds are not available.
User Claims Returned Process
- Always check the shelves before sending an item to User Claims Returned.
- When using the User Claims Returned wizard, the system asks for a date that the item
was supposedly returned. Use the actual due date to prevent fines from being
assessed and overdue notices from being generated.
- User Claims Returned will be looked for at least twice a month for a period of three
- If the item has not been found within three months, contact the owning library and
mark it as lost using the Mark Item Lost wizard. Waive the charges. 4-Rivers libraries
agree that it is not necessary to remit payment for User Claims Returned to lost
Adding Items to the System
New items may be added to the system 6 months before their publication date.
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