Friday, July 10, 2009

How to Stop Guest/Visitor Card Abuse

How many times have you had to get rid of one of your Guest/Visitor Patron Cards at your library because someone jotted down the barcode number to give to friends or use again, etc? If you don't want to keep creating new cards in these situations, here is an idea you might want to implement.

I share this in the Advanced Circ trainings, but thought some of you might not know about it. I first heard of Ephrata Public Library doing this, so thanks to them for a great procedure. Yes, it will take more time, but it will stop a lot of frustration:
  1. First, scan all of your Guest/Visitor Cards and click on EDIT and change the INTERNET field to N for ALL of your cards.
  2. When giving out a Guest/Visitor Card, scan the card, click EDIT and change the INTERNET field to Y - they can then use the public PC and CybraryN is happy :-)
  3. When the Guest/Visitor Card is returned, scan the card, click EDIT and change the INTERNET field back to N - now even if the barcode was written down, if they give the barcode number to a friend or try to sneak in and use it, it won't work. Only the person who has the card in hand will be able to use that number.

For more information about the Guest/Visitor Card, check out the Circulation Manual . Click the plus sign to the left of Chapter 3 Patron Records then click on the section titled "Guest Card Creation for Use with CybraryN".


Anonymous said...

It might also be a good idea to have them numbered sequentially so that at the end of the day when the card has been stollen you'll know which one to disable.

Stephanie Zimmerman said...

Genius idea, wish I knew who you were, but THANK YOU!

Stacey said...

Thanks for sharing Stephanie (and Anonymous)!

Katrina said...

MTPL does it a little differently. We have a chart of the visitor card barcodes that is kept on a clip board behind the circ desk. When a visitor asks for a computer, we direct him to a specific free computer and login that computer remotely, using CybraryN, from the circ desk using an available visitor card barcode. The visitor never sees the number, and it is less labor intensive than other methods we have used in the past.

Stephanie Zimmerman said...

WOW Katrina. I don't know much about CybraryN, so I didn't realize you have that abililty. This is also a very good idea! Thanks so much for the feedback.