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Renew your checkouts - even if they have holds - as long as another copy is available

May 20, 2014 | TPL Staff | Comments (10)

Have you ever seen this message when you tried to renew one of your checked-out items?

Item failed to be renewed - item has holds

Preventing a renewal makes sense if other library users are waiting to borrow the title and all the copies are checked out. But, as many regular users noticed, there was a flaw in our system's logic: renewals were being blocked for items with holds on them even if other copies of the title were available to borrow. The only way to renew an item with a hold on it was to contact library staff, who would manually check whether or not other copies were available and override the system setting to allow the renewal.

This approach to managing renewals was inconvenient for users and an inefficient use of staff resources. So we're delighted to announce that, following an upgrade this past weekend, the library's account system now has logic that checks for available copies and allows renewals to proceed as long as there is a copy on the shelf that can fill an outstanding hold.

There are still situations where you won't be able to renew a checked-out item:

  • It's a popular item with a waiting list and no available copies
  • It's a popular item with a waiting list and the "available" copies are not copies that can fill holds (e.g. they are reference-only or Best Bets copies)
  • The item is a new feature DVD or part of a Book Club Set
  • You have already renewed the item the maximum number of times

Our goal is to make borrowing and renewing more convenient, while still ensuring equitable access to library materials. Thanks to everyone who has sent in feedback to help us improve the self-service renewal option!


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