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For the Public
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long before it's too late to bill?
From the policy on Billing before the board in the July 2012 meeting:
"Bills must be sent and payment must be made in a timely manner. If the owning library does not bill within 1 year of the date on which the item attains billed status, no compensation is necessary. "
2. What if the patron says that they have lost/damaged an item and want to pay right away?
Encourage your patron to wait for the owning library to send a bill before paying. If the patron is convinced the item is lost:
Contact (call, email) the owning library and ask them to remove the item from your patron's account and let them know that the payment is on its way. This will not only allow the owning library to replace an item quickly, it will also preserve the integrity of the fines paid reports that some libraries run daily.
3. What if they claim they have returned it?
If your patron is convinced that they returned the item and you believe them, that is your business. The replacement cost is still owed by the patron's library to the item's library.
Do NOT use "claims returned" on another library's item and do NOT waive the fine on another library's item. Doing so removes the charge from both the patron AND the item, which is not what you want.
Just send payment as usual to the owning library (with a copy of the bill or indication of what you're paying for) and let the owning library mark it as paid. Don't bother with the second bill, since you're not going to charge the patron anyway. If the patron is desperate and irate to get the bill off of their record, contact (call, email) the owning library and ask them to remove the item from your patron's account and let them know that the payment is on its way.
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