Last updated: September 26, 2002
TeleCirc "notices" take the place of printed notices. That is, once TeleCirc completes a call, no printed notice is sent. Billing (pre-collection) notices however, are ALWAYS sent in printed form. Our two primary reasons for implementing outbound TeleCirc are:
TeleCirc begins calling patrons 4 days before the overdue item generates a printed notice. Once patrons (and staff) get used to TeleCirc this setting may be changed to call sooner. Items fall into one of three categories:
Once an item has reached the overdue threshold (see above), TeleCirc will begin calling the patron on its next cycle. TeleCirc will attempt to contact a patron up to 3 times a day for 2 days. If TeleCirc is successful, no paper notice will be sent. If TeleCirc is unsuccessful, a paper notice will be generated on the next printed notice cycle. TeleCirc considers a call complete if it leaves a message on an answering machine or reaches a live person.
If the patron doesn't return the item, the process is repeated for the second notice.
If the patron still doesn't return the item, eventually the item will be declared lost by Dynix and in most cases a billing (pre-collection) notice will be sent. Remember that billing notices are ALWAYS printed, TeleCirc never calls for them.
TeleCirc overrides the hold notification method selected by the patron when placing a hold. This means that TeleCirc will always call patrons to notify them of items being held. (See Instructing TeleCirc not to call, below.) Currently the only notification method a patron may choose is "mail", this may change once TeleCirc begins calling.
TeleCirc hold notices work very much like a first overdue notice. When an item is put on hold for a patron, TeleCirc will begin calling on its next cycle. TeleCirc will attempt to contact a patron up to 3 times a day for 2 days. If TeleCirc is successful, no paper notice will be sent, even if the patron doesn't pickup the item. If TeleCirc is unsuccessful, a paper notice will be generated on the next printed notice cycle. TeleCirc considers a call complete if it leaves a message on an answering machine or reaches a live person.
Part of the previous paragraph bears repeating: If TeleCirc is successful, no paper notice will be sent, even if the patron doesn't pickup the item. Expect some complaints about this from patrons who "didn't get the message" from a family member or the answering machine, especially until patrons get used to TeleCirc. One solution is to put the patron back at the top of the hold queue, but Circulation should establish a policy on this matter.
As with printed notices, transit holds aren't considered filled until the item reaches its destination. Therefore TeleCirc won't begin calling until the item is checked in at its pickup location.
TeleCirc calls patrons during the following hours:
TeleCirc uses the phone number listed in the patron's "Home Phone" field only. It will only call numbers that meet the following criteria:
For staff with City extensions, TeleCirc will be unable to call these numbers for now. For staff with College extensions, remember you must enter the full 10 digit number if you wish to be called at work. (Remember to put it in the "home phone" field of your patron record.)
If a patron doesn't wish to be called for holds or overdues, putting an asterisk (*) in front of the phone number will prevent TeleCirc from calling them. Please use this option sparingly, since the main reasons for using TeleCirc in the first place are to speed up the notification process and to reduce spending on notice blanks, postage and staff time.
For patrons with privacy screens that are having difficulty receiving TeleCirc calls, please put "*ID" in from of their home phone number. This will prevent TeleCirc from calling them and allow us to easily identify them when TeleCirc technology improves and we want to try calling them again. This also separates them from patrons who just don't wish to be called by TeleCirc and just have "*" in front of their number.
Field 32 (MAIL HOLD NOTICES) of a patron's record can be used to control how a patron receives hold notices:
IMPORTANT: The help screen for this field is wrong. The "P" and "B" options should not be used and 0 (zero) and blank behave as described as above.
Field 34 (MAIL ODUE NOTICES) of a patron's record can be used to control how a patron receives overdue notices.
IMPORTANT: The help screen for this field is wrong. The "P" and "B" options should not be used and 0 (zero) and blank behave as described as above. This field has no effect on billing notices, which are always sent by mail.
Expect an influx of wrong phone numbers at first. If a patron calls and complains that TeleCirc is calling the wrong number, ask the patron for their name and phone number. Lookup the phone number using RPPH (see RPPH in the next section), remove the number from the patron record and put a message in PURF to get the patron's correct phone number.
Similar to printed notices, TeleCirc will put the date and time in a patron's PURF record. In addition to the usual Hold, Reminder or Second notice you'll see a message from TeleCirc:
TeleCirc repeats messages 3 times - which may seem like a lot, especially when TeleCirc reaches a patron instead of an answering machine. These repeats are necessary to insure that at least one complete iteration of the message is recorded by an answering machine. TeleCirc has no way to "wait for the beep," so it begins talking as soon as it hears anything, be it a person or answering machine greeting. Three repeats has proven optimal for long greetings or patrons who have some type of privacy screen. Most patrons have been hanging up after hearing the message 1 & 1/2 times and you won't hurt TeleCirc's feelings by hanging up on it!
TeleCirc considers a call complete even if a patron (or answering machine) hangs up before even one repeat has been completed. Although this may seem like the wrong setting, having TeleCirc consider a hang up incomplete would cause TeleCirc to call the patron again and again until they listened to (or recorded) the entire message.
Unfortunately TeleCirc seems to do better with titles than patron names. Patrons have the option of recording their own name by calling inbound TeleCirc at 303-404-5710 and choosing option 6, "record your name". TeleCirc will then use this recording when calling a patron.
Once TeleCirc considers a call for a group of holds or overdue items complete, it will not call the patron again for those items. It will add existing items to the list if it needs to call for new hold or overdue items. For patrons with many items on hold or overdue, it will call them once for each group of items, often within days of the first call. For example:
The important thing to remember is that TeleCirc does not call more than once for an item unless it is calling about additional items, so multiple calls means the patron has more items on hold or overdue.
Conversley, TeleCirc will not call for holds that have already been picked up or overdues that have already been returned. TeleCirc checks the patron's PURF record just prior to calling and if there's nothing to call about, TeleCirc goes on to the next call.
Although TeleCirc will speak the patron's name and number of items on hold or overdue, it does not speak any title information. Patrons have several options to find out the titles of items on hold or overdue: calling the staff directly, calling inbound TeleCirc or over the Internet via WebPAC or telnet.
Naturally there are other variations of the above scenarios, but these are the most common. The only solution to patrons experiencing problems with TeleCirc & privacy screens is to prevent TeleCirc from calling the patron.