Back to top

Elimination of Expiration

Published on Wed, 07/10/2019 - 07:48am
access pass

I think the best gift is one that keeps giving. Recently, Mid-Continent Public Library made a minor change with internal procedures that did away with account expiration. Now, your Library account can keep giving and will not expire!

When I started working for the Library, accounts expired every five years. Back then, the cards had an embossed serial number on them. Those raised numbers would get stamped on a filing card using the Gaylord charging machine. Some people recall these machines for the “cha-chunk” sound it would make as it embossed the serial number on the card. Cards had to be physically replaced due to wear. Having the accounts expire every five years gave Library staff an opportunity to replace the worn cards, to verify addresses, and to update our records.

When MCPL moved to using barcodes with the new computer system in the 1990s, the “cha-chunk” machines went away and the wear on the cards decreased. We could continue to use the same physical card with this system for much longer periods of time because the cards didn’t wear out. But we concluded that if we made cards expire every two years, it would help us keep our records up to date and would prompt us to verify account information.

In addition, we could keep some of our costs down by removing accounts that were no longer being used. Many content providers charge libraries by the number of registered borrowers. If our accounts accurately reflected the number of people using the Library, we could save money. So, we started expiring accounts every two years, but stopped replacing cards unless necessary or requested.

Unfortunately, the two-year expiration really was a nuisance for most Library users. People who frequently used the Library became annoyed by the process. For people using the Library less frequently (as in once or twice a year), it seemed like they were always having to create new accounts. With more digital content becoming available, people started to expect immediate and long-lasting accounts, like you have with Amazon.

Finally, new technology allowed the Library to update contact information through the “National Change of Address Database.” We always appreciate it when you tell us your new address and phone number, but now, we can run a routine update to automatically change your account information if you forget to tell us. This upgrade will allow us to keep our records up to date and simultaneously eliminate the inconvenience of your Library card expiring.

We will still remove accounts that haven’t had any activity for a prolonged period of time, but the good news is that moving forward, if you have a resident or reciprocal Library card, your account will not expire as long as you keep using it.

We hope you are as excited about this change as we are! If you have any questions about your Library card, be sure to contact a staff member at your local MCPL branch.

Steven V. Potter
MCPL Director & CEO

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Events You May Also Like

Introduction to Pressbooks

Wed, Aug 21 2019
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Story Center Event
Registration Required
Discover this online resource free to MCPL cardholders. Pressbooks helps writers format their books for publication.

Introduction to SELF-e

Wed, Oct 2 2019
6:30pm - 8:30pm
Story Center Event
Registration Required
Discover this free online resource that enables writers to upload their eBooks to a statewide collection promoting local authors.

Blogs You May Also Like

Mother helping with homework

Teach Your Children Well

Education—whether it’s done in a classroom or in the home—always carries with it some level of challenge.
Read More
access pass

Elimination of Expiration

I think the best gift is one that keeps giving.
Read More
back to school

A Message from the Director: Back to School

When I was a boy, I always became excited as summer’s days slowly turned to crisp autumn.
Read More

Change Is Hard. Progress Is Good!

Change is hard. It just is!
Read More

Was this page helpful? Yes No