Step two: set up loan policies

Loan Policies describe how different kinds of patrons—Students, Faculty, Staff, and Patrons—can check out resources from your library.

  • You can have as many loan policies as you like.
  • Populi always looks for the most restrictive loan policy when determining whether a patron can check out a resource. For example, if a Staff member also has the Student role, when he checks out a book that Staff can check out for 30 days but Students for 15, it will choose the 15-day loan period.
  • Likewise, Populi looks for the most specific loan policy. For example, if you have a loan policy that lets students check out all resources for 30 days, and another that lets students check out movies for 3 days, then when a student checks out a video, it will be loaned to her for 3 days.

Adding a new loan policy

  1. Go to Library > Settings > Loan Policies.
  2. Click Add a Loan Policy and fill in the fields you need.
  3. These fields determine to whom and what the policy applies:
    • Patron Type(s): Choose those to whom this loan policy applies— all patrons or specific types.
    • Resource Type(s): Choose those to which this loan policy applies—all resource types or specific types. For multiple types, leave the last drop-down blank when you're done.
    • Library: Choose either all libraries or select a specific one from the drop-down.
    • Collection/Resource: Type to search for a particular collection or resource to which this policy applies.
  4. Detail fields determine the permissions and penalties of the policy. If the loan policy does not include a specific item, leave it blank—so, if there's no grace period, don't enter anything in that field.
    • Loan Period: Enter a number of Hours, Days, Weeks, or Months. Your selection here also determines the period for the grace period and fine fields.
    • Grace Period: Enter the number of Hours, Days, Weeks, or Months a Patron has after the due date to return a resource without getting stuck with a fine.
    • Fine: Enter the amount in dollars; if you charge a dollar a day, enter 1; if you charge a dime a day, enter .10, if you charge a dollar and a dime a day, enter 1.10, and so on.
    • Max Fine: Once a patron hits this amount in overdue fines, no more will be added to the fines they accrue according to this loan policy.
    • Lost After: If the patron hasn't returned the resource by this time after the due date, the resource will be considered Lost and the Patron will be charged the replacement cost.
    • Hold Length: If you allow holds, patrons can put resources on hold this amount of time before checking them out.
    • Renewals: Enter the number of times a patron can renew the resource before it must be reshelved.
    • Max Balance: If a patron has this amount (or higher) of outstanding fines/lost fees, he cannot check out any resources.
    • Max Checkout: Enter the maximum number of resources a patron can check out at a given time.
  5. When you're done, click Save.

Now that you've added this loan policy, it'll be ready for when patrons begin checking out resources from your library.

A note about library notifications

When you set up loan policies, one of the details is the loan period—the maximum length of time a resource copy may be loaned to a patron. Based on this setting, Populi will send email notifications to patrons alerting them to the due date according to the following schedule:

  • If you use days for the loan policy's units, notifications will be sent two days before; on the date itself; and then 1, 2, 3, 7, 14 days after the due date.
  • If you use hours, notifications will be sent one hour before; on the hour itself; and then 1, 2, 3, 24, 48 hours after the loan is due.
  • Conveniently, notifications will stop sending once the resource copy has been checked in!

Next steps: fill in your library's general settings.

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