Charging and Discharging Library Materials

Charging and Discharging Library Materials

The Voyager circulation system is used to charge and discharge materials, determine whether an item is checked out, determine what materials a patron has charged out, what fines/fees are owed to the Library, etc.

If the computer is not already logged into Voyager, click on the GIL Quick Connect icon on the computer desktop.

When QuickConnect opens, click once on the Circulation module, which is the top left box. On the next screen, enter the current Operator ID and password. Your supervisor will keep you informed about the Operator ID and password you should use. For Current Location, always select Circulation Desk.

IMPORTANT: logins and passwords, as well as any information about individual library patrons, is confidential and should never be shared with anyone who does not work in the Circulation Department.

Basic Charging and Renewing:

    1. Click on the Charge Icon [upper left], then click in the space labeled Barcode, or the card will not scan.

    2. Scan the patron's barcode. If they have a UWG ID card, slide it through the magstripe reader in front of the computer monitor; in some cases, the card will not scan and you will have to type in the number manually. If the user has a Guest Borrower card, scan the barcode using the scanner mounted to the right of the computer. If the user already has a record in our patron database, you may also accept a driver's license or passport in place of an ID card; in that case, click on the box with the 3 little dots next to the Barcode field, and a new box will open which allows you to search by last name and first name.

    When searching by name, always BE SURE you have located the correct person by asking them to verify their address or some other means, because there are often records in the system for two or more people with the same name.

    Under NO circumstances are patrons allowed to check out library materials by giving you their ID number verbally. Politely explain to them that because replacement charges for lost materials are very high, we must be certain we are checking out materials to the right person. If they were in a department store, they would not be allowed to charge a purchase by giving the clerk their VISA number, either: they must have the card in their possession.

    3. If the ID presented has a photo, check the picture and verify that it seems to be the person in front of you. Users are not allowed to check out materials on anyone else's card but their own, even if they have brought a note from the card owner, EXCEPT if they are working as a student assistant to a faculty member who has already completed a signed Check-Out Agreement with the Library. These agreements are kept in a notebook at the Circulation Desk.

    4. If the patron is not BLOCKED, and the item to be checked out belongs to us, continue the charging process by scanning the barcode located on the front of each item. Items which are checked out at the Circulation Desk include books, DVDs, tapes, government documents, maps, keys to conference rooms, headphones, etc. Listen for the beep AND watch for the item to appear on the screen. Pay attention to the due dates, and be sure to tell the patron about any shorter-than-normal due dates, such as 7 days for videos, short terms for Reserve items, etc. If the books you are checking out have been borrowed for the patron through the InterLibrary Loan Department, the barcode you should scan is on the square white label on the front of the book. If it has been sent to us from another University System Library via the GIL Express system (these normally have a band around the cover with the name of the owning library on it), you have to select the owning library's name from the drop-down charge menu, or the system will not recognize the barcode.

    Remember: any time you are not sure what to do, ASK another Circ staff member who has been here longer than you! It is much better to avoid making a mistake by guessing wrong!

    5. Stack the items being checked out in a pile as you finish scanning them, then desensitize each one by passing its spine over the magnetic blocks at the Circulation Desk. If you do not desensitize them, the security strips concealed inside each item will set off an alarm when the person carries them out of the building. If the person has a large number of books or it is raining, offer him/her a bag in which to carry the materials. Bags are on a shelf below the desk on the far right side.

    6. Unlike some libraries, we do not stamp books with a due date. If a person wishes to have a reminder, suggest that they take one of the bookmarks at the desk and write the due date down, or show them how to access their Library account online so they can see what they have checked out, when it is due, and even renew it online themselves.

    7. If the Voyager system is down, you can continue charging out materials using Offline Charge, however, nothing can be DISCHARGED when the system is down!

    Patron Blocks

    Sometimes, after you scan a patron's card in the charge screen, a window pops up with information indicating that a patron is blocked, and thus cannot check out books. Sometimes the message looks like this:

    ...this one is a Pop-Up note a Circ staff member created within the patron record, indicating that they have a BANNER hold preventing them from checking out books...

    ...or, it might look like this:

    ...this is an automatic "system-generated" message indicating that the patron's record has expired--in this case, because she has overdue GIL Express books...

    In any case, if the patron is blocked for some reason, you cannot check out materials to them until the block is cleared. Only regular Circulation employees have the authority to clear blocks: student workers cannot.

    Patrons are blocked from borrowing for the following reasons:


    1. Select Discharge from the menu at the top of the Voyager Circulation Module Screen.

    2. Scan the barcode on each item. Watch the screen to be sure each item registers as a completed discharge. If it is a returned GIL Express item, you must choose the owning library from the drop-down menu, or the system will not recognize the barcode and discharge it.

    If you have any doubt about whether you have correctly discharged the book, scan it again to be sure: there is nothing more embarrassing to Circulation Staff than to have a patron complain that they have returned an item for which they are being charged, only to find it upstairs on the shelf! Besides being embarrassing, incidents such as this seriously undermine our credibility with the public and hurt the Library's good reputation.

    3. Listen for the sound of the printer which is under the Circulation Desk. If you hear it after discharging one of our books, it means that there is a HOLD on the item. A page [Routing Slip] will always print out after you have discharged a GIL Express item. For HOLD items, fold the page in half, insert it into the middle of the book, and place it on the HOLD shelf to the left of the Circulation Desk. For GIL Express Routing Slips, fold the paper in half, insert it into the middle of book, and take the book to our GIL Express processing workstation (the middle desk).

    4. Notice whether a fine is listed next to the item, so that--if the patron is still here--you can inform him/her about the charges due. Fines incurred during the current semester are usually not a big problem; BANNER holds are placed at the end of the semester, so students can run a tab and pay at the end if they wish without penalty. Guest Borrowers, however, are blocked from further charges when they owe fines.

    5. If a box pops up indicating that the item has the status of LOST, it is o.k. to remove that status IF it is our property; DO NOT remove the status of LOST from books which belong to other libraries. For further explanation, see the GIL Express section of this manual.

    6. When you have finished discharging a batch of items, all except VHS tapes must have their security strips resensitized [because VHS tapes are magnetic material, they must NOT be placed anywhere near the resensitizing machine or they can be damaged!]. The resensitizing machine is located behind the Circulation Desk near the Pre-Shelves. To resensitize, slide the spine of the book or the front of a DVD along the shelf until you hear a pop and the red light goes on, indicating that the security strip is activated again. If you can't get the red light to come on, the item should be placed on the shelves facing the back near the Staff Restrooms; there is a shelf for them labeled NEEDS MAG STRIPS.

    6. After resensitizing, returned materials are placed in correct LC order prior to their return to the Stacks. It is very important that the books on the Pre-Shelves are in order, because when the shelves are full, the returned materials will be loaded onto book trucks so that student workers can shelve them in the Stacks; it is much more likely that shelving errors will be made upstairs if the materials on the book trucks are not in the right order. In a library of this size, a mis-shelved book is a lost book, and they can often be missing for years before someone notices them, causing great inconvenience to both Library staff and our patrons. Therefore, please be careful and do it right every time. In all that we do, speed is not the object: ACCURACY is.

    [created 6/2006 CFG]