Arlington’s Libraries Ring in the New Year with Automatic Renewals

Do your New Year’s resolutions include “read more books”? Good news, library book

Senior Library Assistant Sheila Berry Helps a Library Visitor Renew Books

Senior Library Assistant Sheila Berry Helps a Library Visitor Renew Books

renewals just got a lot more convenient. Thanks to a Minuteman Library Network-wide change, your library checkouts will renew themselves!

Effective January 1, Arlington’s Libraries and the 40 other Minuteman Library Network member libraries implemented automatic renewals. Library borrowers no longer have to manually renew books, videos or other library items (with some exceptions, like art prints). Items will automatically renew two days before they would be due, and borrowers will receive an email with the new due date. 

The email will also note any items that could not be renewed, and in those cases will list the original due date. These would likely be items on hold for another person, items that had already been renewed the maximum number of times for that type of item, or items that do not allow for renewals (like art prints).

Minuteman Executive Director Phil McNulty notes, “Staff were very excited to allow people to start doing this. When the Circulation Heads of each library met in October they decided to fast-track the implementation, and got the recommendation to Directors in November, who overwhelmingly voted to begin auto-renewals at the start of the new year.”

Minuteman joins most of the other eight library networks in the state in using auto-renewals, with Cape Cod’s “CLAMS” system having implemented it near the end of 2019.

While auto-renewals only apply to physical materials, ebook and downloadable audiobook users of Minuteman’s digital collection and the Libby app will also get a bonus early in the new year. Later this season, users will be able to defer their holds if too many become available at once. Currently, digital holds check out automatically even if users do not have time to read them all. 

Arlington’s Director of Libraries Andrea Nicolay says, “I’m happy to see auto-renewals following so closely on the heels of Arlington’s decision last year to eliminate overdue fines. This new convenience of auto-renewals and the shift to holds deferrals for digital users, combined with forthcoming improvements to self-checkout services in Arlington, will make the library more user-friendly than ever.”

Library users can find information about these new features at www.minlib.net or by following Minuteman Library Network on Facebook and Twitter

For more information about services at Arlington’s public libraries, visit robbinslibrary.org

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