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  1. Annette E Woods
  2. Sierra/ Millennium/ Encore
  3. Friday, 17 January 2020
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Stark Library is considering using the Linked Patrons module in Sierra. If you currently use linked patrons, we would like to hear how you use it as well as what your experience with it has been. TIA

awoods@starklibrary.org
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Whether you get consent to use the linking feature is up to your library. It seems to me that if staff see patrons linked together, they would naturally assume that there's consent to get information on each other's record, which I think could be problematic.

The way the software works is not to create a link between two patrons, but to create a group of patrons (like two parents plus two kids). Of course, the kids would probably not have permission to manage each other's account, and maybe even the parents wouldn't have permission to manage each other's account, especially if they weren't together.

I think it's too tempting for staff to misinterpret links as consent.

Phil

pshirley@cuyahogafallslibrary.org
Phil Shirley
Technology Services Coordinator
Cuyahoga Falls Library
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Sierra/ Millennium/ Encore
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We only link adult patrons if all involved patrons sign a "Request to Link" form we keep on file at our central library branch. They have to sign another form to unlink. I've attached both as PDF (one is in Publisher, which isn't supported on this forum). If you need the Word and Publisher files for these, let me know.

Our policy is pretty vague... "The library will electronically link the library cards of patrons under the age of 18 with the card of a parent or guardian card holder, when possible. Linked cards allow easier tracking of items checked out, fines, and bills."

Our guidelines for staff are as follows:

 Linking allows staff access to any information regarding materials checked out, placed on hold and fines and fees to linked cards.
 Linking allows patrons to access other linked cards by showing ID or library card for one of the linked accounts.
 If a linked patron record is blocked for any reason, all linked cards will also be blocked.
 A library card or photo ID must be presented to access a patron record or a linked record.
 Patrons must notify staff in writing if they wish to no longer be linked.
 The library will electronically link the library cards of patrons under the age of 18 with the card of a parent or guardian card holder. Library staff will inform parent or guardian prior to linking.
 To link patrons 18 or older to other consenting adults, a single request to link form must be completed and signed by all patrons being linked. This can be done at registration on a library card application or at any other time by completing the “request to link form”.
 Linking and unlinking forms will be kept on file at Warrenton.

There are advantages (can pick up your spouse's items) and disadvantages (spouse is blocked, so now you are as well), and again, when patrons hear that their kids' cards are linked, they assume they can manage them online (no, only on staff side).

Hope this helps.

alison.pruntel@fauquiercounty.gov
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Sierra/ Millennium/ Encore
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We don't use forms for consent. We take verbal or email consent. All consent is noted on all adult accounts that are linked together. Child/parents are linked together without consent.

eliza.richards@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz
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  1. more than a month ago
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Sure, you can link anyone you want. But you need to make sure all staff know whether the use is strictly for staff or if you want to publicize it for patrons. If it is strictly for staff, then there's not really a need for a consent form. But if you let patrons know that they can allow someone to link to them to pick up holds, pay fines, etc., you may want to CYA with a consent form ;)

flutebrarian@gmail.com
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Sierra/ Millennium/ Encore
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We have used it for quite some time for Parents, spouses, and adults with elderly parents. We've had a great experience with it. It not only helps them but it really helps us and saves time or having to turn patrons away or make phones calls for permission. We have never run into any problems with it that I know of.

apolinski@rhinelanderlibrary.org
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. Sierra/ Millennium/ Encore
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