It has come to our attention that one of the unintended consequences of the library dissolution is the receipt of overdue notices on student-checked-out library books that may have already been returned to the Pipestone school library.
Please do not ignore these notices or assume that they will go away. They will not, in large part because there are now two libraries instead of one, each operating on a different catalog system. Both the District and the public library need your help to clear up your student accounts and make those pesky emails go away.
In a nutshell, both the school and public library (then a combined entity) used the same catalog system (contracted through Plum Creek).
Sometime before the end of December 2022, your student checked out their books on this shared system with their public library card.
When the agreement between the city and school ended, the PCLS catalog system remained with the public library. The school board opted not to contract with Plum Creek for catalog and delivery services, thus ending their access to the system and all the accounts on it.
This divided catalog system is likely the reason you are receiving overdue notices on books that may have been returned to the school.
Even though your student may have checked out a District-owned book and returned it to the school library, it will continue to show up as still checked out on their public library card as the public library (and the PCLS catalog) has no way of knowing that the book was returned. Because the school no longer shares a space and a catalog system with us, books returned to the school are not getting checked in through the PCLS catalog system.
So, what do you do?
- If you receive an overdue notice and your child returned their book to the school, please call the public library.
- If that book belonged to the school, we can remove the item from your student’s account.
- If the returned book belongs to the public library or any other library in the Plum Creek System, we will need to wait for that book to be returned to the public library so we can check it in. This would be a good time to touch base with the school library to confirm whether the book is there or not and to make plans on how to get it to the public library.
- If you are uncertain about who owns a library book currently checked out to your student, please call or stop by the public library. We can check your student’s account and help you figure out the best way to get the book to its home library.
- If all else fails, return any library book with a Meinders Public Library barcode to the public library. We will check it in, clear the account, and get the book to it’s rightful owner.
Please share this message widely with other parents. It will make everyone’s lives (and your inbox anxiety) run a little more smoothly!