Survey 2010 comments: recalls

Process / Policy

1. Again, please see my previous comments about the library's recall system. It has left me very dissatisfied, and has impacted my opinion of the library's services overall.

2. It would be wonderful if there were a two-tiered priority recall system, so that if I recalled a book and somebody desperately needed it, that got treated differently than recalling a book that someone has sitting on their shelf gathering dust.

3. Instead of recalling a material, I'd love to be able to just place a hold and have it either recalled or a new copy purchased, as the Library's discretion. I hate it when others recall something I want to keep on my desk until I can afford to purchase a personal copy, and I assume that others feel the same way.

4. In place of or in addition to the recall system, I would like the ability to place a hold on an item for the subsequent quarter. This would be a less "aggressive" way of sharing sought-after materials.

5. The recall system is inefficient -- if you are the recaller, the book takes too long to reach you (i.e., you could obtain it faster if the library belonged to a sharing consortium with other libraries that exchanged books on a daily basis), and if you are the person from whom the book is recalled, it's just an annoyance. I've belonged to many university libraries, and U of C is the only one with the recall procedure. I think there are better ways to handle this situation.

6. Currently when a book is checked out, I need to recall it (which is often a serious inconvenience to whoever has it checked out), find it in a different library, or hope that the Google Books preview happens to include the pages I need.

7. Well, it would be great if I could bring a checked out book with me while doing field research for a few months at a time without fearing that I'd have to FedEx it back if it was recalled, but I don't know what the solution for this would possibly be besides the library just getting more copies of some books (which, incidentally, it should).

8. Recalls should only be made available when the material has been out a set amount of time (e.g. 1 quarter or 1 month). The current system promotes the needs of new borrowers above current borrowers by allowing recalls to to be requested immediately. There should also be different time limits for return based on type of material or time of year - a popular book or novel not used for research sometimes cannot be finished by the current borrower in a week (especially during holidays), and is not so necessary to the new borrowers research that it can't be delayed longer.

9. At my previous university, books could be recalled, but that meant that the student currently in possession of the book would not be able to renew the book. He/she would still have the book for the original check-out length. The other student waiting for the book could, in the meantime, check out that same book through Inter Library Loan, even though the library technically owned that book already. With this system no one had to worry about his/her book being taken or about not being able to find the book he/she was looking for. UChicago's system privileges the student who got there second or it starts a recall war. I find it very ineffective.

10. recall materials: often i recall an item just to have the person i recalled it from recall it again. this can go on for several recall sessions, very annoying. - if material not found on shelf, it should be replaced immediately!

11. Sometimes, I checked out certain books from the library and soon these books are recalled by somebody else.

12. Per recall policy, I think all users should be allowed to have a volume for at least two weeks before it is recalled by another user. It would be nice to know if the library tracks the amount of recalls for particular books and considers buying additional copies so graduate students can avoid recall wars.

13. Students are allowed to check out numerous books on any given visit, and they obviously can't read all of them in a short period of time. Nevertheless, others are then allowed to recall the books when the student hasn't had ample time to get around to even using the resources. This defeats the purpose of checking out numerous books at a time. Therefore, students should be allowed to keep books for a longer period of time before they become eligible for recall.

14. Sometimes books are recalled despite one having just checked it out and I have accumulated fines because I thought it necessary to utilize the text before returning it. Perhaps there can be a minimum period of two or three weeks for retaining a book before it is recalled.

15. Fisher service provides part-time students access to the library books, but with out regard to the situation of the students borrowing the books, the rules that apply to the main library seem to be enforced on part-time students as well. For example, the ridiculously short time to return a book when it is recalled.

16. It is incredibly annoying that right after I borrow something it can be recalled. I had a few experiences where within less than two weeks of borrowing a book I had to return it. I'd prefer for there to be a minimum borrowing window (say a month) when a book cannot be recalled.

17. one should be able to have a book longer before it's recalled again

18. As far as recalling checked out materials goes, it seems counterproductive that if someone checks out a book for a class, someone else can recall it and that person will be without a book, rewarding the person who waited longer to check it out.

19. I really do not like the recall system. I would much prefer to have a book for a fixed number of weeks rather than have one recalled and have to change my plans for its use.

20. Think there should be some delay after you check out a book before someone else can recall, especially for grad students/faculty.

21. Not a fan of the system that permits a person to recall a book that has been checked out. Has happened to me on more than one occassion, and I just barely get to look at the book before I have to bring it back. There must be a better way to do this, or at least a way to give the original user more time with the book before it must be returned. What is the point of being able to check books out of the library if a person is foreced to bring it right back when someone else wants it?

22. Recall during quarter is very painful- especially for part time MBA students.

23. Recalling books: I hate to recall books if I do no absolutely need to use them at that moment, but am myself guilty of hoarding books am not using all the time myself. It has happened to me several times that I waited for a year before recalling a book only for it to be recalled from me as soon as I had it in my hands. There should be a way to regulate that differently, because some people seem to develop a sense of owning the books.

24. Recalling is just absurd.

25. The recall situation is really awful. We should be able to request books from other libraries (through ILL or, better yet, if U of C participated in a sharing consortium with nearby libraries). This would be superior to recall and would allow better access to materials that are not in the U of C collection but are available at other midwestern libraries.

26. the recall process is time-consuming.

27. I have constant trouble with recalling and having my books recalled.

28. I'm bothered by the recall system. Frankly it results in wars between and among 2-3 patrons wanting the same book. Often these people are in the same department and could simply share the book and not waste time waiting for it to be returned. If there were a system through which students and faculty could contact each other about the use of a book, or if we could ILL a book rather than recalling it, books and journals would be more efficiently put to use.

29. I dislike the system of a potential recall at any time, coupled with unlimited renewals; people keep books longer than they need them and important books are thus frequently off the shelves; at the same time, if you have one of these books and are using it for research, you never know when it may be recalled and you may lose the ability to use it for your research. This is a serious impediment to my research.

30. The recall system is also unnecessarily harsh. Often I recall books from friends without realizing it when I'd be happy just to glance at them for a few minutes.

31. I think the recall system is somewhat irritating. Often, for graduate work, I am likely to know the five other people with possible interest in a particular, rather esoteric book, and it would be nice to be able to, say, email the holder of a book to see if I could consult it briefly and informally, rather than going to the trouble of recalling it

32. I once had someone recall a book I had checked out while two copies of a virtually identical edition of the book were checked in. Now it may be that they really needed the specific version I had, but I doubt it. I found this very annoying. Perhaps the library catalog should suggest different editions of the same book before recalling a book, if a different version is available?

33. Having recalled books due on weekends or other times when students might not be on campus is particularly hard for those of us who don't live in Hyde Park (or in Chicago)...

34. please adjust ability to return recalled items during breaks when libraries are on reduced hours. It was hugely inconvenient to spend time trying to find someone to return a recalled book for me whereas, if return period had been extended, or even if return bins had been placed outside Regenstein's entrances, the problem could easily have been avoided.

35. I don't like recall. Recalling should not be allowed over breaks because it is impossible to return all the books a graduate student has and recheck them out every time they need to go out of town. I would be nice if we could log into our account and state that we are not in town for a given period so our books can not be recalled during that time. In those cases, recalling does not get a patron a book faster, it only accumulates fees.

36. I have one complaint, a recent one. On Dec. 19th of last year, two books that I had checked out were recalled. I had already returned home for the holidays. I returned them on Jan.2, as soon as I arrived back. I appealed the fee (which was a total of $36). I understand that I am responsible for books even over the break. I know the letter of the policy, but appealed to the spirit of the policy. I would never recall a book less than a week before Christmas. The result of my appeal was that half of the fine was waived. I had just hoped that there might be more consideration given to the circumstances involving my delay in turning the books in.

37. At the beginning of Winter break, I had a book recalled. I was on my way out of town. Regenstein was on reduced hours, there were no return bins outside the entrances, and the library would not extend the required return date. Recalls during holidays need to be made easier: either extend the deadlines for return or make sure return bins are stationed outside the entrances.

38. I have racked up a small fortune in "recall" debt. I am often out of town and cannot return the recalled item on time. I have been "forgiven" a couple of times but the response I get is punitive, rigid and and anal. If I could return the recall item on time, I would. Who wants to accumulate fees? Maybe you should have a few days grace period before you start charging. Graduate students go to conference, job interviews, or leave for holiday, maybe (god forbid) get ill. The recall fees do not account for these circumstances. Please revise if you can.

39. I was charged for a book that was recalled over Winter Break. This policy should change and recalls should not incur late fees until the school year starts again. It doesn't make sense to charge people late peoples when the school is on break and everyone leaves. I haven't used the library since.

40. The book recall process could be improved -- especially around holidays and intersession / summer periods. I recently received a recall request for Dec 28th, a day when most people are away from campus and I was on vacation as well. I returned the book around Jan 4th when I returned to campus, but had to pay $5 per day in late fees! This type of situation is particularly outrageous when you consider that the book's actual due date was Jan 4th. There should be a protocol for recalling books during holiday periods and near the books actual due date.

41. I would recommend that the recall period be extended for holidays, or at least for those days when the Library is closed. I would be willing to have to wait longer to retrieve material held by other borrowers during holidays in order not to have material I have checked out recalled after the start of Christmas Break and due the day after Christmas, as happened recently.

42. Also the fines are pretty high with recalled books (and this is especially problematic when people recall stuff over breaks)

43. Recalling almost never works.

44. Course reserves can sometimes take a LONG time to progress from the initial request to the circulation desk. The recall period should be short - perhaps only 5 days.

45. I would like the recall time to be faster than 10 days -- say 5-7 days

46. When recalling materials, I would like the deadline for the checked out book to be returned to be shorter.

47. we still could use more copies of frequently recalled books

48. It seems that some books which are seminal in various fields of the humanities keep being recalled, and there might be only one or two copies of them. Maybe purchase more copies of frequently recalled books?

49. The recall process is the worst in the world - or at least my world. The library should track books that are frequently recalled and buy additional copies.

50. the recall system makes sense, but can be very frustrating when material is recalled, in general it seems as though the library could benefit from multiple copies of popular texts

51. Sometimes my books have been recalled even though there are other copies on the shelf. There should be some solution for that.

52. Recalling is crazy - there should be more attention paid to books that are recalled by multiple people and maybe another copy should be ordered. Also, when a professor needs to put a book on reserve, that should override normal recalls,

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53. I rarely get emails informing me a book I have was recalled, on time. As a result I have a habit of checking my account almost daily - usually it takes 2-4 days between the request and the email (if I get one at all). 3. More often than not books I recall are not returned on time. For some reason, the high fines, lack of 'grace period' etc... are not working by way of creating an incentive to return books on time (or earlier). For me this is a MAJOR weakness in the service the library provides.

54. When recalling materials, there should be an option to notify on or the day before the due date. Currently, it notifies by email a week before the due date and then two days after the due date at which time you already incur 2 days worth of fines.


56. The email notification system too does not seem to be working all the time, and messages regarding recalled items (either their arrival to the library for the user or recalled from the user) are not always received.

57. RECALL notifications should be made SEPARATE AND MORE EVIDENT!!!!

58. It would be great if the library can shoot a reminder about the recalled books not only when they are recalled but also a day before the deadline. It's hard to keep a track of these things.

59. It would be really helpful to receive a final email notification the day before recall items are due back.

60. Small issue: when a recalled book is due, could I get an email a day or so before, rather than almost two weeks ahead of time, followed by a message when it's already overdue, at which point I can't retrieve it the same day and I'm looking at a $6-15 fine, depending on the commute I can manage in a given week?

61. It would be very helpful if when a recall was canceled by the student recalling the book, the person in possession of the book was notified and no longer had to return the book. Because my colleagues and I often use the same books, we frequently realize we have recalled a book from a friend after the fact and would rather just borrow it than wait the day or two it takes to process a recall.

62. I often have difficulty with recalling books. I understand that some students and professors need certain books for a lengthy time and that penalties for failing to return recalled books would complicate matters. Perhaps there could be a method of responding to a book recall to state why such book is necessary to the person who has it out or a way of communicating between the two parties to make some kind of arrangement so both can utilize the resource.

63. In regards to recalling material. If there was a way, rather than a recall, to allow the holder of material to know what my needs are (generally to photocopy one article or section of a book), I think this would be very helpful. i realize there are federal laws prohibiting revealing anyone's library usage, but if there was an opportunity for me to send an e-mail to the book holder (without my ever knowing the holder's name) and the holder to respond (either an anonymously, or choosing to introduce themselves) it might save a lot of recall "wars". I believe Craigslist has a series of anonymizing options in their system, it would seem library services might be able to do the same.

64. While recalling materials that are checked out often works smoothly, it can be very frustrating for grad students who have to share books (for example, if they are reading for the same preliminary exam list). In this case, it would be helpful to have access to the person's contact information so that a more amenable solution to both parties who need the book could be achieved.

65. Recalling function should have a contact option so the two (or more) parties can agree to share the material rather than getting into recall wars.

66. Very glad that it is again possible to contact someone who has checked out a book rather than recalling it (the mathematics department is relatively small), even if it is now much more of a hassle than a few years ago. [NOTE: this is only an option in the Eckhart Library]

67. Communication about recalls when traveling or recall battles (e.g my books were due on Christmas, so there was no chance to return them on time, but I doubt they were really needed either - it would have been nice to be able to communicate with the recaller through the library, same goes for back and forth recalling - it would be great if there was a place in the library where two users could deposit a book for shared use)

68. I am strongly opposed to the recall system. It means that we are essentially not allowed to take books with us if we will be out of town for more than one week. I think there should be a way to check out a book for a shorter amount of time, say 3 weeks or a month, that cannot be recalled in that period. Or, have a system where someone can e-mail the person who has the book without knowing who that person is.

69. It would help if I could send an email to person who has book checked out on library website. They used to tell you at desk who has the book, but they no longer do this.

70. Book recalls need to be communicated more effectively.

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Recalls Ignored

71. In terms of staff searching materials and also recall, I've had experiences where I am simply told "we were unable to fulfill your request" meaning that the book is lost or the patron didn't want to return a recalled item. In those circumstances, I wish the library staff was more pro-active, either directly getting the book through ILL or purchasing a new copy and letting me know exactly when they expect to get it in.

72. The recall system is ridiculous - users should be able to request books via Interlibrary Loan if they're checked out. About half the time I've recalled a book, the user who has it simply doesn't return it

73. increase fines for recalled materials, as some patrons continue to hold materials recalled.

74. Faculty should not be able to ignore recall requests for books they have checked out!!

75. I wish the library was more aggressive about pursuing people who blow off the the recall due date. I needed a book for a paper last quarter and this person refused to turn it in because she (I know who had the book, it was a woman in my class) was not done with it, yet she turned it in weel after the library due date AND the paper due date.

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76. Being able to drop off recalled books at the library of my choice rather than at the library at which the books were checked out - that would be helpful. [NOTE: only reserve materials must be returned to the same library that they came from]

77. I once wanted to find out how to mail a recalled book to the Regenstein library and had a very difficult time finding that information.

78. I particularly like the ILL service and the system of recalls

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