Procedure on Non-Payment of Membership Dues

Added by Aaron Skog (04/25/2019 - 10:35) , last updated by Aaron Skog (04/25/2019 - 10:36)

Agreed to by SWAN Board on 8/10/2018.

SWAN bylaws specify the following:

FINANCIAL ARREARAGES. In the event that a Member Library fails to timely pay its billing statement from SWAN, or fails to pay within seventy (70) days after written demand any interest or penalty imposed hereunder, the Board may suspend the active membership status of such Member Library and thereby deny SWAN systems, services and support to such Member Library, until such payment is made in full. If such Member Library fails to make full payment within ninety (90) days after such termination of services, the Board may take such other action as is necessary or appropriate, including litigation against such Member Library and termination of its agreement with SWAN.

The word “may” within the sentence “may suspend the active membership of such Member Library” does give some allowance for SWAN to take steps to reduce the resource sharing capabilities of the library without an undue burden on the SWAN consortia staff or the other member libraries.

Some of the situations that have recently occurred within SWAN require more time to resolve than 70 or 90 days as outlined in the bylaws. The SWAN Board requested a prescribed set of steps to follow should a library become delinquent with payments. The goal is to be consistent and fair with how libraries will be handled in non-payment situations, should they arise.

Procedure

1st Notice

SWAN sends letter with past due invoices. Per SWAN bylaws, this would be putting the library on notice of steps that would occur if non-payment continued.

70 Day Threshold

  1. Disable ability for the library’s patrons to place holds in SWAN.
  2. Limit library’s circulation to only checkout local collection, items.
  3. Allow circulation to continue for items found on shelf at the local library.
  4. Explanation: this is all done using the Symphony circulation and hold maps.

SWAN notification: Letter stating what occurred with non-payment. Explanation of what would occur at the next step of non-payment.

Library action: payment of any of overdue invoices “resets the clock” back to first notice. Payment of all outstanding SWAN invoices takes the library out of any threshold status.

90 Day Threshold

  1. Hide the library’s collection, i.e. “shadow” the collection in Symphony, within Enterprise this would result in the local library’s catalog showing nothing.
  2. Place notice in library’s Enterprise profile explaining local library’s items are available for patrons if they go visit the library.
  3. Allow circulation to continue for items found on the shelf at the local library
  4. Explanation: this step is using a Symphony setting for “shadowing” a collection that is not meant to be seen in the OPAC. It is easily undone.

SWAN notification: Letter stating what occurred at 70 and 100 days thresholds, and outlining the next step of non-payment.

Library action: payment of any of overdue invoices “resets the clock” back to first notice. Payment of all outstanding SWAN invoices takes the library out of any threshold status.

120 Day Threshold

  1. Local library’s patrons are set with an expiration date. Up until this point, the library’s patron could visit any SWAN library as a reciprocal borrower. The patron could still visit SWAN libraries, but library’s in SWAN are not supposed to override a block. It is possible that some local libraries would permit these patrons to have access to services and allow their staff to override the patron block.
  2. Allow circulation to continue for items found on the shelf at the local library. Local library staff would have to override each checkout in Symphony due to the expired patron block.Explanation: this would be done centrally with SWAN staff using Symphony API commands.

SWAN notification: Letter stating what occurred with non-payment. Explanation of what would occur at the next step of non-payment.

Library action: payment of any of overdue invoices “resets the clock” back to first notice. Payment of all outstanding SWAN invoices takes the library out of any threshold status.

6 Months Threshold

  1. The library VPN to SWAN is disabled. The local library will no longer be able to circulate. The library could use Symphony Offline, or record checkouts manually.
  2. SWAN would not process offline transactions should the library resume online status.
  3. Explanation: this would be done centrally using the firewall at SWAN.

SWAN notification: Letter stating SWAN membership is suspended.

Library action: payment of any of overdue invoices “resets the clock” back to first notice. Payment of all outstanding SWAN invoices takes the library out of any threshold status.

10 Months Threshold

  1. SWAN terminates membership with the library
  2. Reinstating the library to full SWAN membership will require a recommendation from the SWAN Board and Executive Director, with final approval of the membership.
  3. Explanation: None of the library’s data has been removed by SWAN up until this point.

SWAN notification: Letter stating what occurred with non-payment. There is no guarantee the library would be readmitted to SWAN.

Library action: The library should provide a written letter to the SWAN Board requesting to be reinstated as a SWAN Member.

12 Months Threshold

  1. Export the library collection and users in machine-readable format and provide it to the library in media of SWAN’s choosing. SWAN will not retain a backup copy.
  2. Delete the library’s data and configuration from SWAN.
  3. Explanation: This is an irrevocable step regarding the library’s collection and patron data.

SWAN notification: Letter stating this is the final step for non-payment. SWAN has taken 7 steps for the library to address the non-payment and had 1 year without any revenue from that library.

Library action: The library could decide to automate using a system of its’ own choosing, and work to import the data SWAN provided to them.

Example Timeline

Notice Date Step Taken
1st Notice 7/18/2018 Letter notifying library of non-payment
70 Days 9/26/2018 Disable holds capability for library's cardholders
90 Days 10/16/2018 "Shadow" the library's collection, i.e. hide it from the public catalog
120 Days 11/15/2018 Expire patrons, blocking them from checking out at other libraries
6 Months 1/18/2019 VPN disabled, membership suspended
10 Months 5/18/2019 SWAN terminates membership
12 Months 7/18/2019 Library's data is deleted from SWAN