Skip to Main Content

HELM - Access Services

Access Services Policies & Practices

Circulation - Policy and Practice



  • Shared  Circulation Policies
    • Books will circulate to Students for 28 days with 1 renewal period of 28 days
    • Books will circulate to Faculty for the subsequent hard due date. Hard due dates to be determined as follows: The 22nd, or if the 22nd falls on a weekend the preceding business day of either December, May, or August. 
    • DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes will circulate to Students and Faculty for 14 days, no renewal
  • The maximum number of holds allowed to any borrower will be 20.
  • The maximum number of items checked out simultaneously to HELM library staff, faculty, and students will be 50.
  • The maximum number of items checked out simultaneously to other patron groups will be determined by the patron group’s library.
  • The number of days beyond the due date, after which the item updates to “Long Overdue (Lost)” and it generates a bill, will be 28 days.
    • Replacement cost will be added to patron’s bill
    • Item not removed from patron account
    • No other notices will be sent
    • Item shows in OPAC (patrons will be unable to place holds on item)
  • The dollar amount in fines, fees and replacement costs after which a patron is unable to renew online and unable to borrow in person will be $50.00.
  • No HELM library will charge fines to borrowers from another member library. 
  • HELM libraries may charge  borrowers for the replacement cost of lost materials
  • Circulation Rules are set by the owning library regardless of where the item circulates
  • Local items are given preference when holds are placed

Policy for Items Lost by the Borrowing Library

In accordance with standard library ILL practice, the borrowing library is responsible for items borrowed by their patrons from the moment the item leaves the possession of the owning library until the time it is marked returned. Due to differing business practices, the borrowing library and requesting library will determine a lost item fee payment solution on a case by case basis.

If the patron from another library wishes to pay a lost item fee at a HELM library other than their own, they should be referred back to their own library. 

Patron Records

Patron records can only be modified by the patron’s library

Non HELM Patrons - Public Patron 

Patrons in the “Public” patron category will only be able to check out books that are owned by the registering library (5/22/18)

¹As determined by the HELM Directors


Staff Accounts

  • Staff will have dedicated “HELM Staff” accounts to use for accessing Koha functions
  • “Staff” Accounts can be generic and used on multiple computers. 
    • For example - a library can have a “Circulation Student” account 


The calendar will be used when working out the period for due dates, overdue notices and the amount for fines

Hold queue 

Staff members will not adjust the position of items in the holds queue unless absolutely necessary

Hold Block Overrides

Staff is not allowed to override circulation rules that do not allow holds on items.(8/22/18 Meeting Minutes)

Denying Hold Requests (8/27/18)

Koha has no mechanism for denying a hold. If a hold is placed on one of your items that you choose not to lend there are two options:  (koha will place a hold on a non-lendable item if there is at least one item that is holdable)

  • Cancel the hold - this will remove the patron's entire request. If there are other available copies of the item, the hold will NOT move to the next item. It is recommended that you do not do this unless you are the only holding library.
  • Set the requested item, temporarily to "Missing" or "Checked out".  After the holds queue runs again (approx. 30 minutes), the hold will move to another library and you can remove the temporary status

This is not ideal practice but is necessary in the short term while we discuss possible development with ByWater. Additionally it would be good if we can gather a general idea of how often this is necessary so that we can determine for ourselves how critical the development would be.

Long Overdue (Lost)

  • After an item is overdue 28 days (which is the 29th night) the system will set the status of the item to “Long Overdue (Lost)”.
  • The item will remain on the patron’s account
  • Patron will be billed the replacement cost
  • Patrons who return Long Overdue (Lost) items will have the fine forgiven. The item status will be returned to previous status. 
  • Patrons who renew Long Overdue (Lost) items will not have fines forgiven automatically. If your library wants to renew a long overdue item and have the fees removed you will need to check in the item, then check it back out OR remove the fees manually.

Reports - Policy and Practice




Names, Notes and Groups 

  • New reports should have descriptive names and notes. 
  • Reports created for specific libraries should be assigned to the library specific group.

Modifying Reports

  • Only reports in the library specific groups should be modified (and only by that library)
  • If you wish to modify a report - please duplicate the report, use an identifiable name and assign the report to your library

Deleting Reports

  • Only FLO staff can delete reports - please provide the report number and name when submitting a helpdesk ticket. 

Creating Reports

  • Staff with appropriate permissions can create new reports
  • If you wish to have  FLO staff create a report please provide the following when submitting a helpdesk ticket:
    • Statement of the purpose of the report
    • Whether this is for a branch or for all of your libraries (if applicable)
    • Any variables that should be included - dates?, locations? Etc
    • Fields and information that should be returned. EX. Patron full name, barcode, collegeID, Item barcode, Date checked out, Date item set to missing

¹As determined by the HELM Directors