Best Practices: Library Notice Distribution

In order to provide the quickest transmission, to reduce paper usage, and to maintain patron confidentiality; whenever possible, libraries should use email to distribute overdue, recall, or other types of notices to patrons.

When sending print notices by mail, notices must be placed in sealed envelopes or folded and sealed in a manner that protects the patron’s identity data and borrower confidentiality. Borrower identification numbers, and the titles, call numbers, or other description of library materials must not be visible from the outside of the envelope. Libraries that use postcard formats for printed notices must enclose the postcards in sealed envelopes before mailing.

Unless a notice is being sent from a library to one of its patron’s campus mail addresses (e.g., a campus office or dormitory mailing code) in an intra-office or campus mail service; notices must be mailed directly to the patron via the United States Postal Service.

If the patron’s address is not a U.S. Mail address, the notices must be sealed in an envelope addressed to the street address of the patron’s library (they may be bundled by destination library) and sent to the patron’s library by the United States Postal Service for the library to deliver to the patron. Each notice in any bundle should be individually sealed in its own envelope as described above—ready for campus mail delivery. As this forwarding process slows down the delivery of the notice, libraries are strongly encouraged to implement the use of email notices as broadly as possible.

Revised January 24, 2008