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ERIC Number: ED086212
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Oct
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Overdue Policies: A Comparison of Alternatives.
Baaske, Jan; And Others
The use of overdue notices or threat of encumbrance (the withholding of students' grades until library books are returned) is a common practice in academic libraries. Yet the effectiveness of such policies has seldom been investigated. This study examined a circulation overdue policy, comparing selected variations in that policy. Three levels of the policy were judged critical: Group A, overdue notices and threat of encumbrance; Group B, overdue notices without threat of encumbrance; and Group C, no notice and no threat of encumbrance. The method of study used was a pretest-posttest-delayed post true experimental design, carried out over a 3-week period at the Purdue University General Library. All patrons, who checked out materials for the standard 21-day period, were randomly assigned to one of the three groups. At 28 and 35 days after checkout, the percentage of books still outstanding for each group was compared. It was concluded that overdue notices serve as important reminders and improve the rate of book return. The threat of encumbrance is effective near the due date, though its effect diminishes over time. But the encumbrance system does not appear to have the cumulating and deterring effect of a fines system, where cost to the patron increases, the longer a book is withheld. (SL)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Purdue Univ., Lafayette, IN. Instructional Media Research Unit.