Circulation - Recognize State Identification Barcodes


Why can't we use patron state license and identification barcodes in the ILS to identify someone?

November 4th 2013 In a report to the MBLC The Buyer Focus Group released by Kress & Associates indicated that there was a great desire by Massachusetts residents to have a state wide library card. This library card would allow any legal resident to check out items from any particpating library within Massachusetts. Nothing has been done since to move in this direction.

Just recently the Massachusetts Library System upon request of the Urban Library Directors Group formed a Task Force to examine the increasing fraudulent use of library cards, intentional account deliquencies and behavioral issues affecting library safety throughout the state.

The core of the security problem focuses on the ability to identify a library card holder as the library card owner. Similiar to how pharmacies use a license to dispense medications we should be able to check items out to people in the same manner. This issue can be used to kick start the movement towards a universal Massachusetts library card. But one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is network policies.

I'm suggesting that Evergreen with its relatively large foot print in Massachusetts and its use in three of the state networks, take the first step and get ahead of the competition. The Policies for the most part are already in place. Integration is only a matter of time. The other hurdles can be overcome with time but if we start showing that the techology is there and work small to big I think we can get there.

I hope you agree.


In the attic


Re: Circulation - Recognize State Identification Barcodes


I am going to place this idea in the attic because, as Kevin noted in the description, it is a question of policy, not technology. No Evergreen development would be required to implement this idea. Evergreen currently can store any number in the library card field. We traditionally have used it to store patron barcodes, but it could store driver's license numbers if network policy supported this.

The ability to swipe a driver's license isn't a function of the ILS. Libraries could purchase magentic card readers to read the driver's license number.

If individual networks decide to implement policy allowing the use driver's license numbers, the software should support it.

Re: Circulation - Recognize State Identification Barcodes

Just to clarify, entering a license number, social security number, or state ID number in the patron record is against C/W MARS policy.  This policy was approved in reference to the Massachusetts Identity Theft Act.

Re: Circulation - Recognize State Identification Barcodes

Kathy - It's good to know that the technology is there ready to be instituted.  I realize that this may not be the best forum to present this idea but since Evergreen could play a big role in it, I'd thought I'd start here.  With that in mind I ask that you keep the idea in the sandbox please?

Let me explain. On a larger scale what I have been hoping for by suggesting this idea, is to start a ground swell of support for a state wide library card using the state ID as a talking point. If we can move this idea to the forefront of library conversation, and show that the idea is still alive in the Western & Central half of the state; and in this case North Boston, and that Evergreen is able to accomodate an expansion on such a scale, we will be one step closer to the goal.

No other ILS that I am aware covers as many libraries and and as much territory as Evergreen. Therefore; Evergreen is in a unique position to support a state wide initiative.  With its network infrastructure it may be the best option for a future commonwealth library network system.

Just my opinion of course. But I can't immediately think of a better way to jumpstart the idea.

Thanks for the opportunity to present the idea.



Re: Circulation - Recognize State Identification Barcodes


Hi Kevin,

Although I appreciate the desire to find a mechanism for implementing this policy, the MassLNC Ideas site is not the right place for jumpstarting the idea. The purpose of this site is to assist the MassLNC Development Committee in determining the projects that should receive funding from our development budget. Since this idea doesn't require development, it is not something that can be considered for funding.

Beyond MassLNC's mission to pool resources for development, we certainly can have and have had discussions on how Evergreen can best support potential new library policies being considered at a network. However, those discussions typically happen after the discussion has already started at the network level. In other words, MassLNC is not the starting point for network policy discussions. Libraries really need to start with their local network in advocating for new policy.

I hope this helps!