Library cards encounter minor network snafu regarding exp. dates

Literary Junction
Thursday, November 29, 2018

Occasionally at the Big Horn County Library, we have what some would refer to as a “snafu,” a term which, I’m told, began in the military during World War II. I don’t know if it’s true, but we are, in fact, now in the middle of a minor snafu.

The cards you receive allowing you to check out items, get onto the computers and so on, do not expire. At least, they don’t as far as we are concerned at the library. Some people still have cards they were given 20 years ago and they work just fine.

Unfortunately, the program we use for handling our materials, and which has all the patron account information, automatically puts an expiration date on each card when it is issued. Consequently, when someone is checking out materials, their card will be red-flagged because it expired. It’s not a big deal, we just have to go into your account and change the date of expiration and you’re off and running again. For some reason, which none of us at the library have been able to figure out, there has been a rash of cards the program says are expiring and all on the same date, Nov. 11, 2018.

Many of you use the Montana Library 2Go program for checking out audio books from the state library and these expiring cards have prevented some from being able to do that. Should you be trying to make use of the audio book program and a message comes up saying your card is blocked or invalid, you can call us and we can fix it over the phone. It is a rather easy fix, but it is also a little inconvenient for our patrons. We will continue to change the dates as they pop up and, hopefully, this little problem will take care of itself. In the meantime we apologize for any inconvenience.

We at the library also have been made aware of some kind of phone scam going on around Hardin, where people are calling our patrons and telling them they have a fine at the library and they need to take care of it. I don’t actually know if it’s a person or a recording on these calls, but if you should receive one of these calls, please know it is a complete scam. We do not call patrons to inform them of overdue fines or anything else of that sort. Do not give them any personal information of any kind.

As this holiday season begins in earnest, it’s a good idea to be wary of these kinds of scams and take appropriate precautions to prevent yourselves from being taken advantage of. Those of us at the library would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas season.

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