Policy Change Affecting Media Holds Requests
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was this policy changed?
The library had to make difficult choices for 2008 due to budgetary
constraints. Priorities were to maintain our library hours of operation
and to continue to purchase materials for the collection. MPL regrets
the need to reduce this or any library service, as we know our customers
value the convenience of placing requests and having materials held
for pick-up. However, the library can
no longer afford to provide this level of service.
Does this change affect all media?
No. Holds may still be placed on all non-fiction DVDs and videos
classified as educational, informational and/or instructional and all
What happens to the items currently on an individual’s
Holds entered on the county catalog for Milwaukee Public Library-owned
media items prior to January 2, 2008 will be honored through March 31,
2008. Any holds on non-holdable MPL items that cannot be honored
by April 1 will be cancelled if there are no other holdable copies available.
What will happen to MPL media collections?
Media collections, including popular DVDs, videos and CDs, will be
available as part of the MPL browsing collections. These items
can be selected for check-out when visiting the library. Many
of these popular entertainment items were previously available only
by waiting on a long request list. They may be more available because
the time spent traveling between libraries or waiting on shelves for
customer pickup will be eliminated.
How can a person access media items that are not at a neighborhood
MPL will be buying additional copies of items to help ensure that
each neighborhood library will have a strong browsing collection for
customers to select the titles desired.
May customers call the library to have a media item held for
It depends on the item requested to be held. Please see the list
above for those items that will still be holdable.
However, due to staffing reductions, staff members are unable to check
the library shelves for or set aside non-holdable items. Please
use the catalog online or visit a local library to check for available
items on the shelves.
May media items from suburban libraries in Milwaukee County
still be held?
Each member library in the Milwaukee County Federated Library System
(MCFLS) sets its own policies regarding holdable items. To date,
only MPL has changed its media holds policy.
Why did MPL choose these media categories to make non-holdable?
The library needed to make a workload reduction to compensate for
a smaller 2008 budget. Our analysis showed that the desired reduction
could be met by a policy change for entertainment media items.
Why can’t the library just impose fees for making holds
Imposing fees for this service would violate Wisconsin state statutes
which maintain that public libraries cannot charge for this service.
Why are hold limits being reduced to 20 from 40?
As part of the effort to reduce the workload, the hold limits will
be reduced to 20 to match the limits of most suburban libraries. This
limit applies to all library items.
What will happen to previous holds placed above the 20-item
All holds entered on the county catalog will be honored. No additional
holds will be allowed until total holds fall below 20 items.
How does one voice an opinion on this policy change?
MPL welcomes all comments and suggestions to determine how best to
serve customers given today’s limited resources. Please
complete a comment form online and/or in person
at any MPL location. Customers may contact Library Director
Paula Kiely at 414.286.3000.