The patron database is part of the shared automation system. With only a few exceptions, there is one record per user. That record/card may be used to check out material at any WALS library. If a user is delinquent at one library, he/she is usually delinquent at any other WALS library.
Libraries agree to follow format rules for entering patron records.
Libraries may collect and keep fine money owed at another library, but payment for lost materials and collection agency fees must be made to the library that owns the material.
The Library field in the patron record determines which Local Hold items are used to fill holds.
The User Profile field in the patron record determines the loan period, fine rate, and maximum fine for items checked out.
The User Category 1 field records where the user lives (or the code for the seasonal residence).
The User Category 2 field records the county of the user's residence
The User Category 3 field records the gender of the user.
Exceptions to the one record per user:
Children with divorced or separated parents whose parent(s) have requested separate cards.
There is a last-activity date in the patron record. It is updated by:
Checkouts, discharges, renewals, paying fines, placing holds, using a Pharos-controlled public PC, or an online database that authenticates using the database.
The date is NOT changed by changing the user's address, pin numbers, etc., or by renewing an expired card.