What or who is Unique Management Services?
Unique Management Services (UMS) is a well-respected, professional agency specializing in material recovery services for libraries. They are based in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Their web site is at www.unique-mgmt.com.
UMS works exclusively with libraries. They understand that libraries are unique and need a special kind of collection service that (1) emphasizes material recovery and customer goodwill and (2) is easy on the budget and easy on staff.
Why is this service necessary?
Library staff have very limited resources and time to devote to following up with delinquent customers. By contracting services from UMS, the library intends to increase the amount of long-overdue items returned to the library and encourage customers to settle delinquent accounts quickly.
Who else in this area uses UMS?
Several other public libraries in the DFW area use UMS, including Irving, Plano, and Denton Public Libraries. All of these libraries report very positive results, with an increased rate of return for overdue items and no negative feedback from customers.
When did the Carrollton Public Library start using this service?
The first referrals where sent to UMS on September 6, 2004.
Who will be affected by this service?
The vast majority of library customers will not be affected in anyway by this service.
Only customers who have accrued fees in excess of $50 and have not contacted the library or otherwise attempted to settle their accounts will be referred to UMS.
When are customers referred to UMS?
Customers who have not contacted the library or otherwise attempted to settle their accounts will be referred to UMS two weeks (14 days) after the library’s billing notice is sent.
What happens when a customer is referred to UMS?
A customer will be referred to UMS only if they have more than $50 in outstanding fees and have not contacted the library to make arrangements to settle the account.
Two weeks after the library’s final notice is mailed, and if the customer does not contact the library, the customer’s address, phone numbers, and fine information is sent electronically to UMS. Also, a $10 manual charge is added to the customer’s account to cover the cost of the UMS service.
UMS will mail two letters, then attempt to contact the customer by phone. If the customer still does not settle their account, a final notice is sent. Thirty days after the final notice is sent, if the account is still unresolved, UMS sends a negative report on the customer to credit reporting agencies.
What happens with minor customers?
The person listed as the parent/guardian on minor customers’ records will be the person who will be contacted by UMS, and will be the person credit-reported if necessary.
Is this just to collect money? What about the library materials?
The direct goal of the UMS service is to encourage customers to return materials to the library. If customers return billed materials, the replacement amount is adjusted down to the maximum overdue fine, or less if the situation warrants.
Regardless of other arrangements the library makes with the customer, the library will always collect the $10 UMS fee. This action will help ensure that UMS’s service remains revenue neutral.
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