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Policy Change Affecting Media Holds Requests

The City of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Public Library faced some difficult budgetary choices for 2008. In order to preserve the most critical library services, purchase new and replacement materials, and support staffing levels to maintain library hours, a policy change affecting media holds requests has been initiated.

Holds requests have more than doubled since 2002, and have exceeded 500,000 in 2007. Of the growing number of holds requests received by the library, media requests represent a significant portion and require considerable staff time to locate and process. Staffing available to process these requests has not increased to meet the demand. The following change is necessary to meet City budget reduction targets, and will result in more popular media items becoming available for MPL customers.

Effective January 2, 2008:
The following media items owned by the Milwaukee Public Library will no longer be holdable:

1. All feature films and television programs on DVD and VHS
2. Music CDs in the young adult and adult collections

The following media items owned by the Milwaukee Public Library will continue to be holdable:

1. All non-fiction DVDs and videos classified as educational, informational and/or
2. All children’s CDs

Other items such as books, audio books, and CD-ROMs will continue to be holdable.
However, the maximum number of all items that may be requested at any one time is now 20 per library card holder, down from 40.

A list of frequently asked questions has been prepared for your reference. Should you have any additional questions or concerns, please complete an online comment form.

Your patience and cooperation during this transition are appreciated, and we thank you for using your Milwaukee Public Library.

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Comments (1)


This policy is unacceptable. I will be contacting my local representatives to voice my disappointment with the fact that MPL is limiting access to the library resources that taxpayers own. The policy is especially unfair for individuals with disabilities who may only be able to visit a local library to retrieve materials.

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