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Patron Point Launches Online Patron Registration

Smart Libraries Newsletter [May 2020]

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Patron Point, a firm offering a set of services to help libraries improve their marketing and communications with patrons, introduced a new product for patron self-registration.

Many public libraries face challenges in registering patrons solely through online processes. Public libraries generally have legal requirements to provide core services primarily to persons that reside within their legal service area. Local governments want to be sure that libraries resources are channeled primarily to their own residents and taxpayers. Vendors of electronic resources set pricing based on the population of the library's service area. These multiple factors make it important for libraries to verify residency as part of the process of issuing membership cards. While many libraries offer web forms for the initial application of a card, most require an in-person visit to the library with paperwork such as a utility bill, driver's license, or other documents that verify the individual's residency.

Patron Point has recently introduced an online registration service for public libraries. The Online Registration service is now available without additional costs to libraries subscribing to Patron Point's marketing automation services. The Online Registration service consists of a set of librarybranded forms to enable new patrons to apply for a library membership card. This service supports multiple types patron accounts with corresponding processes and business logic for processing and activating the registration. The registration can be confirmed by email or SMS messaging to validate contact details. Libraries usually will authorize a temporary or limited membership via a self-registration process such as this, but not necessarily convey full borrowing privileges.

In addition to the basic Online Registration, the company offers Patron Point Verify as a premium service. Verify consists of multiple components to verify that the address provided by the patron lies within the library's service area, that the specific address exists, and that the applicant resides at that address. These processes are like those used by banks and other commercial firms to verify customer details. This verification process enables libraries to issue a membership card with full privileges through an online process without the need for an in-person transaction.

Online patron registration has become an especially important service for libraries during the COVID-19 crisis. Because almost all public libraries have closed their physical facilities, such a service is needed to expand the reach of digital services and access to ebooks and other electronic resources.

Once the registration is completed, a patron record is created for the library's ILS. The standard features of the Patron Point service can then be activated to generate customized welcome messages or any other follow-up desired by the library.

Patron Point was launched as a customized library marketing solution in June 2016. The product makes use of data exported from the library's ILS to drive messaging campaigns based on a variety of events or activities, including new registrations, membership renewals, birthdates involving a change of membership category, as well as those based on interest in authors or topics. Patron Point can also replace standard ILS circulation notices with customized messages with more sophisticated formatting and branding.

Initially established as a small consulting firm in 2016, Patron Point has seen substantial growth in its customer base and in its workforce. Ian Downie, one of the founders of collectionHQ, joined Patron Point in December 2018. In January 2020, Brendan Pearce and Nigel Wheeldon were also appointed as business development directors for Patron Point. Both previously held sales positions at collectionHQ. More recently, Jan Linert joined Patron Point in March 2020 as a digital marketing consultant.

Since its formation in 2016, Patron Point has seen substantial growth in its customer base and in its workforce. Ian Downie, one of the founders of collectionHQ, joined Patron Point as VP, Growth in December 2018. In January 2020, Brendan Pearce and Nigel Wheeldon were also appointed as Business Development Directors for Patron Point. Both previously held sales positions at collectionHQ. More recently, Jan Linert joined Patron Point in March 2020 as a digital marketing consultant, working alongside the company's existing product development and support teams. Patron Point has more than doubled in size each year since it has been founded, in terms of customers, personnel, and revenue.

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Publication Year:2020
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Smart Libraries Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 40 Number 05
Issue:May 2020
Page(s):6
Publisher:ALA TechSource
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Company: Patron Point
Products: Patron Point
ISSN:1541-8820
Record Number:25151
Last Update:2022-11-25 18:19:56
Date Created:2020-05-12 14:38:40
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