loan etiquette - best answer

Peter Rauch anamaria at GRINNELL.BERKELEY.EDU
Mon Oct 4 12:27:54 CDT 1999

John made an interesting suggestion, among other good ones, about
how to deal with loans in general, as well as overdue ones. I
would like to issue a plea to consider this as a BIG bad step in
the direction of invasion of privacy, an activity all-too-easily
facilitated by our brave new world of the internet.

If anyone _must_ put loan due-date information on the net, then
do so in a manner that leaves all the information which
identifies the individual/institution/taxa/dates/etc anonymous.
Post the Loan Transaction Number/Id and the Date-Due. Of course,
that's only useful if the person with the loan is conscientious
about returning it in a timely manner; those folks probably don't
need such online "reminders". So, I must conclude that the tactic
is soley to publicly embarrass institutions and persons into
complying with the terms of the loan. I don't think that is a
productive use of the internet by an institution. Do your
embarrassing in private, among the immediate agents responsible
and their supervisors.

My two cents on behalf of _some_ privacy to be left in this


On Mon, 4 Oct 1999, Stuart Fullerton wrote:
...cut, cut...
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 13:26:07 -0600 (MDT)
> From: John Bruner <jbruner at>
...cut, cut...
>         Another less strigent measure is to use the internet.  On your
> museum's website, you can post past-due loans.  You can also post on-going
> loans.  These would be useful lists for your museum to keep track of
> loans. When the loan is made, inform the loanee that he can keep track OF
> the status of his loan at a particular website.  Since this is in a sense
> a public list there would be an incentive for the worker to keep off the
> bad list. You have to keep these lists anyway for NSF support grants (they
> are called activity loans).  So why not let everyone know this
> information? Another method would be to use electronic bulletin boards.
> You could post yearly reminders to Entomology discussion lists that there
> is a website where researchers can check the status of their loans. This
> would also be a method of drawing attention to your museum and
> advertising it.

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