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Guide to Overdue and Lost Items (Entire PDF)

Please send any feedback to baselibrary.consortium@nhs.net

First published August 2013, this revision updated August 2017

Additions and amendments to this version of the guide are highlighted in yellow

Contents

1.

Overdue items

1.1

Overdue FAQs

1.1.1 What are the current overdue fine rates?
1.1.2 Is there a fines limit?
1.1.3 Where can members pay their fines?
1.1.4 When is an item considered ‘long overdue’ by Koha?

1.2

Procedure for Overdue Items

1.2.1 Suggested procedure when the overdue item belongs to your library
1.2.2 Suggested procedure when the overdue item does not belong to your library

1.3

Overdue Notices

1.4

Overdue Reports

1.4.1 Overdue items by member’s home library – more than 20 days overdue
1.4.2 The lost, missing or long overdue report

2

Lost Items

2.1

‘Lost’ or ‘Missing’?

2.2

What is ‘member claims returned’?

2.3

Adding a ‘manual invoice’ to a member’s record

1.1.1 What are the current overdue fine rates?

The following fines apply to overdue items for all users:

  • 20p per item per day for standard and two week loan items
  • 50p per item per day for 7 day loan items
  • £1 per item per day for special loan items
  • £2 per item per day for laptops and associated equipment

These rates were last revised by BASE in April 2009.

1.1.2 Is there a fines limit?

  • Standard and two week loan items a maximum of £5.00
  • 7 day loan items a maximum of £5.00
  • Special loan items a maximum of £10.00
  • Laptops and associated equipment a maximum of £50.00

If an overdue item is accruing a fine and a member pays the fine early (before returning the item), Koha will remember the payment for that transaction and fines will continue to accrue up to, but not over, the fine limit.

If a member accrues fines of £5.00 or more, they can renew an existing checkout but cannot reserve or check out any further items until fines are paid (with the exception of External Members who are not permitted to borrow any further items if any fines are owed. All borrowing rights will be suspended as soon as any item is overdue).

1.1.3 Where can members pay their fines?

Members can pay overdue fines at any library. Depending on any access restrictions to the library.
Any other service-specific charges or bills for lost items should be paid at the library billing the user.

1.1.4 When is an item considered ‘long overdue’ by Koha?

Koha auto-updates overdue items to the lost status of ‘Long Overdue (Lost)’ after 45 days overdue. This process leaves the item checked out to the user in question.

Please note: Changing the status of a checked out item manually on the Koha staff client using the additem.pl screen will leave the item checked out to the member, but using the moredetail.pl screen will return (check-in) the item.

 

1.2 Standard BASE Procedure for Overdue Items

Item Becomes Overdue

1st Overdue Notice sent one day after the item becomes overdue

2nd Overdue Notice sent 7 days after the item becomes overdue

Final Overdue Notice sent 14 days after the item becomes overdue

 

1.2.1 Suggested procedure when items remain overdue after all overdue notices have been sent to the user – when the overdue item belongs to your library.

Item not returned after final overdue sent.

Use the Overdue items report to identify your members with items overdue (see 1.4.1)

Check shelves for outstanding items

Items not found

Item marked as ‘Lost’ (see 2.1) and manual invoice created on Koha (see 2.3)

(If applicable, pass details to your finance department to raise an invoice for the item replacement cost.)*

If no response from user, delete item record (unless replacement purchased)

*If a user finds an item they have paid for the cost of replacing, no refund can be offered as the replacement item has already been bought using this money. The user can keep the original item.

1.2.2 Suggested procedure when items remain overdue after all overdue notices have
been sent to the user – when the overdue item does not belong to your library.

Item not returned after final overdue sent.

Both owning and issuing libraries check shelves for outstanding item

Item not found

The issuing library either replaces the missing item for the owning library in an agreed format or reimburses the owning library.

The owning library removes or updates the missing item record in the catalogue as appropriate.

Important Note: This is a suggested procedure published with the recognition that certain situations arising in libraries will not fit this procedure in its entirity.

 

1.3 Overdue Notices

Overdue notices are generated automatically by Koha for all users. If a user does not have an email address in the primary email field in their record, the library will receive a copy of the notice by email to be sent out by post to the user instead.

Overdue notices are sent out at the following intervals:

  • Advance notice, 2 days prior to the due date
  • First overdue notice, 1 day after the due date
  • Second overdue notice, 7 days after the due date
  • Final overdue notice, 14 days after the due date.

To see any notice sent to a user, please go to the ‘Notices’ tab within a user record.

1.3 Overdue Notices

1.4 Overdue Reports

1.4.1 Overdue items by member’s home library – more than 20 days overdue

This report can be found saved in each library’s group of reports (go to Reports:
https://staff.base-library.nhs.uk/cgi-bin/koha/reports/reports-home.pl then click on your
library).

This report displays members registered at the library you select who have received all 3
overdue notices plus 7 days to return the item. Includes the member contact details, the
item and the number of days the item is overdue.

Within the Circulation module there are delivered reports that show all overdues and
overdues with fines limited to your library. Accessed here: https://staff.baselibrary.nhs.uk/cgi-bin/koha/circ/circulation-home.pl.

1.4.2 The lost, missing or long overdue report

To see a list of your library’s lost, missing or long overdue (due back 90 days ago) items,
follow the instructions below.

From the Koha homepage go to Reports > Other > Items lost

Select your library to display only your site’s items.

Select your library to display only your site’s items.

Select to display lost or missing items or leave at ‘All’ to see everything lost, long overdue and missing.

Select to display lost or missing items or leave at ‘All’ to see everything lost, long overdue and missing.

A list will be produced with links to the title and the item records and their lost status.

A list will be produced with links to the title and the item records and their lost status.

Koha automatically sets items to “Long Overdue (Lost)” when the item becomes 45 days overdue. So running the report as above could be an easy way to identify items that are still overdue after all the overdue notices have been sent.

 

2.1 ‘Lost’ or ‘Missing’?

Marking an item as missing indicates that the item may not actually be lost. Use this option when there is a possibility the item could be found.

Marking the item as missing prevents holds being placed on it and shadows the item so it is not visible in the OPAC.

Mark the item missing by going into the bibliographic record and clicking on the items tab. Select ‘missing’ from the ‘Lost status’ dropdown list and click ‘Set status’.

Mark the item missing by going into the bibliographic record and clicking on the items tab. Select ‘missing’ from the ‘Lost status’ dropdown list and click ‘Set status’.

The item will be discharged from the member’s account and they will no longer accrue fines on it. However the current fines will be recorded against the ‘lost’ item in the ‘fines’ tab within the user record and it will be indicated here that the item is lost (‘lost’ includes missing).

If an item marked as missing is found or returned, check in the item to mark it as available again. You will see the message below and it will also be recorded in the fines tab on the user record that the item has been returned:

You will see the message below and it will also be recorded in the fines tab on the user record that the item has been returned:

Marking an item as ‘lost’ indicates that the item is thought to actually be lost and not retrievable. Mark the item as lost in the same way items are marked as missing (see above).

The item will be discharged from the member’s account and they will no longer accrue fines on it. However the current fines will be recorded against the ‘lost’ item in the ‘fines’ tab within the user record and it will be indicated here that the item is lost.

When an item is marked as lost, the item is shadowed so it is not visible in the opac and holds are prevented from being placed on it.

If an item marked as lost is found or returned, check in the item to mark it as available again. It will also be recorded in the fines tab on the user record that the item has been returned.

 

2.2 What is ‘member claims returned’?

Marking an item as ‘member claims returned’ indicates the last borrower of the item claims they returned it to the library.

Mark the item as ‘Member claims returned’ in the same way as lost and missing (see 2.1 above).

The item will be discharged from the member’s account and they will no longer accrue fines on it. However the current fines will be recorded against the ‘lost’ item in the ‘fines’ tab within the user record and it will be indicated here that the item is lost (‘lost’ includes missing and member claims returned).

When an item is marked as ‘member claims returned’, the item is shadowed so it is not visible in the opac and holds are prevented from being placed on it. Checking-in the item will clear this status and make the item available again.

A claims returned status is usually considered a temporary status until the library decides to declare the item lost and withdraw or replace it.

If an item marked as ‘member claims returned’ is returned, check in the item to mark it as available again. It will also be recorded in the fines tab on the user record that the item has been returned.

 

2.3 Adding a ‘manual invoice’ to a member’s account

To add a charge or bill to a member’s account for a lost item open the member’s record
and click on the ‘fines’ tab.

Click on the ‘create manual invoice’ tab:

Click on the ‘create manual invoice’ tab:

Select ‘Lost item’ as the Type, enter the barcode of the lost item and a description of the
charge, a note if appropriate and the amount charged.

Click ‘save’. The invoice will then appear on the member’s fines list.

 

This guide and all the others in the series of BASE Guides to Koha are available to download from the LMS Support Site at http://sites.google.com/site/lmssupportsite.

(Note: you will need your Google account details to access the site)

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