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Manage Lost Items

Lost item defined

A lost item is any item that is checked out to a patron and then:
  • the patron declares the item lost and staff use the "Mark Lost By Patron" function to change the Items Item Status to Lost and create a Lost Materials bill for the cost of replacing the item; or
  • the item is overdue 4 weeks beyond the last due date and the system automatically changes the Items Item Status to Lost and creates a Lost Materials bill for the cost of replacing the item

Lost items and the patron record

Lost items have the Items Item Status Lost, but continue to appear in the Patrons Items Out > "Other/Special Circulations" list until the circulation is "finished", which occurs when:
  • the item is checked in and the associated Overdue Materials bill is paid; or
  • the Lost Materials bill is paid in full

Lost items "stuck" in Items Out

Sometimes a lost item will remain (or reappear) in the "Other/Special Circulations" list, even though the bill has been paid. This typically occurs when a lost item has been paid for and returned, initiating a refund, or other actions have reinstated the transaction.

The item may also be a legacy lost item, transferred from Sirsi independently of a bill.

Lost item bills

  • are created automatically by the system as part of the "Mark Lost By Patron" function or the long-overdue process
  • are linked to the "Other/Special Circulations" display
  • must be paid or forgiven completely before the circulation is closed (clearing the "Other/Special Circulations")
  • Lost item copy records should be deleted once the bill is paid
  • Once a lost materials bill has been paid in full, the copy status will change to "Lost and Paid" - these items cannot be checked in if the item is later returned.
  • If the bill has been partially paid and the item checked in, the system will apply a refund to the paid bill, resulting in a negative balance owed
  • If NO payments have been made and the item is checked in, the Lost Materials bill will be cleared using an "Account Adjustment" (prior to 2016/v.2.10, they were voided)

Lost and Paid Items

"Lost and Paid" is a copy status applied to items that had been made lost (either overdue until lost, or manually) but for which the bill was paid in full. This status is intended to help distinguish between items that have been marked lost but for which the bills have not been paid and those for which bills have been paid, in order to prevent refunds available/negative balances.

The records for Lost and Paid items should be deleted from the catalog as soon as possible.

Lost items in the catalog

Lost item records remain in the catalog until they are manually deleted by library staff
  • A lost item's record should be deleted as soon as possible after the Lost Materials bill is paid - this prevents billing problems and "phantom" records in the items out list
  • If a Lost Materials bill is paid and then the item is checked in, the system applies a refund causing a Negative Balance in the patron's account
  • A lost item record should not be deleted if the item is still checked out to a patron and the bill has not been paid. This preserves the connection to the patron account. While it is possible to delete the lost copy when unpaid bills exist, once deleted the item/circulation details no longer exist and if the item is returned the patron cannot be identified to clear the open circulation and bills (lost items will appear in the List of Lost Items Report).
  • Lost items are not displayed in the public Online Catalog and are not holdable

Delete Copy Records for Lost Items

When the Lost Materials bill associated with a lost item is paid, PLS recommends that the owning library delete the item record. Because lost items are considered "checked out", even when the bill has been paid and links to the patron record have been cleared, there is extra force action override that must be done to complete the deletion.

  1. Open Item Status and retrieve the item record
  2. Click Actions for Catalogers, and select Delete Items
  3. In the "Are you sure..." box, click OK
  4. In the Override Delete Failure box, click Yes
  5. At the Items Deleted confirmation, click OK

ALERT! If an item is returned after the copy record has been deleted and the library decides to put it back into the collection, a new copy record must be created and a new barcode must be used. The original barcode associated with the deleted copy still exists in the database.

Lost items from Workflows

No items with the Items Item Status Lost were NOT migrated from Workflows into the Evergreen database. However, bills created after 2007 and over a certain dollar amount were migrated. The bills appear as bill reason Legacy, and do not include item details. If any of these bills are for materials lost in Workflows, a circulation record will still appear in the patron's "Other/Special Circulations". These legacy bills are handled differently than items Lost in Evergreen.

Mark Lost (by Patron)

If a patron declares an item lost and is ready to pay the Lost Materials bill, use the "Mark Lost By Patron" function to manually change an item currently checked out to Lost Items Item Status and create a "Lost Materials" bill equal to the item price.

Overdue and "Assumed Lost"

If an item remains checked out to the patron, the system will eventually automatically change the copy status to Lost and create a "Lost Materials" bill equal to the item price.

Lost Items encountered at Check In

See CheckIn for procedures relating to handling items that when scanned in "Check In" prompt an "Override Checkin Failure? COPY_STATUS_LOST" alert; following these guidelines are very important to prevent paid lost materials bills refunds.

List of Lost Items Report

Use the Reports List Of Lost Items to identify paid lost bills to delete the copy record. This report can also be used to retrieve patron information for deleted lost items.
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