If there is anything wrong with an item, follow the appropriate procedure below. DO NOT CHECK IT IN FIRST.
It is the responsibility of the circ staff in every library to check incoming items for anything that might be damaged BEFORE being checked in. Once the item is checked in, important transaction information may be lost.
It is the circulating library’s responsibility to contact/resolve the matter with the patron before returning the item to the owning library. If the owning library receives an item through the courier and it does not have a damage form attached, the owning library should not try to bill a patron for that item without working with the circulating library.
A patron claims responsibility for item damage
If the patron returns the item in person, admits to causing the damage and wants to pay for it:
- Mark the item as lost.
- Add the bill.
- Collect the money. If the item is owned by another library, payment must be sent to that library. It is often easiest to have the patron make a check out to the owning library, though procedures vary by library. Make sure to include the MORE reimbursment form when sending payment to the owning library.
Damaged item returned without staff interaction with the patron
For example, a damaged item returned in a book drop. Determine if the damage was caused by normal wear and tear, or if the patron misused it and is responsible for damages.
|If the damage is normal wear and tear
- Fill out a Damage form, insert it in the item as a flag or tape it to the outside of the item over the barcode, and return it to the owning library by checking it in.
- If any holds are triggered, click Check in – do not fulfill Hold.
- Do not check it out to anyone; if the damage is minor it can be repaired but if the item continues to circulate the damage is likely to get worse to the point of being beyond repair. The owning library needs to evaluate it at the point the damage is noted.
- When the owning library receives it they need to decide whether to repair the damage, note the damage on the inside of the front cover and return it to circulation, or withdraw it.
|If the damage is from possible misuse by the patron (ripped front, scribbling, CD cracked, chewed by dog)
- Do not check it in; it will need to remain on the patron’s record.
- Notify the patron that the item was returned damaged and that the owning library will charge either the full replacement cost or a fee for the damage.
- Fill out a Damage form, insert it in the item as a flag or tape it to the outside of the item over the barcode and put it in the courier. DO NOT write a note, stick something in the middle of the book, or anything else that would make it difficult to find and figure out the problem with the item.
- When the owning library receives the item, they will either add a manual charge for the damage and check it in, or if replacement is needed mark the item as lost and generate a bill.
Damaged item incoming from the courier
Determine whether or not the damage seems caused by the courier or patron misuse
|If it appears the item was damaged by the courier
- The receiving library must open an IFLS Help Desk ticket immediately. We have only 72 hours to submit a claim to the courier company.
- It doesn’t matter if the item belongs to your library or not; if you are taking it out of the courier bin and suspect damage caused by the courier, you must call it in.
- If the item is damaged beyond use, return the item to the owning library. NOTE: Owning library must send the damaged item to IFLS ILL; they will submit it to Waltco for proof of damage as part of the claim process.
|If the item is damaged and the damage does not appear to be caused by courier
Items owned by other libraries:
- Fill out and follow instructions on the Damage form, insert it in the item as a flag or tape it to the outside of the item over the barcode, and return it to the owning library by checking it in.
- If any holds are triggered, select “Check in – do not fulfill Hold.” If the item is incoming for your patron, transfer the hold if there are other copies that could fulfill it, or cancel it if not.
- Do not check it out to anyone else; if the damage is minor it can be repaired but if the item continues to circulate the damage is likely to get worse to the point of being beyond repair.
- The owning library needs to evaluate it at the point the damage is noted. When the owning library receives it they need to decide whether to:
Items owned by your library with no damage form:
- If you feel the damage was caused by a patron and is billable:
- Determine the library that sent your item back to you (“the library of last transaction”). Contact MORE staff if you need help figuring out which library that was.
- Work with the sending/check-in library to determine responsibility for the item replacement. Options include adding a bill to the patron record or requesting payment from that library.
This form (.docx) can be customized and sent with the damaged item back to the sending/check-in library
- If the patron will be billed, the sending/check-in library should notify their patron to expect the bill.
- If the damage is not billable, note the damage on the inside of the front cover and return it to circulation, or withdraw it.