Lost Items

Lost Items

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Accepting Payment

Policy:

Member libraries MUST accept payment by check, money order, or with a credit/debit card through the patron’s online account for lost materials owned by any BCCLS library.  Cash is not accepted when patrons pay for other libraries’ materials.

When a patron pays for a lost item by check or money order, the library accepting payment:

1. MUST send the following information to the owning library:

  • Check or money order from the patron payable to the owning library.
  • Patron Information (name, address, phone number, and library card number)
  • Lost Item Information (title and barcode)

2. MUST provide the patron with a copy of the information above, dated, initialed, and marked paid.

3. MUST clear the patron’s record after the patron has written a check or money order.

  • The library that owns the material either withdraws the item or marks it Being Repaired (if they wish to replace it without losing its historical circulation data) after receiving payment and accompanying paperwork. 

4. If a library mistakenly accepts payment for another library’s item, the owning-item library has seven (7) months from the date of payment to request reimbursement. If the owning-item library fails to submit the request within seven (7) months, it forfeits the claim for reimbursement.

Recommendation:

If a patron, or the patron’s home library, wishes to replace a lost item rather than pay the lost bill, they should attempt to work out an agreement with the item owning library. Determinations regarding acceptability of any replacements are made by the item owning library.

Refunds

Policy:

Libraries are not required to refund lost material paid by out-of-town borrowers. Refer patrons to the item-owning library for refund requests.

Procedures :

 

Accepting Payment by Check or Money Order

  1. If the item is not already marked lost, go to the Patron Status workform, access the Items Out view, and declare the appropriate item as lost.
  2. Go to Patron’s Status Work form (F6) and access the Account view.
  3. Print the Patron Status workform, Account view (2 copies).
  4. Copy one is to be sent to the owning library with a check or money order (not cash) from the patron made payable to the owning library.  Copy two is dated, marked Lost and Paid (L&P) with the amount, initialed, and given to the patron.
  5. Upon receipt of payment, the owning library should mark the lost item as either Withdrawn or Being Repaired (if they wish to replace it without losing its historical circulation data) after receiving payment and accompanying paperwork. 

**Note: To mark a lost item as withdrawn, you must first check in the item.  Upon check in, Polaris will prompt you to choose an action for the replacement/processing/overdue charges.  For Lost and Paid items, choose “Leave as is” for the replacement, processing fees, and overdue charges.  Manage patron changes from the patron’s account and add notes as necessary.  After the check in process is complete, change the item status to Withdrawn.

Accepting Payment Through Online Account by Credit/Debit Card

  1. If the item is not already marked lost, go to the Patron Status workform, access the Items Out view, and declare the appropriate item as lost.
  2. Instruct patron to pay for the lost item by credit or debit card through their online account.  For Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance and security concerns, libraries are not permitted to dedicate a machine for patrons to submit credit/debit card payments. In addition, library staff may not have contact with patrons’ credit /debit cards.
  3. When they know a payment was made, as a courtesy, libraries are encouraged to notify the owning library of the payment of lost material. Libraries should regularly run the Online Replacements report in the Online Payment Reporting section to see what payments have been made for lost material.
  4. Upon payment, the owning library should mark the lost item as Withdrawn or Being Repaired to remove it from the database.  Libraries should not wait until receiving their quarterly credit/debit card payment from BCCLS to withdraw the item.

**Note: To mark a lost item as withdrawn, you must first check in the item.  Upon check in, Polaris will prompt you to choose an action for the replacement/processing/overdue charges.  For Lost and Paid items, choose “Leave as is” for the replacement, processing fees, and overdue charges.  Manage patron changes from the patron’s account and add notes as necessary.  After the check in process is complete, change the item status to Withdrawn.

Unpaid Lost Items

Policy:

Lost items that remain on a patron’s record twelve (12) months after their due date must be removed from the patron’s card. The patron’s library should create a fine manually for the replacement cost and withdraw or replace the item. Lost items remaining on a patron’s card can prevent the items’ bibliographic records from being removed from the database.

Recommendation:

Libraries should regularly run lost item reports to identify items to remove from patrons’ records. Libraries may remove lost items from a patron’s card at any time before the twelve (12) months past due date threshold.

Procedures:

    1. Go to the Item Record workform
    2. Actions – Check in – Continue – Continue[a]
    3. In the Resolve Lost Item dialogue box
      1. Replacement – Leave as is
      2. Processing – Leave as is
      3. Overdue – Charge
    4. Select Details
    5. Circulation Status – Withdrawn
    6. Save
    7. Select Circulation
    8. Click link to Patron Account – Last Use
    9. For the item being withdrawn select the overdue fines charge
    10. Waive Charge
    11. Enter Note – ‘Item has been lost more than n months. Waiving overdue fines from withdrawing item. Staff Initials. Library name.
    12. Waive
    13. Close patron record workform
    14. Close item record workform
  1. [a]Second continue required as 90 days overdue system block will have been added