Updated January 4, 2013
Statuses such as Lost, Missing, Long Overdue, Withdrawn, etc. in Koha are applied in different circumstances, and a little differently by our member libraries.
Here’s a recap of the NExpress Koha item statuses, and when they should be used:
*LONG OVERDUE/ASSUMED LOST is a status that can be applied to items as an informational label for staff. Like MISSING, the LONG OVERDUE/ASSUMED LOST status reverts to AVAILABLE once it is checked in at the owning library. This status simply alerts the checkout library that the item has been overdue for too long. It is sometimes used as an intermediate step prior to making the item LOST, and is applied by the checkout library.
*CLAIMS RETURNED behaves in exactly the same way, but alerts the librarian to the fact that the patron has claimed the item was returned, but keeps the item checked out. This status is again a temporary status. The item should, at some point, be marked LOST or simply checked in and marked WITHDRAWN.
*WITHDRAWN should ONLY be applied by the owning library. WITHDRAWN means that the owning library has determined that the item is temporarily unavailable, for whatever reason. It might be claimed returned, undergoing repairs, temporarily inaccessible, or stolen, but ONLY the owning library should apply this status.
*The MISSING status is used when a Pick List/H0lds Queue item isn’t found. MISSING is a pretty innocuous status, because as soon as a MISSING item is checked in at the home library, it reverts to AVAILABLE status.
*LOST is a status applied to an item checked out to a patron that is unreturned after a certain period. LOST automatically does two things: (1) It removes the item from the patron’s checkouts and (2) It puts the item’s barcode and title, along with its Replacement Cost, on the Fines Tab of the patron account. As you know, it is not at all unusual for items from one library to be checked out to a patron from another library; therefore, the LOST status is frequently applied to non-owned items, since the borrower’s account is charged with a replacement charge for the lost items, regardless of who owns the LOST item. If a LOST item is checked in, the replacement charge is reversed (credited) on the patron’s fine tab, and the item becomes AVAILABLE.
*DAMAGED-REPLACE status is used for an item that is so severely damaged while checked out that it is unusable, and must be replaced by the library. If a severely damaged item is returned to the library by a patron, set the item aside and DO NOT CHECK IT IN. Instead, apply the DAMAGED-REPLACE status to the item record. The DAMAGED-REPLACE status works just like Lost in that it checks the item in, and adds the replacement cost of the item to the Fines Tab of the patron.
borrower’s library transacting library is responsible for retrieving the materials, or reimbursing the owning library, either through initiating an MRF request (Materials Replacement Fund) or by simply paying the owning library outright. As the owning library, you can run a periodic report of LOST items belonging to you, if you wish, and contact the libraries whose patrons have these LOST items and bill them. So the LOST status applied by another library is entirely appropriate, since it alerts you, the owning library, to the fact that the item is probably not going to be returned to your collection, and that some action needs to be taken. A Lost Report is available in Koha under Reports>Other>Items Lost.
In a shared catalog environment like NExpress, you should think of items as “yours” if they circulate to patrons at your library. Once an item is checked out to your patron, regardless of who owns it, you are responsible for the item should it be lost or damaged. You should also think of patrons as “yours” if they circulate items at your library. Likewise, any item of yours that is checked out to another library’s patron is the responsibility of that patron’s home library. Reimbursement and/or replacement requests between libraries are appropriate, and occur from time to time.
From the January 2012 Users Group meeting:
Patron A Belongs to Library A Drives to Library B to checkout a Movie that belongs to Library C. Who’s responsible when Patron A breaks it/loses it/doesn’t bring it back? Understanding is that it’s the transacting library’s responsibility to get the material returned/replaced, follow up with this patron. Group agreed to this.
Marking an item LOST takes it off the patron’s checkout page (checks it in), labels the item LOST in the catalog, and adds the replacement cost of the item to the patron’s FINES tab. No notice is sent when this occurs.
LOST status must be applied manually. There is no automatic LOST conversion process, although it is under discussion with our support vendor.
The patron’s OPAC account will display the FINES AND CHARGES due from the LOST item(s).