Damaged Item Procedures

Procedures for items returned to your library damaged

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

The following procedures cover what do to if an item is returned to your library, both if there is partial damage (meaning, the item can still be circulated) and full damage (the item can no longer be circulated).

SUMMARY

  • Contact the patron

    • As the point of return, your library is responsible for contacting the patron to notify them of the damage. You may add a blocking note or free text block to the patron's record if that fits with local procedure. 

  • Apply damaged item charges to patron’s account

    • When ready to apply the charges to the patron, manually apply the replacement cost and/or processing fee to the patron's account (you may need to consult with the item's library to assess cost).

    • Use the note field in the manual charge to indicate any relevant notes.

  • Manage the item

    • If the item is still checked out to the patron, check the item in. In the case of a fully damaged item, do not place the item in transit. Instead, change the circulation status of the item to "Damaged." The patron may keep the damaged item or the library may dispose of the item. 

PROCEDURES

Is the patron present?

If the patron is present, acknowledges the damage, and is ready to pay for the item (no matter which library the item belongs to), follow the instructions in SECTION A and collect payment from the patron. 

Was the item returned in the book drop?

If the item was returned and the patron is not present (i.e. the item was returned in a book drop), use the following chart to determine which actions to take.

Yes

Yes

Does the item

belong to you?

Is it your patron?

Was the item checked out at your library?

Action

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

No

No

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

No

*Note: Non-CCS Reciprocal Borrowers should be considered as "your" patron.

 

SECTION A

If an item belonging to you is returned damaged and is no longer able to circulate, notify the patron and manage the item as per local procedure. 

Collections Libraries

If your library refers patrons to collections, you must use one of the following methods to add the damaged item charge to a patron's account:

1. Mark the item as "Lost." 

         - or - 

2. Add a manual charge using a fee reason of either "Replacement Cost" or "Processing Charge."

SECTION B

B.1 Completely Damaged

If the patron returns an item completely damaged and the item does not belong to your library, follow local procedure for contacting the patron and applying charges. 

B.2 Unsure of Damage

If there are questions regarding the level of damage, contact the Owning Library to notify/discuss severity of damage. The Owning Library will decide if they want to review the item or not. 

Note: If contacting the Owning Library via email, you can attach images of the damage which may negate the need for sending the item back to the Owning Library!

1. If the Owning Library wishes to inspect the item:

     a. Add a note to the patron's record to record the situation.

     b. Check the item in to set it in transit back to the owning library.

          i. If the item wants to trap for a hold, select NO when asked to transfer for a hold and YES to reactivate the

             hold. The patron's request will remain at the top of the queue and the item will be set in transit to the                   Owning Library.

         ii. A physical note should be attached to the item. Also add a Free Text Block to the item record to note                   the damage. The Free Text Block will appear in a pop-up when staff scan the item upon receipt at the                   Owning Library in case the physical note becomes lost in transit. 

        NOTE: Make sure to clarify with the Owning Library if the item is to be sent back to you after being                        examined for damage. 

 

2. If the Owning Library decides the item needs to be replaced, apply the charges to the patron's record. 

     a. Navigate to the patron's Account tab.

     b. Select "Add Charge." 

     c. Enter charge amount.

     d. Select the appropriate fee reason. 

     e. Scan or key in the item barcode. 

3. Manage the Item.

     a. If the item is still checked out to the patron, check the item back in. 

          i. If the item wants to trap for a hold, select NO when asked to transfer for a hold and YES to reactivate the               hold. 

         ii. Change the circulation status of the item to "Damaged." 

         Note: Depending on staff permission levels, this step may need to be done by circulation department                   managers.

B.3 Partial Damage

If the item can still be circulated and only requires a partial replacement cost (possible examples: missing an audiobook disc, DVD case damaged), manually charge the fee to the patron's record, linking the item to the charge. 

1. Contact the Owning Library via email or a phone call to discuss damage and replacement fees.

2. To charge the patron

     a. Navigate to the patron's Account tab.

     b. Select "Add Charge."

     c. Enter the amount, fee reason, item barcode, and any relevant Notes.

     d. Select the green "Add Charge" button to apply the charge to the patron's record.

3. Send the item back to the Owning Library. If the item is still checked out, check in the item off the patron's record and set in-transit to the Owning Library.

     a. If the item wants to trap for a hold, select NO when asked to transfer for a hold. Select YES to reactivate               the hold. The patron's request will remain at the top of the queue and the item will be set in-transit to its               Owning Library.

     b. A physical note should be attached to the item. Also add a Free Text Block to the item record to not the               damage. The Free Text Block will appear in a pop-up when staff scan the item upon receipt at the home               library in case the physical note becomes lost in transit. 

Libraries should make the usual efforts to recover items or the cost of items from CCS libraries. Libraries have the agency to follow local practice for waiving these costs and fees for patrons if appropriate to the situation. 

If accepting payment for the item, libraries will not send money back-and-forth for lost or damaged item reimbursements. 

LINK TO THE CCS LIBRARIES PROCESSING FEE CHART

 

SECTION C

1. Notify the Check Out Library that an item was returned damaged.

2. The Check Out Library should place a hold on the damaged item. If there is an active holds queue, the Check Out Library can modify themselves to be first in the queue.

3. Check in the item to set it in-transit for the Check Out Library.

     a. A physical note should be attached to the item. Also add a Free Text Block to the item record to note the             damage. The Free Text Block will appear in the pop-up when staff scan the item upon receipt at the                       home library in case the physical note becomes lost in transit.

4. The Check Out Library is responsible for notifying the patron and, if relevant, working with the Owning Library to resolve the damaged item.