Lost Books Policy

Lost Book Circulation

Non-charged items (Locates):

  1. When a patron comes to the Circulation Desk or any other service point and indicates that he/she cannot locate an item on the shelf, offer to place a locate card on the item.
  2. It is explained to the patron that locates may take some time, while we search the stacks for the item.
  3. The staff member should complete the patron's contact information, including email address.
  4. The patron barcode is written in the appropriate spot on the locate card.
  5. Once the patron's contact information is completed, pull up the item record in the Circulation Module of Voyager. Verify the call number, volume and issue number, location, etc.
  6. Write the barcode or OCR number for the item on the locate card.
  7. The staff member that accepted the locate card should immediately change the status of the item to ' Missing' and place a hold on the item for the patron, so that it cannot be checked out by someone else. (All Locate Clerks are responsible for double checking the records to make sure that this was done properly by students and staff accepting the locate cards.)
  8. If the patron is a TULANE affiliate, he/she is asked if they would like to obtain the item through Interlibrary Loan if it is not located in the stacks. If yes, mark yes in the lower right corner of the locate card.
  9. The Locate Clerk should then check to see if any notes appear on the item record such as Dis/Lost, At Bindery, Claims Returned, Damaged, or Withdraw. If a note is present route the locate card to the Circulation Daytime Supervisor. If there is no note, then proceed through the steps for locate cards outlined below.

After the first search:

  • If the item is not located, the patron is notified via email, telephone, and a pink postcard indicating the status of the search. . Skip to the section titled 'If the item is not found'
  • If the item is located, the 'Missing' status should be removed, the patron is notified via email, telephone and a pink postcard indicating that the item is available for pickup at the Circulation Desk in the library.
  • The item is then placed on the hold shelf at the Circulation Desk for pickup. Books are held for ten days and journals are held for three days. If the item is not picked up within the specified time frame, it is pulled from the hold shelf, the 'Missing' status and the hold should be removed, and then sent back to the stacks.

If the item is not found:

For TULANE affiliates:

If the item is a book: If the Tulane affiliate marked yes on the locate card, the locate card will be photocopied and forwarded to the Interlibrary Loan Department. The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Staff will request the item for the patron:

  • A pink postcard will be sent to the patron indicating that the locate was forwarded to the Interlibrary Loan Department.
  • Interlibrary Loan will process the locate card as a regular ILL request.
  • The Locate Clerk will continue searching for the library's copy and follow procedures for declaring the item missing and/or lost.
  • Proceed to: Timeline for Locates

If the item is a journal:

  • For Tulane affiliates, the patron will be notified via postcard that the journal could not be found.
  • The patron will be advised to place a traditional ILL request for the journal article because the locate card does not supply the citation information required to process the request.
    Patrons should be advised to indicate in the note field on the ILL request form that a locate has been placed on the item.

For Non-Tulane affiliates:

  • A postcard is sent to the patron after the first search indicating the item cannot be located. Proceed to: Time Line for Locates
  • For Tulane faculty, staff, and students affiliated with the Law, Business, and Medical Schools: The pink postcard will be sent to them indicating they must initiate an Interlibrary Loan request with their respective library.
  • For items in locations other than HT Stacks: For requests submitted at the Circulation Desk, the locate card will be forwarded to the designated Departmental Locate Clerk who searches for items in Math, Architecture, Music, Special Collections, and the Latin American Library.
    Once the item has been searched, the Departmental Locate Clerk will notify the patron via email, telephone and a postcard indicating that the item is available for pickup at the Circulation Desk in the library. The locate card is retained by the Departmental Locate Clerk and searched according to the time line for locates outlined below.

Time Line for Locates

 

*In the following steps, all searches are annotated on the back of the locate card, with the date of search.

  1. The item will be searched for three consecutive days following the completion of the locate card.
  2. Located Card Completed
  3. +1 day Search - #1
  4. +1 day Search - #2
  5. +1 day Search - #3
  1. After three days, the item is moved to the monthly search stack and is searched for three consecutive months.
  2. +30 days Search - #4
  3. +30 days Search - #5
  4. +30 days Search - #6
Example of Time Line for Locates
Example: If a locate card is completed on January 6, 2003 at 1:00p
January 7, 2003 Process card (See non charged items for details), first daily search - Search #1, and send pink postcard to patron indicating status of search
January 8, 2003 Second daily search - Search #2
January 9, 2003 third daily search (Search #3) and move card to monthly search stack
February 10, 2003 First monthly search - Search #4
March 10, 2003 Second monthly search - Search #5
April 10, 2003 third monthly search (Search #6) and process card through steps outlined in the section 'Items NOT Located in the Stacks', if item is not found by this search

The first Monday of each month, the Circulation Daytime Supervisor will run and print the "Missing" report that includes items more than 90 days old. The report is then divided and distributed to the Departmental Locate Clerks for processing. *Note: This report is to be used as a form of checks and balance, to make sure all 'Missing' items are processed.

The Departmental Locate Clerk will search the stacks for each item on their portion of the "Missing" report.

  • If the item is located in the stacks, pull the item from the shelf and place a check next to the call number to indicate that it was located and bring the item to appropriate workstation for verification. (If there are multiple copies of the item in the stacks, please match the barcode on the item with the barcode on the report.)
  • Proceed to: Step 5 - then Items Located in the Stacks
  • If the item is not located in the stacks, place a Ø next to the call number to indicate that the item was not located.
  • Proceed to: Step 5 - then Items NOT Located in the Stacks
  • Each Locate Clerk will then pull the locate cards that correspond with the items which appear on their portion of the "Missing" report.
  •  

Please note that Departmental Locate Clerks will have two weeks to complete the following steps before a follow-up report is run on the third Monday of the month to assure that the report has been completed. Any Departmental Locate Clerk who will be out of the office for an extended period of time (more than a couple of days) should notify the Circulation Daytime Supervisor.>

Items Located in the Stacks:

 

  • Verify that the barcode in the book matches that which is on the report.
  • Discharge the item. (Click 'OK', when the window pops up to alert you of the 'missing' status. Click 'yes', when the second window pops up to ask you to remove the status.)
  • Pull up the item record in the Circulation Module of Voyager.
  • a) Use the barcode inside the book to pull up the item record.
  • b) Place a note in the note field of the item record, indicating the item has been located. The note should state: 'Located <mm/dd/yy> <initials>'.
  • Stamp and date the book using the 'Located' stamp.
  • After processing all of the items, place them in the appropriate sorting area to be re-shelved.

Items NOT Located in the Stacks:

 

  • Pull up the item record using the barcode indicated on the report.
  • a. Check the note field of the item record:
  • i. If there is no note on the record - skip to Step b
  • ii. If Dis/Lost with no other notes - skip to Step b
  • iii. If Dis/Lost with other notes:
  1. Decision to Withdraw - print out the item record and note W/D <date> from the note field on the printout
  2. Decision to Replace - print out the item record and note Replace <date> from the note field on the printout
  3. Decision to do Out-of-Print search - print out the item record and note OP Search <date> from the note field on the printout
  4. Route all of the these printed item records to the Circulation Daytime Supervisor
    **Note: Once routed to the Circulation Daytime Supervisor no further action is needed.**
  5. b. Check the status field
  6. i. Remove the 'Missing' status from the item record and replace it with Lost-Library Applied' using the red and blue arrows
  7. c. Place this note: 'Dis/Lost sent for replacement decision <mm/dd/yy> <initials>' on the item record.
  8. If there is already a note on the item record, place a new note above the others already present.
  9. d. Print a copy of the item record from Voyager using Snag-It
  10. e. Stamp the printed item record using the 'Dis/Lost' stamp and initial
  11. f. Complete and attach a Lost/Missing Action Form to each item record printout.
  12. g. Draw a line through the 'Missing' status on the report in order to keep track of the item records that have been printed
  13. h. Circulation Locate Clerk should route the printed item records to the Lost Book Coordinator in the Reference Services Department. All other Departmental Locate Clerks should see Reference Services and Collections section for further procedures.

The locate card is then discarded. (**Do Not Discard Locate Cards for any items that do not have a barcode number assigned to it. Route the Locate Card in the place of the item record printout.**) The third Monday of each month, the Circulation Daytime Supervisor will re-run and print the "Missing" report to assure that all Departmental Locate Clerks have completed their portion. When the report yields zero results the process has been completed!

Charged items:

Important Note: Items appearing on Overdue and Fine/Fee Notices that are sent via email, will not be searched as indicated in Steps 1 - 2 outlined below.

 

An item charged to a patron record is searched three times after the due date:

  1. +10 days 1st Overdue Notice (Search - #1)
  2. +7 days 2nd Overdue Notice (Search - #2)
  3. +7 days 3rd Overdue Notice (Search - #3)
  1. When an item reaches sixty-seven days past the due date, the status in Voyager automatically changes to 'Lost-System Applied' and a Fine/Fee Notice is generated, prompting another search of the stacks (Search - #4). If the item is not located on the shelf, the Fine/Fee Notice is mailed to the patron.
  2. Thirty days after Voyager automatically changes the status to 'Lost-System Applied', the item appears on the billing report and is searched again (Search #5).
  3. If the item is not found after the billing report search, the Fine/Fee costs are electronically transferred to the Bursar for processing.

The Circulation Daytime Supervisor then:
**The following steps also occurs when a patron pays at the Circulation counter for lost items**

  • a. Discharges the item from the patron's record and leaves the 'Lost-System Applied' status.
  • b. Places the following note on the item record: 'Dis/Lost Sent for replacement decision <mm/dd/yy> <initials>'
  • c. Prints a copy of the item record from Circulation Module of Voyager using Snag-It.
  • d. Stamps the print out with the Dis/Lost stamp and initial.
  • e. Completes and attaches a Lost/Missing Action Form (Fig. 3) to each item record printout.
  • f. Routes the printouts to the appropriate Departmental Locate Clerk
  • Reference Services - all items for HT Sci/Eng and HT stacks,
  • Latin American Library - all items for Latin American Library,
  • Music - all items for Music Library,
  • Special Collections - all items for Jones Hall
  • Architecture - all items for Architecture
  • Math - all items for Math

g. Departmental Locate Clerks - See Reference Services and Collections section for further procedures.

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