The Pre-Cat (pre-cataloged item) functionality in Evergreen should only be used for interlibrary loan items or for items that patrons find on your shelves that have barcodes but that do not have catalog records. The pre-cat functionality allows the circulation staff to create a temporary brief catalog record for the item so that the patron may check it out without having to wait for it to go to cataloging first. 

On return, the item should be routed to cataloging for resolution (or to ILL if it is an interlibrary loan item). 


Please review these detailed instructions:

Circulating and Processing Pre-Cat Items


A Quick Report is available to find pre-cat records that your library has created but that have not been processed yet. (Some of these items may have been returned to the shelves instead of to your cataloger for processing, and some of the pre-cat records may simply need to be deleted.)

Quick Reports template at:
Quick Reports > Quick Reports Templates > Items > Pre-Cat List


Some Reminders about Pre-cataloged Items (Pre-Cats)

  • Precats are for:
    • Uncataloged items patrons find on the shelf and wish to check out.
    • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) items.
  • Precats should not be used to check out noncataloged collections such as magazines. These items should be counted on the patron record as noncataloged types. If your library desires magazines, equipment, or other materials to be really checked out, catalog them using a good record and attach holdings.
  • On check in, precats should be routed to cataloging for resolution. They then can be added to a good bibliographic record, or withdrawn, depending on the needs of your library.
  • After return, notice of ILL precats should be sent by ILL staff to cataloging staff for deletion.
  • Best practice is for catalogers to monitor and resolve precats on a regular basis. The Quick Reports template at: Quick Reports > Quick Reports Templates > Items > Pre-Cat List can be used to locate precats not routed to cataloging.
  • MS Excel drops initial zeros. Any scanned barcode that might have an initial zero, either correctly or incorrectly, won’t have it in the Excel report.
  • If a barcode is scanned incorrectly when creating a precat, the item will remain on a patron record when the actual item is returned. A common mis-scanning is extra spaces before or after the number. Catalogers should refer any suspicious barcode found on the report for an overdue or lost item to circulation staff for resolution. Then the precat should be sent back to cataloging for resolution, if it has been removed from the patron record.
  • Precats can only be retrieved in item status with the barcode entered onto the precat form at creation.
  • Precat records are dummy records and are not searchable or visible in either the public facing or staff client OPAC. They can only be retrieved and manipulated from item status in the staff client.
  • Changing a precat status from Cataloging to Available will not make the item visible in the catalog.
  • Checking in a precat doesn’t delete it. However, if the item is not routed to cataloging for resolution and is sent to the shelves instead, if it is brought back up to the desk for checkout again, circulation staff will have to re-enter the precat.
  • Rather than the ISBN, it is best practice to input the call number in that field on the precat form so that the item can be more easily located on the shelves if it isn’t routed to cataloging.
  • All precats have TCN -1 and owning library PINES. Your library is the circulating library.
  • A precat item in transit may not really be in transit. If the barcode was incorrectly scanned, it is possible for another incorrect scan of a completely different barcode to match it. For example, if the erroneous barcode on a precat is 32010100, if another library has a checkout error scanning that results in 32010100, Evergreen will put the precat item in transit.
  • When creating precats, verify the item is not in the catalog by rescanning the barcode. Always proof the dummy record you just created.