Damaged Items

Prior to July 1, 2017, bills for damaged items were manually applied. Beginning July 1, 2017, the procedures are as follows:



When an item is marked Damaged, it is hidden from the public catalog and will not be targeted for holds. The Damaged item status may be used for items that are damaged beyond repair and will need to be discarded, or for items that will be returned to the collection after repairs. The Damaged item status may be used regardless of whether or not a patron will be billed for damages.

Only the library that owns an item should assess whether or not a patron should be billed for damages to that item or not. The owning library may choose to bill the entire cost of the item plus a processing fee if an item is damaged by the patron beyond repair, or may choose to bill a partial amount (for example, when there is repairable damage such as a minimally torn cover), or may choose to mark the item damaged without billing the patron for it (for example, when there is damage caused by normal wear and tear).


Instructions: Damages found during check in

1. When a damaged item is discovered, it can be marked damaged in any one of the following ways:

a. Check In Screen: After checking the item in, right-click on the item's row and select Mark Item Damaged.

b. Item Status Screen: After scanning an item, right-click on the item's row and select Mark Item Damaged.

c. Item Details Screen: After retrieving the item details, click on Actions for Selected Items then select Mark Item Damaged.

d. Patron's Items Out Screen: This function is not directly available from the patron's Items Out screen, but from that screen you can right-click on an item and select Show Item Details, and then click on Actions for Selected Items then select Mark Item Damaged.


2. You will receive a prompt asking, "Change the status for these items to Damaged?" - click OK.

This will check the item in (if it was checked out) and change the item's status to Damaged, but will not create a bill until the next step.


3. You will receive a second prompt asking, "Charge Patron For Damaged Item?" that shows who the last patron that had it checked out was. You have three options:

a. OK: This will charge the patron the item price plus the owning library's processing fee. (Note: If the patron also has overdue charges on the item, staff should open up the full details of the bill to void the overdue charges, leaving the rest of the bill intact.)

b. No Charge: This will not charge the patron, but still keeps the status as Damaged. (Note: Any overdue charges should remain on the patron's bill.)

c. Change Amount: This will give you a third prompt where you will:

1) Change the Billing Type to Damaged Material

2) Enter the dollar amount the patron should be charged

3) Enter a note explaining the reason for the charges and your initials and library location. (Note: Any overdue charges should remain on the patron's bill.)


4. The damaged item should then be routed to your cataloger / technical services department for repair or discarding.


Alternate workflow: Damaged item found in stacks

If a damaged item is found in the library and you are unable to determine who caused the damage, follow the standard instructions but choose "No Charge" during the billing step.

Completed circulations are archived after 12 months, so if an item has been found that was last checked in more than 12 months before, it will not offer the option of automatic billing.


Alternate Workflow: Damages need to be assessed by cataloger

If your library's workflow requires that the item be routed to your cataloger for damage assessment instead of damages being assessed at the circulation desk, you may follow this procedure:

1. Circulation staff marks item damaged, but selects the "No Charge" option. This will hide the item from the OPAC and prevent it from being targeted for holds until it can be reviewed.

2. The cataloger reviews the item to assess the damage. If a bill needs to be applied, the cataloger can repeat the standard Mark Item Damaged steps to create the bill.

(The cataloger could also manually create a bill on a patron's account if desired - if that is done, be sure to add a clear billing note indicating the reason for the bill and including the item's title, author, and barcode for future reference.)


Alternate Workflow: Item belongs to a different library

If an item is returned that is clearly damaged but that belongs to another library, please follow this procedure:

1. Mark the item damaged, but select the "No Charge" option. This will hide the item from the OPAC and prevent it from being targeted for holds until it can be reviewed by the owning library.

2. This process does not put the item into transit, so manually create a transit slip with the owning library's shortname and courier transit code (https://pines.georgialibraries.org/courier).

3. Attach a brief note to the item before putting it in a green courier bag so that the circulation staff receiving the item know that they should pass it along to their cataloger for damage assessment. For example: "Item received damaged at ARL-ATH on 7/15/2017. Please route to cataloging."


Alternate Workflow: New Items or Non-Circulating Items

If an item is new and not yet circulated, reference or library use only, or has otherwise never circulated, the system will see that there is no previous patron to bill, so will not present the billing option screen.


Discarding an Item or Returning it to the Collection

Items in the Damaged Status can be discarded following normal procedures.

If an item has been repaired, it can be checked in. A prompt will appear warning of the current 'bad status' and require an override to proceed. Click Yes to return the item to the collection.


Payment for Damaged Items

If a Damaged item is paid for at a different library than the owning library, the payment amount may be kept by the payment library unless the owning library sends an invoice for reimbursal within 90 days.