Have you ever come across a refund on a patron's record and the only info you have to go on is someone's initials and library code in the description field...now you have to start researching--what is the title, who owns the item, was the item returned within the refund period, etc. This can take quite a bit of sleuthing and time!
Staff at the Pinney branch of the Madison Public Library have come up with one solution that will save lots of research time. When you are applying payment for a lost item, apply the payment for each lost item individually and use the PAY button in the Action column for the line item (not the check box or pay all button). This will allow you to enter information in the "pay fine description field" that will then show up in the refund description field if the item ever gets returned. (It also shows up in the Fines Account History description field) This does create a small bit of work on the front end of things but saves a tremendous amount of time on the back end.
Here is what we do when documenting the payment for a lost item:
- First determine who owns the item.
- In the Fines / Account screen, click on the Pay button in the "action" column (do not use the check box because it does not save anything you enter in the description field)
- Copy the barcode and title of the lost item and then Paste it at the beginning of the description field
- Then enter who owns the item: "39078075696022 Ducks Go Vroom PIN item"
- If the item belongs to a different library, we enter "10.00 cash sent to MID, edk/pin" at the end of the info in step 4. If the item belongs to MPL, we enter "no refund after 01/01/16 edk/pin" (whatever the last refund date would be) at the end of the info in step 4.
- Then click the Submit button.
If you are sending money to another library--don't forget to "Add a new message" on the patron's CheckOut screen as well "sent $xx cash to MID for lost item "Ducks go Vroom (75696022). edk"
IF a patron has multiple lost items--do this process for each one.
If a patron has fines in addition to the lost items--first pay each lost item separately and then clear the remaining overdue fines using which ever method you prefer.
IF you don't want do all of the steps---at a minimum--just enter the barcode and title info (steps 2 and 3). This would still cut back on the amount of sleuthing you would have to do.
If you have any questions or want clarification of anything here--don't hesitate to contact me. Erica Kersten.