STAFF RESOURCES

Missing Book Guidelines

Books reported missing will be charged to a library's MISS-(LIB) user within 24 hours.

When a book is reported missing at a CIRCULATION DESK.

1) Along with the patron, search for the item's record, if possible in WebCat (the patron's view). Verify that the user is interpreting the call number information correctly: Location (KILMER, ART, etc.), Sublocation (REF, RESV, EAL, etc.), and Status (STACKS, CHECKEDOUT, etc.). Confirm that the patron understands how to read LC call numbers (for example, HV382 vs. HV3825) and was searching in the correct area of the library.

2) If time and staffing permits, go with the patron to the stacks. Check with the patron for the item. Check the sorting shelves.

3) If the item is not found, and even if you are unable to immediately check the stacks and confirm that it's missing, charge the item to your library's MISS-(LIB) user. It is important to do so right away so that the patron can pursue other delivery options.

If the user asks to be notified if library staff finds the item, fill out a "Missing Book Form." Be sure to fill in the user's name and library barcode for notification. Tell the patron that if the item is found within 14 days, it will be held at the circulation desk and they will receive email notification and will be notified in their Self Services file. Fill out a paper "Missing Book Form" only when a patron requests notification if the missing item is found. Do not fill out a "Missing Book Form" before charging an item to your library's MISS-(LIB) user. Discard missing book forms 14 days following the date they are submitted.

4) Discuss alternatives with the patron. Are there other available RUL copies listed in IRIS? Are there available copies in the PALCI catalog to request? And finally, interlibrary loan may be an option. Assist the patron with a placing a request for another copy through IRIS, PALCI, or interlibrary loan.

When a book is reported missing at a REFERENCE DESK.

See #1-#2 above.

3) Depending on the physical layout of the library, walk with the patron to the circulation desk or call the circulation and arrange with access services staff to immediately charge the item to the MISS-(LIB). Its status in IRIS will then become MISSING and it will be eligible for request and delivery options.

See #4 above.

When patrons write to ASK A LIBRARIAN (AAL) and report a missing book. (Access Services AAL Team)

1) Locate the item the patron is reporting missing in WorkFlows.

2) If it does not yet have a status of Missing, immediately charge it to the owning library's MISS-(LIB) user.

3) Reply to the patron on AAL and explain other, appropriate delivery options--- RDS, E-ZBorrow, interlibrary loan.

4) Forward or “cc” your AAL reply to the missing book contact at the owning library. A list of “Missing Book Contacts” [PDF] is available on the RUL website under Staff Resources/Access Services/Contacts.

Generic AAL Missing Book Reply (adapt to fit the situation)

“Thank you for informing us that this item is missing from the shelf in the (insert library name) Library. I have marked the item missing in IRIS. This will allow you to request the title from another Rutgers library or via the E-ZBorrow or Interlibrary Loan services. If you need assistance in requesting this title, please speak with staff in any Rutgers library or write to us on Ask A Librarian.

I have also informed staff at the (insert library name) Library that you were unable to locate this item on the shelf. Staff will try and locate it and if they find it will hold it for you. If this occurs you will receive notification in your SELF SERVICES file or via email.”

When a book is requested via RDS and is discovered by staff to be missing. (RDS Staff)

1) If an RDS-requested book is searched by experienced staff and not found, immediately charge it to the MISS-(LIB) user. If an RDS-requested book is initially searched by student workers and not found, within 24 hours experienced staff will search a second time and if not found, immediately charge it to the MISS-(LIB) user.

2) Search WorkFlows for the item and if there are other available Rutgers copies:

For user-initiated Holds, do nothing and the hold will move on to the next RU library's pull list.

For RU-Requests, forward the request to another RU library.

3) If there are no other available Rutgers copies:

For user-initiated Holds, cancel the Hold. [The Hold Cancellation Notice for missing items has been updated and includes the statement “This item is now eligible for EZ-Borrow at https://www2.libraries.rutgers.edu/login/ezborrow.php, or interlibrary loan.”]

For RU-Requests, update the Request to unfilled and in the Reply field include a referral to PALCI and interlibrary loan.

When patrons include notes in an RDS “REQUEST ARTICLE/OTHER” form stating that the item they are requesting is missing (at their pickup library). (“A” Team)

1) Locate the item in WorkFlows and if it does not have a MISSING current location, process the Request for the library that owns the item reported missing. Include a Note-- “Please verify this item's missing status. If found, place a hold for the patron and cancel this request. If not found, charge to your MISS-(LIB) user, and forward or cancel this request.”

2) If the item has a MISSING status, and there are other available RU copies, process the Request for an RU library to fill.

When patrons include a note on an INTERLIBRARY LOAN form stating that the item they are requesting is missing (in their pickup library). When patrons select the "missing" button on an interlibrary loan book form. (ILL Staff)

1) When the item has a current location of MISSING in WorkFlows, and there are other available RU copies, place an RDS Hold/Request on the patron's behalf, cancel the ILL request, and reply to the patron. If there are no other available Rutgers copies, place an E-ZBorrow request on the patron's behalf, cancel the ILL request, and reply to the patron. If the item is not available in the PALCI catalog, place an interlibrary loan.

2) If the item does not have a current location of MISSING in WorkFlows and it's in the same library as the ILS office, do a stacks search.

2a) If not found, go to the circulation desk and ask access services staff to immediately charge it their MISS-(LIB) user and proceed with #1 above.

2b) If the item is found and it's in the patron's pickup library, cancel the ILL Request and reply to the patron. If the item is found and it's not the patron's pickup library, place an RDS Hold/Request for it on the user's behalf, cancel the ILL Request and reply to the patron.

3) If the item does not have a current location of MISSING in WorkFlows and it's in another RU library, telephone or email the missing book contact at the owning library and ask for a stacks check and call back with confirmation of the item's status within 24 hours. . A list of "Missing Book Contacts" is available on the RUL website under Staff Resources/Access Services/Contacts.

3a) If the item is found within 24 hours, see #2 above.

3b) If the item is not found and reported MISSING within 24 hours, see #1 above.

When a patron BRINGS A BOOK WITH A MISSING STATUS IN IRIS to the Circulation Desk to charge out. (Circ Desk Staff)

1) Discharge it from your MISS-(LIB) user

2) Charge it out to the patron.

Access Services' MISSING BOOKS REPORTS Schedule for Searching and Stack Maintenance

1) Every two weeks, noncumulative lists of books charged to missing (within the past 2 weeks are emailed to Missing Books contacts at each library. The lists are searched and books discharged if found.

2) During the current fiscal year, 3 cumulative lists of books charged to the Missing, Lost-Paid, and Lost-Repla users are run and made available on a library's server T drive. Missing Books contacts at each library print their lists, search for the books and discharge them if found. The reports' charge criteria and schedule are:

charged after 7-1-yr and before 10-15-yr, for searching in November
charged after 7-1-prev yr and before 3-15-yr, for searching in April
charged after 7-1-prev yr and before 7-15-yr, for searching in August

3) At the end of the fiscal year, cumulative lists of books charged to the Missing, Lost-Paid, and Lost-Repla users before 6/30-previous yr. are run and made available on a library's server T drive. Missing book contacts at each library print their lists, search for the books and discharge them if found. Lists are shared with selectors and sent to the Database Management Team at TSB for records to be withdrawn.

Missing Book Reports for Selectors

During the fiscal year, 3 cumulative lists of items charged to MISSING and LOST-PAID are created and made available to selectors on a library's server T drive. At the end of the fiscal year, a list of items charged to MISSING and LOST-PAID before 6/30-previous year is run for final review and before bibliographic records are withdrawn from OCLC, RLIN, and IRIS. Selectors Missing Book Reports are scheduled to run after Access Services Missing Book Reports and stacks searches have been completed.

Missing Book Reports Schedule

Access Services Missing Books ReportsSelectors Missing Books Reports
Dates Charged to MISSING, LOST-PAID, LOST-REPLA Available and searched by access services staff Dates Charged to MISSING, LOST-PAID Available to selectors
Within the past 2 weeksEvery two weeks  
7-1-yr to 10-15-yrNovember7-1-yr to 10-14-yrDecember
7-1-prev yr to 3-15-yrApril10-15-prev yr to 3-14-yrMay
7-1-prev yr to 7-15 yrAugust3-15-yr to 6-30-yrSeptember
Before 6/30-prev yrJulyBefore 6/30-prev yrJuly

Selectors Missing Book Reports are customized and include the following data fields:

  1. Library.
  2. Sub-location.
  3. Status.
  4. # Circs: includes the # of renewals and one circulation is always the charge to the MISSING or LOST-PAID user.
  5. Shelving Key: use the Shelving Key column to sort by call number
  6. Call Number.
  7. ISBN.
  8. Author.
  9. Title.
  10. Publisher.
  11. Publication Year: the Pub Year Field from the item record, not the publication year from the 260 field.
  12. Other Libraries: there is no way to tell if an item is the "last' copy. "Other Libraries" lists the names of libraries that have at least one copy, but it's not possible to tell if an item is the only item on a record.




Missing Book Guidelines.doc
Reviewed by PSC (2/03) and CDC (3/03)
rev. JEG 3/03; JEG 12/05
 
URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/access_serv/coll_mgt/missing_books.shtml
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