Comment 6 for bug 1562061

Michele Morgan (mmorgan) wrote :

Dan, Thanks for reviewing this. I certainly agree that there are various interpretations and implementations out there of the currently available states for a circulation transaction, and I'm all for a larger discussion to develop some clearly defined processes that manage overdue circs and allow an abandoned transaction to die a natural death. I don't think this bug fix goes against that, it's intended to fix existing functionality that never played well together.

My understanding about "Long Overdue" was that it grew out of a need to distinguish between items declared "Lost" by patrons and items that weren't returned. It's certainly not unusual for a Long Overdue item to be declared Lost at some point, and this proposed fix allows that to happen.

Judicious use of stop-fines could certainly better define the state of a transaction, but it's not highly visible. Use of the Long Overdue and Lost processing provides many options for controlling catalog visibility of overdue items, blocking of patron privileges when necessary, and providing clearly understandable account information to staff users as they serve their patrons.

I'll briefly describe the process we have developed in our mixed consortium of public and academic libraries as a possible discussion starter:

At six weeks overdue:

- Mark items Long Overdue.
- Block some patron privileges based on the long overdue item.
- Staff can easily distinguish mildly overdue items from long overdue items when serving their patrons.
- Patrons can restore their privileges themselves by paying the bill via credit card while logged into their account.
- If checked in, the Long Overdue billing is adjusted and overdue fines reinstated.

At one year overdue:

- Mark items Lost.
- Status Lost items are not opac visible.
- If checked in, the Lost billing will be adjusted and overdue fines reinstated.

At five years overdue:

- Items are checked in and deleted.
- Associated patrons have been long expired at this point and are purged.