Submitted by smith on
Today’s Topic: What to do with Missing Materials? Or, Hunting for Hidden Treasure!
So, you can't find your copy of "Pot Holders for All Seasons" on the shelf when doing your Pull List. You take a quick look around where it oughta be and, not finding it, you mark the item MISSING and go on to finish your list. And then what??? Read More...
On a regular basis, libraries need to send staff on treasure hunts to either find those MISSING materials or Withdraw them. Set up a routine to look for the items maybe 3 times over the course of a month. Or look every other week. Or even once a month--anything is better than nothing! There are many reasons why items may go MISSING--there are also many reasons why they might suddenly re-appear or turn up in some weird spot. I'm pretty sure most libraries have at least one "squirrel" patron who picks something up to look at it, and sets it back on the shelf somewhere random, right?
The point is, if nobody looks for them, they will automatically get removed from the database in 18 months. Which means at some point someone will scan the item and will get the lovely "Item not found in catalog" error and you will need to re-add the item (and maybe the entire title).
There is a report in Analytics-->For Libraries-->Item Lists to help you with your search:
Very simple to run, just click on the report, select your library and click Run Report. The output lists Barcode, Call Num, Title, Author, ItemCat1, HomeLoc, CurrentLoc, and Last Activity. You can export the results to Excel and print it if you'd like, or set it up to get emailed to you.
So, you have your list of MISSING material--now what?
Step 1: Get creative! Don't just look where it oughta be, look where it might also be. If the call num is "697.6" look under "976.6" or "676." If it is an Easy Reader, look in Picture Books and/or JFICTION.
Step 2: Look again.
Step 3: Maybe have someone else look. Different people see differently.
IF the item has holds on it... Decide whether to contact the patron, or re-place the hold on a different item, or simply remove the holds.
If after a few attempts you still can't find it, decide if you want to replace it and then checkout the item to your WITHDRAWN user.
It can be kinda fun and rewarding when you find one in some weird spot!
That's it for this week...
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