Withdrawal Policies and Procedures for Missing and Unreturned Library Materials (Item Not in Hand)

To: Technical Services Staff
From: Joan Swanekamp
Date: (12/7/1994 creation date/ July 2, 2007 3:13 PM revision date)


>Orbis, the Library's online public access catalog, is the catalog of record for all cataloged materials. Since 2001, the Library has ceased all efforts to maintain accurate information in public card catalogs. If an item is billed and unreturned or missing,* the Orbis public view will continue to reflect that the Library once owned the title.

This means that if an item is represented in Orbis, its location and call number will be correct. If a title is billed and unreturned or missing, and it is the last or only copy of the title, Orbis will indicate that the item is no longer available. Catalog cards will no longer be removed from the public card catalogs.

*Though Voyager uses the word "lost" instead of the word "billed," YUL has traditionally drawn the distinction between "unreturned and billed" and "missing." Books are lost by readers and become unreturned and billed. "Lost" is not a term used interchangeably for "missing" or "billed."

Basic Catalog Maintenance Workflow

Terminology. If an item is missing for a period defined by the Circulation Unit, the item is then considered permanently missing, and the workflow for withdrawing the item begins. Also, if a patron is billed for the loss of an item, the same withdrawal processing workflow is used.

  1. Workflow is initiated following a requisite period of time
    • after the item has been missing, or
    • after the patron has been billed for the loss of the item.
  2. A report is run off the circulating reporting website by the library's Circulation Unit or its equivalent, e.g., SML Circulation, Kline Technical Services, Arts Library Technical Services, etc.
  3. Using the report, Circulation Unit staff perform the withdrawal procedures in Orbis.
  4. Circulation Unit staff refer "last copy gone" situations to the Catalog Management Team.

NOTE: If 4. applies, Catalog Management staff cancel holdings in OCLC and RLIN. Catalog maintenance work is independent of any replacement decision workflow.