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

In 2022 Yale University Libraries initiated a new systematic approach to searching for items marked as “lost”, “missing”, or “in transit” and determining whether to replace a now lost or missing item, which precipitated a change to our policy for suppressing bibliographic records for lost and missing items. Once an item has gone through the process, selectors will have had an opportunity to order a replacement copy. 


For general collections materials, if at this point in the process no exact replacement is ordered the bibliographic and holdings records will be suppressed. For special collections materials, the bibliographic and holdings records will remain unsuppressed. 



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. Catalog maintenance work is independent of any replacement decision workflow.