How is your item loss rate defined?

Hello! My library is working on a new strategic plan and wants to create new metrics.
One metric that is needed is loss rate of items. How do you define your losses?
Billed items over x years old? Plus missing items over x months old? Plus all claim returned/claim never had items? Plus all waived items? etc.
Any information would be greatly appreciated!
Justin Megahan
ILS Admin
St. Louis Public Library

Hi Justin. Interesting question, but help me understand why you would measure billed losses in terms of years. Once the bill is e/mailed and 30-60-90 days has passed, I’d be inclined to assume it isnt coming back. Does SLPL have a successful materials recovery program which yields returns long after the due date? If so, I and probably others would be interested in learning more about it.

Bob Gaydos
Stark Library
Canton, OH

Hi Bob,
We seem to get returns long after their due dates with no prompting by us.
For example, in January 2024, we got back -
19 items due in 2020
24 items due in 2021
91 items due in 2022

I feel like gathering the right data for loss calculations is a little daunting.

When I worked at a library that had to report on those things, we wrote off debt annually for billed items older than 2 years. If the person owed more than $200 cumulatively, they got flagged via an MBLOCK.

We also reported values on missing and claims returned items that were deleted after being searched for x number of times (I think it ended up being about a year).

We also reported regularly on outstanding charges by 6 month increments.