Moving items to lost without billing

We are working on cleaning up long overdue items and noticed that a bunch of items with price $0.00 are not moving to lost.

From this supportal topic it looks like the only way for items to automatically move to lost is to be billed. When the price is $0.00, Polaris (rightly) assumes no bill needs to be sent, but this also means that the items stay on patron accounts indefinitely.

How do other libraries deal with this sort of situation? Do you move items to lost manually? Do you have a custom job? Do you just leave items in long overdue status if you don’t want to bill patrons?

Initially we thought we could prevail upon our librarians to update the item price, but this was shot down since in most cases they do not want or need patrons to be charged: “The bulk of my pop-up items are materials we were removing from our collection, but instead of weeding, we switch them to the Pop-Up so I can circulate them to daycares/day camps without worrying about having to get them returned. I lose a ton every year, but it’s not really a goal to get them back.”

Hi, Eleanor:

We also have noticed items that do not convert to Lost because bills are not generated. In our case, it is because a particular patron type is not set to receive bills. Since they do not get billed, their items do not convert over from long overdue to Lost status according to our schedule.

In order to fix this, we have a staff member assigned to do a search 1-2 times a week of items that have a due date that is earlier than the date that items should have converted to Lost status (in our case, that is items with a due date 15 days prior to the date the search is being performed) and then manually converting those to Lost status. Since this is a patron type that isn’t a common one, we have less than five items per week that need to be manually converted over – I don’t know if this manual conversion process is something that would work for you, but it does the trick for us.

Hope this helps!

Andrew Teeple
Lake County (IN) Public Library

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Makes sense, thanks Andrew!