Re: Faculty paying (or not) for lost or damaged expensive visual

Brigid Duffy (
Wed, 24 Oct 2001 17:51:23 -0700 (PDT)

We also charge faculty for lost materials, and collect. Sure the eyebrows
go up when we quote an actual price of say $350, but we give the faculty
all the advice and sympathy we can on how to get a price break from the
vendor (yeah, that means they give us the tape) but the bottom line remains
the same. Word gets around their department, I'm sure - and so we lose even
fewer tapes.

At this state university their final paycheck could be held, but in 20
years I can't remember it going that far.

We have had one or two instances of damage/loss of materials that could not
be replaced, which is a total loss for everyone.

Brigid Duffy
Audio Visual/ITV Center
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132-4200

>One of the sticky issues that occasionally rears its head here at AU is
>what to do when an expensive video is either lost or damaged when a
>professor has it checked out. Though we have a software loan form that
>clearly states that the borrower, by his/her signature, assumes full
>responsibility for replacement in the case of loss or damage, the truth is
>that no professor is going to pay $700 for a lost CRM film (and very few
>are going to write a check for a $200 videotape without a complaint).
>Trying to squeeze the money out of the scofflaw's department would
>undoubtedly escalate to an Administrative head-butting that the library
>would yield on in order to protect it's public image.
>I know many vendors will sell replacement copies at deeply discounted
>prices but that could still leave one with a bill of $200 or more. In the
>past, we have gotten some professors to pay but I have written off many of
>these replacement purchases if the item has been used frequently. Presently
>I do not have a slush fund for replacing lost videos. In an ideal world we
>should probably verbally remind professors of their responsibility each
>time when they check out an expensive item, but its unrealistic to expect a
>staff of 15 part-time staff to understand for which items they should be
>issuing that warning.
>Fortunately this is not a rampant problem but it does occur often enough
>that I would like to establish a more realistic policy that the University
>Administration and Collection Development will endorse.
>I would like to hear other's experiences with this problem to aid in
>grappling with it myself.
>Christopher Lewis
>American University Library
>Media Librarian