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

Lorraine (
Fri, 26 Oct 2001 18:46:21 -0700 (PDT)

Here in the University of Hong Kong Libraries, we charge client (regardless
of status) for loss and damage. We give them options: either to buy the
visual materials back themselves or pay the Libraries to buy back the
materials which also includes a certain sum of administrative cost. So far
so good as this policy is consistent with that for books. We don't care
who loses or damages it. As long as it is returned in such state, the
person checked it out last is be held responsible.

Lorraine Lok
AV Librarian
University of Hong Kong Libraries
Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong

At 01:23 PM 10/24/01 -0700, wrote:
>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