RE: [Videolib] (no subject)

Lisa Irwin (
Fri, 8 Aug 2003 10:05:20 -0400

In cases where a patron has lost or damaged all or part of a library item, if we have possession of any part of that item, we keep it. If we don't have possession, we ask for it to be returned in whatever condition it is in. One reason for this is that it discourages patrons using the library as an out-of-print resource. It would be far too easy to check out some gem of a film (especially one unavailable by other means), say it was damaged, and "buy" it.

The underlying philosophy is that we are the owning institution of that item and have the right to decide how it will be disposed of. Maybe we want to keep the video housing for replacement parts. Maybe we need the CD liner notes to complete one of our branch CDs. Maybe we want to decorate our office with the cover art or wrap ourselves in demagnetized video tape for Halloween. We don't always get the items back, but we try.

As far as establishing replacement cost, our system-set default cost is $35 per video. If someone sounds like they have a legitimate story about damage or loss (freak accidents, something completely out of their control, not negligence) and the actual cost of the video is less than $35, we will modify the fee to reflect the actual cost of the item plus a $5 processing fee. Out-of-print items get the $35 default. If someone lost one video out of a set, I suspect we would charge the default (or the prorated cost of one video out of the set, whichever was higher). Might try to replace the single video through eBay or other used market, or continue circing the partial set and rely on ILL to provide the missing video.

If we had a written policy, I'd be happy to send you a copy. Going through the process of writing this down makes me realize how much we need one!

Lisa Irwin
Audiovisual Services
Kalamazoo Public Library
Library of the Year 2002
(269) 553-7923

-----Original Message-----
From: Elise Vidal []
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2003 8:49 PM
Subject: [Videolib] (no subject)

I have a question concerning policy.
In the past we have charged the full replacement cost of a video set when the one of the videos from that set was
damaged or lost by a patron. Up now we have had no problems with this, usually the patron pays for the set and goes on their
merry way. Now we have a patron who wants the set if they pay it, the difficulty is we are waiting for volume 1 to be returned by yet another patron (it is very late). You see the problem, two patrons being charged the full replacement cost for one set. A great money maker but highly unethical. Yes, the video set was pulled as soon as patron 1 said it was lost, but volume was already checked out.
I would be interested in what other Libraries do, is the patron charged for the full set? If so do they get the rest of the set if they pay? Do you allow a patron to check out all the set at one time?
Also if anyone has any written policies concerning damage/fines on Media, Please send me a copy off list.
Thank you.
Elise Vidal
Media Technician
Thomas Branigan Memorial Library
Las Cruces NM 88001

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