Claims Returned procedure

Author: Jenna Jackson
Posted in: Circulation Services Group

This document will outline how to file a Claims Returned, the timeline for searches and how to retrieve search information.  Additionally, it will describe how to update item records after each search.

Claims Returns can now be placed at any library; patrons do not need to go to the owning unit to place the claims returned.

When a patron claims to have returned an item, staff should first ascertain to which library the patron believes he or she returned the item. Both the returning library and the owning library should be contacted so that both can search for the missing material.

Important steps to remember:

  1. When placing a claims return, the current due date of the item needs to be changed BEFORE the claim is placed.
  2. If the patron wants to place a claim at a location that is NOT the owning library, the owning library must be contacted, either through email or over the phone.
  3. Millennium reports need to be checked every day; claims returns will need to be searched three times.

Having Staff at Another Unit Place the Claims Returned:

When library staff or students with the authorization to place claims returns are unavailable to provide this service at your library location, students should:

  1. If the patron claims they returned the item to your unit, if there is other staff available do a cursory search for the item, and if the patron is willing to wait, then search for the item and check it in if found. If the item cannot be searched for or is not found, then proceed to the following steps.
  2. Call 642-3403 (Privileges Desk), 642-5072 (Moffitt), or 643-4331 (Main) indicating there is a library patron who would like to place a claims returned.
  3. Give the phone to the library patron to answer all the associated questions such as their UC ID number, name, item title, where and when returned, and so on.
  4. The library staff on the phone will relay the circumstances of that item, such as whether it is possible for the library patron to check out additional items in the meantime.
  5. The student should hand the library patron the flyer describing the next steps in the claims returned process.
  6. The student should also note the item title and call number to search the shelves at your library location (if it is the owning unit or where the patron claims to have returned the item) as soon as there is available staffing to do so.

 Claims Returned Timeline

o    Day 1 – Patron asks for claims returned search.  Due date changed to 31 days if possible.

o    Day 2 – Item appears on CR1 report.  Staff perform 1st search.  If not found, add internal note creturned1 into the item record.

o    Day 11 – Item appears on CR2 report.  Staff perform 2nd search.  If not found, add internal note creturned2.

o    Day 30 – Item appears on CR3 report.  Staff perform 3rd search.  If not found, add internal note creturned3.

o    Day 31 – Item due.  Library staff may email patron telling them the search was unsuccessful.

Placing the Claims Returned

Changing the Due Date:

Once it is determined that a Claims Returned is necessary, change the due date of the item to 1 month (31 days) from today. This will prevent the patron from becoming blocked and billed during the search period. The due date must be changed BEFORE the item is placed on claims returned status.

  1. Select item from patron’s Checked Out tab
  2. Click “Change Due Date”
  3. Select a due date 1-month from today and click “OK”

If there is an item level hold on the item and there are other circulating copies on campus, move the hold to another copy.  If no other circulating copies exist, the due date cannot be changed, as with a recalled item.  If an item is recalled, then the due datecannot be changed. A recall cannot be moved to another item, even if there are other circulating copies on campus. Once a recall is placed, the due date cannot be changed even if the recall is cancelled or moved to another item.

If the item has already been billed to the patron, then the bill should NOT be removed in order to change the due date for the item and unblock the patron.

Filing the Claims Returned:

After the due date has been changed, highlight the item on the patron’s record and click the “Claim Returned” button. Supervisors have 3 options:

  1. Check in items (with no fines), and change status to MISSING (Never Use)
  2. Check in items (with no fines), and change status to CLAIM RTRND (Never Use)
  3. Leave items checked out (send overdue notices) and change status to CLAIM RTRND on patron’s account, and mark item as claims returned (Always Use)

Choosing option 3 will be standard practice.  Select the date the patron is claiming to have returned the item or choose “Blank Date” if they are unsure. Option 1 removes the item from the patron’s account and places the item “On Search”.  Option 2 also absolves the patron of all responsibility and shows up on search lists as a claim returned. Option 3 leaves the item on the patron’s account and shows up on search lists as a claim returned.

Once the Claims Returned has been filed, if you are either the owning or return location for the item, check the shelf. Both the owning location and claim returned location should be notified via email.  If the patron claims to have returned the item somewhere other than the owning unit, then the owning unit will put an internal note into the item record identifying to which unit the patron claims to have returned the item. This internal note will serve as a reminder to owning unit staff to email staff at the claims returned unit to ask for additional searches to be done for the item. This internal note may also be updated to include information about when the claims returned unit searched for the item. The note must follow the format below so that it can be deleted by systems after time has passed.

Note format: creturned to (unit patron claims to have returned item to) %date (owning unit)

Macro: %TAB%%TAB%%TAB%%TAB%%ENTER%x%TAB%creturned to (claim returned unit) %date (owning unit)

Example of this internal note on a Main item that was claims returned to ENVI:

creturned to ENVI 20141211 MAIN

When the claim return is placed, inform the patron that:

o    Library staff will search for the item at relevant locations for 1 month.

o    If the item is found, it will be cleared from their account, and all processing fees will be canceled.

o    If the item is not found, it will be billed for replacement.

Retrieving the Searches

The following day, the item will appear on the daily search notification report located at Search lists need to be pulled for each day, they are not cumulative, lists will need to be pulled for weekends and holidays on the next working day. Library staff from the owning library should communicate with the library to which the item was claimed returned after retrieving a search from the Daily Notices to coordinate searches of the other location.

After staff search for the Claims Returned items listed in the daily notifications reports, they will need to check-in all found items, and insert Internal Notes for the remaining unfound items.

Item Found:

  1. Check in item to clear it from the patrons account.
  2. Choose “Yes” to clear Claims Returned status when prompted upon check-in.
  3. If there are remaining fines or processing fees on the patrons account, then staff with the proper authorization can waive remaining processing charges or fines from the patrons account for claim returned items found in the library.

Item Not Found:

  1. Search for the item record by the barcode on report
  2. Select the Item Record tab for appropriate item
  3. Insert appropriate Internal Note:
Search Appears as Insert Internal Note as follows Macros
1st creturned1 creturned1 <yyyymmdd> <initials> %TAB%%ENTER%x%TAB%creturned1 %date  <initials>
2nd creturned2 creturned2 <yyyymmdd> <initials> %TAB%%ENTER%x%TAB%creturned2 %date  <initials>
3rd creturned3 creturned3 <yyyymmdd> <initials> %TAB%%ENTER%x%TAB%creturned3 %date  <initials>


  1.  Save changes to record

Example of updated item record after 3rd search not found:

o    The Internal Notes must follow this exact format — always use a macro developed for this purpose.

o    Do not modify or delete the system generated “Claimed returned on” Internal Note

o    Internal Notes must be added to ensure that the item will appear on subsequent search lists (see Claims Returned Timeline) and serve as verification that staff performed a search on the indicated date — do not modify or delete these notes

After the Third Search: (owning unit)

After the new due date passes and the item is not found, it will become overdue and eventually move to status BILLED-NOTPAID.  After the third search, the supervisor may e-mail the patron to inform them that the searches were unsuccessful.  If a patron wishes to pay for the lost item, please refer to the procedures here.  Patrons can be directed to the Privileges Desk to pay for items that have not yet been billed to their library accounts. If the patron instead wants to provide a replacement copy, permission from the owning unit must first be given and then they may refer to the procedures here to find a replacement copy.

Legacy Data

Author: Jenna Jackson
Approval Group: PSC, CSG
Update Group: Circulation Services Group
Last updated date: 05/06/15

Archived Comments

Thu, 02/19/2015 – 09:52 — Jenna Jackson
This document was updated and approved by CSG and PSC and the new procedures were instituted in January 2015.

Approved by PSC
Wed, 08/17/2011 – 12:36 — Elizabeth Dupuis
On behalf of the Public Services Council, I am confirming that this document was approved on 8/16/11.

Lynn Jones asks: What happens
Wed, 08/10/2011 – 11:43 — Matthew Prutsman
Lynn Jones asks: What happens to a hold on an item that remains unfound/unreturned after the third search? Does the patron with the hold get notification? That person would want to know current info on the hold, and to get a referral to the ILL option.

Matthew’s response:

It is obviously not in the procedures, but the hold should be transferred to another copy (if there is one) OR the hold should be cancelled and the “drop hold — MISSING” notice should be sent (if the now missing item was the last item in all libraries). In my “expert” opinion a great course of action here might be:

CSG could write a generic “cancelling holds” document (that details when, why, and how to cancel holds)
This document could link to that document
CSG should review text of drop hold notices*
*Millennium will send some “canned” emails on command when one cancels a hold. If we edit instructions to say “send drop hold — MISSING email” in the CR procedures the email text itself should be updated, it currently reads:
DROP HOLD – MISSING: The request that you made for this item has been
canceled. This item is missing and no longer available.
Library Hours:

This is an automatically generated notice. Please do not respond via
email to this notice.

But it should probably look more like the “drop hold –WITHDRAWN” message:

DROP HOLD – WITHDRAWN: The request that you made for this item has
been cancelled – it has been withdrawn and is no longer available.
If you still have need of the material, contact a reference librarian
who may be able to help you find it in another format or at another
location. See for
options for contacting a librarian. This is an automatically generated
notice. Please do not respond via email to this notice.

Edits 7/1/11
Fri, 07/01/2011 – 16:28 — Tim Converse
Removed references to “Mark Lost Items,” and revised procedures following an unsuccessful third search. Revised procedures for when a hold is on a claims returned item, and there are no other circulating copies.

Claims Returned Search
Thu, 03/31/2011 – 14:55 — Randal Brandt
Under “Billing Patron after Third & Final Search”
“Email patron the Claims Returned Search Completed template from your Circulation Supervisor account”: Is there such a template?

Mark lost?
Wed, 03/23/2011 – 11:09 — Charis Takaro
Hi – I just want to verify that “mark lost” is what we always want to do to add bill? Should we be checking that it wasn’t already billed first, or was that already covered? I just know that from testing with Mark we discovered that if you “mark lost” something that is already billed the patron will be double billed. Not good! -Charis

Mark lost?
Tue, 03/29/2011 – 14:07 — Mark Marrow
Yes, I think the procedures should state to check to see if billed before marking as lost.

Macros links
Wed, 03/23/2011 – 11:03 — Charis Takaro
Needs the same macro links as the search instructions moved to asktico and the links updated. – Charis
Yes, I think the procedures should state to check to see if billed before marking as lost.

Created: May 19, 2016
Last revised: October 11, 2017
Review date: None set

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