With Tech Logic’s staffCIRC TRAK, libraries using RFID can scan their shelves to locate any and all items in exception statuses. If an item is anything except “In” or (“On Shelf”) the wand alerts the operator that an exception item has been located on the shelves and should be pulled for resolution. Occasionally a library asks for those exceptions to be updated automatically to an “In” status. While that practice sounds sensible, there are reasons that many exception statuses should not be updated automatically without staff intervention.
In Transit or Transit Hold
Materials moving to other branches for holds checkout or re-shelving—these must be pulled from the shelf and checked in to re-initiate transit to the appropriate branch.
Checked out materials long overdue may be changed by the ILS to lost status—these were checked out to patrons and patrons are eventually charged to replace the items. Most libraries forgive or adjust charges when a lost item is found sitting on their own shelves.
Missing or Trace
Set by staff when materials are searched for and not found on the shelves. Either the item was mis-shelved or the spine label on the item does not match the call number in the catalog. Either way, the item should be pulled and relocated or given a new spine label. Otherwise switching to an “In” status just causes staff to search unsuccessfully all over again.
Items being held and waiting for pick-up by the patron but sitting on open shelves. There will be an unhappy patron if these are not pulled and placed awaiting pickup on the hold shelves.
Items that have been given a weed status to pull when the shelves are scanned. Obviously these should be pulled and not just changed back to an “In” status.
So when might an automatic status change be appropriate?
Items still checked out
If these items are correctly shelved an automatic check-in could work (and may trigger a hold). But if there are lots of these mistakes, the library has staff or RFID equipment problems and needs to know how many returns are slipping through in order to correct the root cause. Scanning book carts prior to shelving them prevents the problem.
Patrons claim to have returned a checked out item and it’s actually found on the shelves during a shelf scan. Most libraries forgive any overdue charges but may track the incidence of materials claim returned by the same patron who may be avoiding overdue fines. Scanning book carts prior to shelving them prevents claim returned materials altogether.
Scanning with Tech Logic’s staffCIRC TRAK wand is most effective with a book cart nearby to separate the types of exception statuses located on the shelves for handling by staff behind the scenes according to library policy.
If you have questions for Gretchen or you would like to connect, please feel free to reach out to us!
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