Work-around for fees?

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Work-around for fees?

Joelle Hannert
Hello!

I've been surprised to find that Koha's settings for lost item fees are not
as flexible as I'd have hoped. I'd like to be able to apply them based on
Patron Category, and also based on item type, but I'm finding that it's an
all-or-nothing setting with no granular options. Has anyone found a
work-around for this? And, if not, would it be something worth considering
as an enhancement? I'm a fairly new Koha user and haven't been involved in
the enhancement process yet.

Here are a couple examples specific to our library, in case it helps to
have some context:

Patron Categories and lost item fees:
We are a college library, and we don't charge fines to faculty/staff. We
also have an ILL profile type that we don't charge fines to. We do want to
charge students the replacement fees for long-overdue items.

Item types and lost item fees:
There are some items that we charge $1/day overdue up to the cost of
replacement. For higher-priced items, they hit the long-overdue threshold
(28 days) long before the full cost of replacement overdue charge is up
(example: $300 for laptops). In our system, at 28 days overdue the lost
item replacement charge is put on their account and the daily overdue fine
stops accruing. If the item was an overdue laptop that isn't returned
until, say, 200 days overdue, the person wouldn't be charged a $200 overdue
fine as intended, but a $28 overdue fine, and the $300 replacement fee
would be refunded. This is why we'd like granular control, to exclude these
item types that accrue overdues up to the cost of replacement from the long
overdue process.

Thanks for any insight you can provide!

--
Joelle Hannert
Library Technical Services Coordinator
Northwestern Michigan College
(231) 995-1684
Work days: M, W, Th evening, F
_______________________________________________
Koha mailing list  http://koha-community.org
[hidden email]
https://lists.katipo.co.nz/mailman/listinfo/koha
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Re: Work-around for fees?

Myka Kennedy Stephens
Hi Joelle,

We are a small academic library and it sounds like our fine structure is
similar to yours. We do not charge faculty fines, but once their items roll
over to long overdue (lost) their accounts are charged the replacement fee.
When long overdue (lost) items are returned, we've noticed that the
replacement fee is removed from the account. For that reason, we do not
write-off these replacement fees. If we do, when the items are returned the
patron account has a positive balance, which creates a whole new set of
problems.

Our solution is to just handle it on a case-by-case basis. Certain staff
can override automatic restrictions on an account with a high balance due
because of replacement fees. When the items come back, the fees disappear.
Yes, this means our ILL account and some of our faculty often have a
balance due on their account. We've accepted that this is just how it is.
For faculty, it can also serve as a reminder of sorts that they do have
items they need to return.

One thing additional you could try is the automatic renewal option. That is
in the circulation and fine rules table. It looks like you can set auto
renewals to apply to specific item types and patron categories. For
example, you could auto renew all books for faculty patrons. This might cut
down on the number of items rolling over to long overdue (lost) - or maybe
it would just delay the process. We don't use auto renew, but it might be
something we try in the future.

Feel free to contact me off list if you want to discuss further.

Regards,
Myka

On Fri, Mar 15, 2019 at 10:14 AM Joelle Hannert <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello!
>
> I've been surprised to find that Koha's settings for lost item fees are not
> as flexible as I'd have hoped. I'd like to be able to apply them based on
> Patron Category, and also based on item type, but I'm finding that it's an
> all-or-nothing setting with no granular options. Has anyone found a
> work-around for this? And, if not, would it be something worth considering
> as an enhancement? I'm a fairly new Koha user and haven't been involved in
> the enhancement process yet.
>
> Here are a couple examples specific to our library, in case it helps to
> have some context:
>
> Patron Categories and lost item fees:
> We are a college library, and we don't charge fines to faculty/staff. We
> also have an ILL profile type that we don't charge fines to. We do want to
> charge students the replacement fees for long-overdue items.
>
> Item types and lost item fees:
> There are some items that we charge $1/day overdue up to the cost of
> replacement. For higher-priced items, they hit the long-overdue threshold
> (28 days) long before the full cost of replacement overdue charge is up
> (example: $300 for laptops). In our system, at 28 days overdue the lost
> item replacement charge is put on their account and the daily overdue fine
> stops accruing. If the item was an overdue laptop that isn't returned
> until, say, 200 days overdue, the person wouldn't be charged a $200 overdue
> fine as intended, but a $28 overdue fine, and the $300 replacement fee
> would be refunded. This is why we'd like granular control, to exclude these
> item types that accrue overdues up to the cost of replacement from the long
> overdue process.
>
> Thanks for any insight you can provide!
>
> --
> Joelle Hannert
> Library Technical Services Coordinator
> Northwestern Michigan College
> (231) 995-1684
> Work days: M, W, Th evening, F
> _______________________________________________
> Koha mailing list  http://koha-community.org
> [hidden email]
> https://lists.katipo.co.nz/mailman/listinfo/koha
>


--
Deaconess Myka Kennedy Stephens, MDiv, MSLIS
Seminary Librarian and Assistant Professor of Theological Bibliography
Lancaster Theological Seminary
555 West James Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
717-290-8704
[hidden email]
https://library.lancasterseminary.edu
_______________________________________________
Koha mailing list  http://koha-community.org
[hidden email]
https://lists.katipo.co.nz/mailman/listinfo/koha
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Re: Work-around for fees?

Joelle Hannert
Hi Myka,

Thanks for the sound advice! When you lay it out like that, it doesn't seem
so bad to have these fees show up sometimes. I hadn't considered the auto
renew option, but it's a good one, since that can be set in the circ
policies, so can apply to specific item/patron combos. That's something to
look into, as well.

Thank you,
Joelle

On Fri, Mar 15, 2019 at 10:59 AM Myka Kennedy Stephens <
[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hi Joelle,
>
> We are a small academic library and it sounds like our fine structure is
> similar to yours. We do not charge faculty fines, but once their items roll
> over to long overdue (lost) their accounts are charged the replacement fee.
> When long overdue (lost) items are returned, we've noticed that the
> replacement fee is removed from the account. For that reason, we do not
> write-off these replacement fees. If we do, when the items are returned the
> patron account has a positive balance, which creates a whole new set of
> problems.
>
> Our solution is to just handle it on a case-by-case basis. Certain staff
> can override automatic restrictions on an account with a high balance due
> because of replacement fees. When the items come back, the fees disappear.
> Yes, this means our ILL account and some of our faculty often have a
> balance due on their account. We've accepted that this is just how it is.
> For faculty, it can also serve as a reminder of sorts that they do have
> items they need to return.
>
> One thing additional you could try is the automatic renewal option. That
> is in the circulation and fine rules table. It looks like you can set auto
> renewals to apply to specific item types and patron categories. For
> example, you could auto renew all books for faculty patrons. This might cut
> down on the number of items rolling over to long overdue (lost) - or maybe
> it would just delay the process. We don't use auto renew, but it might be
> something we try in the future.
>
> Feel free to contact me off list if you want to discuss further.
>
> Regards,
> Myka
>
> On Fri, Mar 15, 2019 at 10:14 AM Joelle Hannert <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Hello!
>>
>> I've been surprised to find that Koha's settings for lost item fees are
>> not
>> as flexible as I'd have hoped. I'd like to be able to apply them based on
>> Patron Category, and also based on item type, but I'm finding that it's an
>> all-or-nothing setting with no granular options. Has anyone found a
>> work-around for this? And, if not, would it be something worth considering
>> as an enhancement? I'm a fairly new Koha user and haven't been involved in
>> the enhancement process yet.
>>
>> Here are a couple examples specific to our library, in case it helps to
>> have some context:
>>
>> Patron Categories and lost item fees:
>> We are a college library, and we don't charge fines to faculty/staff. We
>> also have an ILL profile type that we don't charge fines to. We do want to
>> charge students the replacement fees for long-overdue items.
>>
>> Item types and lost item fees:
>> There are some items that we charge $1/day overdue up to the cost of
>> replacement. For higher-priced items, they hit the long-overdue threshold
>> (28 days) long before the full cost of replacement overdue charge is up
>> (example: $300 for laptops). In our system, at 28 days overdue the lost
>> item replacement charge is put on their account and the daily overdue fine
>> stops accruing. If the item was an overdue laptop that isn't returned
>> until, say, 200 days overdue, the person wouldn't be charged a $200
>> overdue
>> fine as intended, but a $28 overdue fine, and the $300 replacement fee
>> would be refunded. This is why we'd like granular control, to exclude
>> these
>> item types that accrue overdues up to the cost of replacement from the
>> long
>> overdue process.
>>
>> Thanks for any insight you can provide!
>>
>> --
>> Joelle Hannert
>> Library Technical Services Coordinator
>> Northwestern Michigan College
>> (231) 995-1684
>> Work days: M, W, Th evening, F
>> _______________________________________________
>> Koha mailing list  http://koha-community.org
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.katipo.co.nz/mailman/listinfo/koha
>>
>
>
> --
> Deaconess Myka Kennedy Stephens, MDiv, MSLIS
> Seminary Librarian and Assistant Professor of Theological Bibliography
> Lancaster Theological Seminary
> 555 West James Street
> Lancaster, PA 17603
> 717-290-8704
> [hidden email]
> https://library.lancasterseminary.edu
>
>

--
Joelle Hannert
Library Technical Services Coordinator
Northwestern Michigan College
(231) 995-1684
Work days: M, W, Th evening, F
_______________________________________________
Koha mailing list  http://koha-community.org
[hidden email]
https://lists.katipo.co.nz/mailman/listinfo/koha