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    How are regular overdue fines calculated? **MASTER RECORD**

    • Article Type: Q&A
    • Product: Aleph
    • Product Version: 20, 21, 22, 23
    • Relevant for Installation Type: Dedicated-Direct; Direct; Local;


    What is the logic for calculating regular overdue fines?


    Regular overdue fines are calculated as follows:

    1. If the relevant patron z305 record has z305_ignore_late_return set to "Y", then no fines will be charged. If it is "N", then the following apply....

    2. If the current date/time is after the Z36-DUE-DATE/Z36-DUE-HOUR, then item is considered to be overdue. 

    3. Assuming that the borrower's IGNORE-LATE-RETURN flag (z305) is set to "N", then tab18 determines whether a user should be charged for an overdue item. (Y or N for lines 0003 and 0014, late return and late return of issue).
    If these lines are set to Y, but with zero amount, the system checks tab16 for the fine rate for the defined borrower/item combination.
    If the line is set to Y with a non-zero amount, then that amount is put into the Z31 cash record (and tab16 is not consulted). [Note: tab18 *must* have a default sublibrary line with wildcards (#).]

    4. If the relevant tab16 entry specifies a grace period (columns 7-10) which is greater than the days/time that the item is overdue, then no fine will be assessed. (Note: Even if the fine method is Open-days, closed days *are* counted against the grace period. See articles " Overdue fines on (tab17) Closed days; grace period " (KB 3915) and " Fine In Spite of Grace Period " (KB 16384-23042).

    5. Otherwise, the system takes the number of days the item is overdue, adjusts it based on the fine method (tab16, column 14), and multiplies it by the per-day fine amount (tab16, column 11). {If the fine method is an Open-days method ("2" or "D"), tab17 is consulted. Errors in tab17 can cause incorrect results.}

    6. The system takes the result of step 4 and compares it to the maximum fine value (tab16, column 23). It uses the smaller of the two as the overdue fine.

    7. If column 25 specifies a "fixed fine" value to be added, it adds that in.

    Note1: For details on tab16 or tab18 parameters, consult the System Librarian's Guide -- Circulation.

    Note2: Additional "overdue letter" charges may be specified --see tab32, columns 80-83, 90.

    Note3: For recall overdue fine calculation, see the article " How are recall overdue fines calculated? *MASTER RECORD* " (KB 8192-4556).

    Note4: For information on calculation of Lost book charges, see the article  How are Lost item charges calculated? **MASTER RECORD** (KB 8192-4557).  The article " Overdue fines assessed after items declared lost; LATE-RET-FINE-WHEN-LOST " (KB 16384-45169) describes LATE-RET-FINE-WHEN-LOST (the handling of overdue fines for Lost items).

    Note5: The xxx50 util f/2/10 utility ("Display/check overdue fine calculation") takes a particular sublibrary, borrower status, due date, etc., and tells you what the fine will be. It is *very* useful in identifying problems in tab16. See the article " Fines not being generated for Reserve loans " (KB 16384-4449) for an example of the use of util f/2/10 in diagnosing a Reserve fine problem.

    Note6: If this is a return-during-loan, that is, the patron is checking out an item which is already on loan, and if tab100 RETURN-DURING-LOAN=1, no fine will be charged. We suggest that you not use this setting.


    • Article last edited: 10/8/2013