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    Recall overdue rate only kicks in after recall due date (z36-recall-due-date)

    • Article Type: General
    • Product: Aleph
    • Product Version: 20

    Description:
    [From ALEPH500-DISCUSS Listserv:]

    > Has anyone implemented a different overdue fine rates for recalled
    > items in= ALEPH?
    >
    > Our library is trying to put the following in place.
    >
    > Regular overdue rate =3D $1.00 /day
    >
    > Recall overdue rate =3D $2.00 /day (Fines are double if the items have
    > been=
    > recalled)
    >
    > We have made the relevant changes in tab16 to include recalls, tab18
    > for th= e recall overdue ratio, the required entries in tab100.
    >
    > What we found out is that the recall overdue rate only kicks in after
    > the recall due date (z36-recall-due-date). As our library has
    > defined a 7 days recall period in tab16. Therefore, for those items
    > that have a recall due date after the original due date, the patrons
    > only get charged the regular rate from the z36-due-date to the
    > z36-recall-due date, even though the z36-due-date is the effective
    > due date appeared. (because z36-due-date is earlier than
    > z36-recall-due-date). Recall overdue rate only charge from z36-recall-due-date and onwards.
    >
    > We expected the recall overdue rate should start charging from the
    > date whi= chever is earlier between z36-due-date and
    > z36-recall-due-date if the item = has not already overdue yet.
    >
    > Have I missed anything?

    Resolution:
    [From Hans Breitenlohner, University of Maryland:]

    This is the way Aleph works, and I think that is a good thing.
    In fact we did a significant amount of work in our previous system to have it function in a similar way.

    A recall is an event over which a patron has no control, and which he can not anticipate. It would be unfair for this to have a negative financial impact on the patron before a reasonable time has elapsed after the recall (your value for this seems to be 7 days). Therefore you should not be charging the recall fine rate until then.
    On the other hand it is also important that patrons not benefit from having items recalled (or else they could manipulate the system to their advantage). Therefore it is necessary to charge regular overdue fines for an item that is already overdue, up to the recall due date.

    If the system worked as you expected, you could have the following
    scenario: A patron who returns a book five days late normally gets a
    $5 fine. If he has the misfortune that the book is recalled (possibly just moments before it is returned) the fine would suddenly jump to $10. I would not want to be the one having to justify this to the patron.

    The result of the way Aleph works is that you have three effective fine rates: $1 per day (using your values) for books that are overdue, but not past their recall due date, $2 per day for books that are past their recall due date, but not past their pre-recall due date, and $3 per day for books that are past both due dates. A bit complicated, I admit, but I do not know how you could make it less complicated and still equitable.
    (and it gets more complicated when minimum fines and closed days enter the mix).

    Occasionally I have to explain the reasoning for specific fines to circ staff, but I have not gotten a sense that this setup is seen as unreasonable. In specific cases, staff always have the option to reduce or waive specific fines.

    [From Jerry Specht:] For a general discussion of overdue recall fine calculation, see KB 8192-4556.]


    • Article last edited: 10/8/2013