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Short loans configuration

Learn about the options for managing short loans in OLIB.

► Circulation Reference Data> Loan Terms

It is possible to specify a wide variety of different policies for short term loans, including

  • Variable time in hours up to 99 hours ahead
  • 'Top of the hour' return times, where the return time falls on the top of the hour (or at a set time during the hour)
  • A 'minutes before' period. This is used in conjunction with the rounding up parameters
  • Fixed return times on the same day (up to 10 different times can be set)
  • Fixed return time up to 99 days ahead

Configuration options

  1. To access detailed short loans fields go to either:
  • Circulation Reference Data> Copy Categories: Display full details, click on relevant Loan Terms record to display details
  • Circulation Reference Data> User Categories: Display full details, click on relevant Loan Terms record to display details
  • Circulation Reference Data> Loan Terms: Click on the Loan Terms record that includes the relevant User Category and Copy Category
  1. Switch the Loan Terms record to modify.
  2. Edit the fields below to define your short loans policy.
Field Instructions
Short Loan?  A Yes/No flag to indicate that the loan terms record represents a short loan category.
Variable Time Hours Enter the number of hours (max 99) to define the loan period. This field and the Fixed Time Days and Fixed Times fields are mutually exclusive. If you enter a value in this field, whatever is entered in Fixed Time Days and Fixed Times will be ignored.
Round Up To

Enter a number between 00 and 59 in one or more of these four fields to indicate that the return time should be rounded up to the nearest hour, quarter past the hour, half past the hour or whatever. This field is used in conjunction with the Variable Time Hours field.

For example, entering a 2 hour loan period with the parameter set to '00' would mean that items issued between 10:00 and 10:59:59 would be due back at 13:00. Similarly, if the Round up To field is set to '30', items issued between 10:30 and 11:29:29 would be due back at 13:30.

You can enter up to 4 Round Up times – so if you enter ‘00’,’15’,’30’ & ‘45’ then depending on when the item was borrowed the return time would be rounded up to one of those 4 points within the hour.

Minutes Before

Enter the number of minutes’ 'grace period' before the Round Up To time.

For example, with a 1-hour loan period and one rounding up setting of 00 (to indicate that it should be rounded up to the next hour), an item that is issued between, say, 13:00 and 14:00 will normally be due back at 15:00. But with Minutes Before set to, say, 10, items issued within 10 minutes of the 14:00 deadline will actually be due back at 16:00.

Fixed Time Days Enter the number of days ahead (max 99) that the item is due back. This field and the Variable Time Hours field are mutually exclusive. Fixed Time Days is used in conjunction with the Fixed Time fields to determine what the return time should be for each day of the week. If you have not specified any fixed times, the item will be due back on the specified number of days ahead at the same time as it is issued. If you have specified one or more fixed times, these will be used to set the return time. Fixed Time Days only works for 'today'. See example of Fixed Time Days below.
Fixed Times    

Up to ten fixed times can be defined, each with its own 'minutes before' setting. Items issued before the first time will be given the this time as their return time. Items issued between the first time and the second time will be given the second time as their return time. If you have only defined fixed times and an item is issued after the second time, it will be given the first time on the following day as its return date/time.

Use the Pick a time icon to select hours and minutes: click or drag to the right to increase value; shift+click or drag to the left to decrease value.

Fixed times’ minutes before  

If the item is issued less than n minutes before the first time (where n is the first time’s Minutes Before), the return time will be set to the second time. If the item is issued less than n minutes before the second time (where n is the second time’s Minutes Before) the second time, the return time will be set to the first time on the following day.

Input the minutes into Minutes Before box.

The library's opening times and holidays are taken into account when calculating the return date and time. If the return date and time is a date and time when the library is closed or on holiday, then the return date is set to the day on which the library is next open and Short Loan Post-Open Mins field on the Location record comes into play when calculating the return time.

Example fixed times / minutes before

1 13.00  30
2 17:00 30
3 00:00   0

Assuming the library opens at 09.00 and closes at 17:30, and Short Loan Post-Open Mins field on the Location record is set to 30:

If an item is issued on or after 09:00 but before 12:30, the return time will be set to 13:00.

If the item is issued on or after 12:30, the return time will be set to 17:00.

If the item is issued on or after 16:30, the return time will be set to 09:30 on the following open day.

Fixed time days / fixed times / variable time hours

For example this would be for overnight overnight loans.

Fixed Time Days  1

Fixed Times: 1

10:00
2 10:00
3 10:00
4 10:00
5 11:00

 In the example above, the Fixed Time Days field is set to 1 – so any items loaned will be due back the following day (assuming the library is open).

Fixed Times: 1 is the time that the item is due back if the return date is a Monday.

Fixed Times: 2 is the time that the item is due back if the return date is a Tuesday, etc.

So in our example above the return time is 10:00 Monday – Thursday – but 11:00 on Friday as the library opens an hour later than in the rest of the week. As the library is closed on Saturday and Sunday no value is set for Fixed Times 6 & 7.

Fixed Time Days  
Fixed Times: 1 10:00  30 (minutes before)
2 10:00 30
3 10:00 30
4 10:00 30
5 11:00 30

The fixed times’ minutes before settings are used as follows:

If the item is issued on a Monday less than n minutes before the first time (where n is the first time’s Minutes Before), one day will be added to the return date, and the return time will be set to the resultant day’s return time. For example, if you set Fixed Times: 1 to 10:00 and its Mins Before to 30 (with Fixed Time Days set to 1) and you then issue an item any time after 9:30 on a Monday, the item will be due back on the Wednesday rather than the Tuesday, at whatever time is specified in the Fixed Times: 3 field rather than the time specified in Fixed Times: 2.

The library's opening times and holidays are taken into account when calculating the return date/time. If the return date/time is a date and time when the library is closed or on holiday, then the return date is set to the day on which the library is next open and Short Loan Post-Open Minutes (in Locations) comes into play when calculating the return time.

Circulation messages at the issue desk

If a user has short loan items on loan that are overdue - even without accruing fines - an alert message is still displayed when the user passes through the Issue Desk. If the user has fines accruing on overdue short loan items, a fines accruing alert message is also displayed:

This user has overdue short loan items
This user has fines accruing on one or more short loan items

The Loan Items list box indicates that an overdue short loan item is overdue, and if a fine is accruing on it, the amount that has accrued so far is shown in the Cur. Fine column.

Set up fines for short loans

It is possible to set up a Fine Sequence so that fines are calculated on a number of set minutes. For example, you can set up a fine sequence to fine 20p per 5 minutes that an item is overdue.

The short loan fine settings are on the Circulation Reference Data> Fine Sequences layout.

Rate Enter the amount to fine per unit of time.
per Enter the unit of time. Specify either hours or minutes in the pull-down list.
Fine For Part Hours/Minutes? A Yes/No flag to indicate whether the unit rate should be charged for part of the unit.
Maximum Fine Enter the maximum fine that can be accrued for a short loan ite

Example

Rate: .10

per: 1 minutes

Fine for Part Hours/Minutes?: Yes

Maximum Fine: 10.00

Here fines have been set for 10p to be charged for every 1 minute that the item is overdue. If the item is due back at 14:00 and is actually returned at 14:17, the user will be fined £1.70.

 

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