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Discover how to set up reference data for managing fines in OLIB.

► Circulation Reference Data

About fines and charges

Different fine rates and sequences can be applied for the different users and types of material set up in your OLIB system. First you enter a number of different Fine Rates, e.g. 0.50 per day, 0.25 per day. These are built into a Fine Sequence, e.g. 0.25 for 7 days, then 0.50 for 3 weeks. Other fines parameters are also configured in Fine Sequences. A predefined set of reference data is supplied for Payment Methods, and Charge Types and you can also add to these.

Fine Sequences and other fines settings such as those controlling maximum debt are configured into the Loan Terms record.

It is advised that you set up the fines system before the User/Copy Category and Loan Terms matrix is created.

Fine rates

Fine rates are required for Circulation if a fines system is to be implemented.

Fines, other than on hourly loan items, accrue on a daily basis for each day that an item is overdue. Any number of daily fine rates can be set to accommodate different rates due, for example, you may have one fine rate for standard loans and another fine rate for audio-visual materials. One or more daily fine rates are then combined to form Fine Sequences.

  1. In Fine Rates click on New Record to add a new fine rate.
  2. In Key ID enter a unique code.
  3. Enter a short and long description to describe the Fine Rate.
  4. Enter the daily fine in Daily Rate to be accrued for this Fine Rate.
  5. Save the details.

Create the number of Fine Rates needed then add them into a Fine Sequence.

Fine sequences

Fine sequences are required for Circulation if a fines system is to be implemented.

These are used to set up sequences of charges based on daily fine rates, and to specify rates for hourly loans. For example, you may wish to charge 10 pence a day for the first two weeks an item is overdue, then 20 pence a day for the following two weeks. A termination charge can be added on top of this or you may wish to charge the cost of replacement for the item. You can also define the rate used for hourly fines for items that are loaned on an hourly basis.

  1. In Fine Sequences click on New Record.
  2. In Key ID enter a unique code.
  3. Enter a short and long description to describe this Fine Sequence.
  4. In Replacement Cost select Yes to charge the copy price of the item to the borrower if it is still not returned at the end of the fine sequence. Enter No if the Fixed Fine is to be used instead.
  5. In Fixed Fine enter the amount to be charged as a fixed fine instead of the Replacement Cost.
  6. Enter Yes in Replace Other Fines? if the Replacement Cost or the Fixed Fine is to replace the existing fines that have previously accrued for the overdue item.
  7. Enter Yes in Fine on Closed Days? to charge fines for the days the library is closed. (Refers to the closed days as defined in the location record, not the Calendar).
  8. For short loans enter the fine Rate that is to apply for hourly loans. In per choose the unit of time from the drop down list.
  9. In Fine for Part Hours/Minutes a Yes/No flag to indicate whether the unit rate should be charged for part of the unit.
  10. Enter the Maximum Fine that can be accrued for a short loan item.
  11. Once all the descriptive fields have been entered, in Steps click New.
  12. The Fine Steps will be displayed. Choose the first Fine Rate that applies for this Fine Sequence. Enter the number of days that this daily rate will apply. Save the details.
  13. Back in the Fine Sequence layout, click New to enter more Fine Rates and repeat until all the Fine Rates in the sequence have been added.

 Note: if a 'grace' period is to be included, or if you wish to fine for a single day, rather than allow fines to accrue, a Fine Rate of zero should be included.  

For example, a fine sequence of a single fine of 10 pence after the item is a week overdue, then 50 pence if the item is still not returned after a further two weeks (i.e. not increasing on a daily basis) would require a sequence like this:

Daily Rate = Zero for 7 days

Daily Rate = 0.10 for 1 day

Daily Rate = Zero for 14 days

Daily Rate = 0.50 for 1 day

Payment / waive types

Reference data for payment and fine waiver types are required for Circulation if a fines system is to be implemented. When a payment is made by a user, a method of payment (Payment Type) must be recorded in the User Charges screen. There may be occasions when you need to waive fines in line with your library policy, for this a Waive Type is the reason for waiving the charge. A predefined list of payment types is supplied with OLIB. Note that the Payment Type that appears by default when processing a fine is Cash.

  1. Go to Circulation Reference Data> Payment / Waive Types.
  2. Click on New Record to create a new Payment / Waive Type.
  3. In Key ID enter a unique code.
  4. Enter a short andlng description. To describe a payment Type, Cash, Cheque, Credit Card are used for example. To describe a fine waiver, e.g. Illness, Weather may be used. Any number of types can be set up. At least one Payment Type must exist for fines and one Waive Type must exist if fine waiving is allowed.  
  5. In Pay or Waive, enter '1' if this is a payment record, or enter '2' if this is a fine waiver record. This determines whether the amount is debited or credited to the user record.
  6. If you are going to use the SIP2 self issue system, the following codes should be entered in SIP Code: 00 - Cash; 01 - Visa; 02 - Credit card. These are provided by default.

Default payment / waive type

The default of Cash appears when processing a payment in the User Charges screen. This default can be changed to a different value in OLIB Defaults:

  1. Go to System Admin> OLIB Defaults.
  2. Locate Overdues/Recalls/Fines Parameters at the foot of the User/Circ sheet.
  3. Switch to modify and from Default Payment/Waive Type select your preferred type, e.g. E-card.
  4. Save the changes.

When processing a payment in User Charges this will be the new type by default.

Charge types

OLIB allows you to charge and record payments made for any items and services that the library may sell. For example, you may sell photocopying cards and wish to record this as a manually applied charge. User Transaction Types are required for Circulation if a manual charging system is to be implemented. A predefined list of charge types is supplied with OLIB.

  1. Go to Circulation Reference Data> Charge Types.
  2. Ues a wildcard search to view existing types. Additional Charge Types can be added by clicking on New Record.
  3. In Key ID enter a unique code.
  4. Enter a short and long description to describe this Charge Type.
  5. In Default Charge you can enter a default charge for this transaction type to speed up the process. If left blank the charge can be entered during the actual transaction.
  6. Select whether this transaction is a Debit/Credit?
  7. Select from a list of pre-defined Tax Rate reference data. Should tax, such as VAT be added onto this transaction?
  8. In Tax Inclusive select Yes or No to record if any tax payable is already included in the charge.

 Caution: it is recommended that none of the predefined Charge Types are deleted. For example PAY is necessary for normal functioning of the fines system.