StaffGuide: User Services

Lost and Found Policy_2020

Lost and Found Policy

The Mullins Library is one of many lost and found repositories across the University of Arkansas campus. Per university policy, all lost and found items are logged at the following site: http://lostandfound.com/universityofarkansas. Mullins Library retains lost and found items for one week.  After one week, all unclaimed items are transferred to the central Campus Lost and Found located in Facilities Management Central Supply at 521 S. Razorback Road.  Campus Lost and Found will retain unclaimed items for 60 days before disposal.

Before transferring lost and found items to the central Campus Lost and Found, Libraries staff will attempt to contact the owner if visible identification is available while respecting the owner’s privacy. 

  • All food and drink items turned into the library lost and found will be discarded immediately.
  • Clothing items and accessories will be logged and tagged with the date found.
  • Electronic media (USB drives, hard drives, etc.) and devices (cell phones, laptops, tablets, etc.) will not be accessed in an attempt to find the owner. These items will be logged and tagged with the date found.
  • Books, notebooks, papers, etc. will be logged and tagged with the date found.
  • Campus IDs, driver’s licenses, passports, credit/debit cards, etc. – Library staff will attempt to contact the owner. Items will be logged and tagged with the date found.
  • Any other item of monetary value (backpacks, purses, wallets, keys, etc.) will be logged and tagged with the date found.

Patrons must be able to describe their lost item before receiving it and may not look through the lost and found repository for their item. Only the owner of the lost item may claim and collect their belongings. A photo ID is required to obtain any lost and found item.

FAQ - LostAndFound (L&F)

Can a patron pick up an item for a friend?

No, a patron cannot pick up, nor claim an item that does not belong to them. Only the owner of an item can pick up his/her belongings.

Do government IDs go to the UofA ID office with student IDs?

No, a government-issued IDs stay in Mullins Lost and Found until items are transferred over to Facilities Management Central Supply Lost & Found, 521 S. Razorback Road, Fayetteville, AR 72701. The University of Arkansas IDs are transferred over to the UofA ID Office the following business day of being turned in.

 Can patrons look through Lost and Found to find their item(s)?

No, patrons may not look through the L&F drawer. Patrons must describe any item in question before items can be removed from the drawer and shown to the patron. This helps to cut down on confusing similar items as their own.

Where is lost and found located in Mullins?

Items can be turned in at any desk at Mullins Library, but all items are entered into LostAndFound.com, stored, and picked up at the main circulation desk.

What do I do with large items? (Lib staff)

Any item too large to be placed in the L&F drawer or placed neatly on top of the counter is handled on a case by case basis. If such an item is turned into L&F, ask a User Services supervisor where to place the item. A note of the item's location is then placed in the back of the L&F drawer.

Do patrons need a student ID to pick up an L&F item?

No, their university ID or any government ID will do.

How do patrons know what is in L&F?

Items can be searched on the L&F website once they have been entered into LostAndFound.com. Sometimes a full-time staff member will contact patrons to inform them an item has been turned into L&F, if the item’s owner can be clearly identified.

What happens to items turned in on Friday? Should we enter

Lost and found is normally cleared out once a week (Saturdays); this means, typically items stay in L&F for about a week. If items are turned in within a day or so of transferring items over, depending on what the item is, we normally wait until the following week to transfer it over.

Should we enter into Lost and Found books rented from campus bookstores as normal or should it be taken down to the bookstore?

We would handle the books on a case-by-case basis. If the book has a label from the bookstore giving clear information. If possible try to contact (email) the student first, but if they don't respond, User Services will transport the books to the bookstore. 

LostAndFound.com Instructions

LostAndFound.com Procedures – Mullins Library

  1. Enter “LostAndFound.com” into a browser address bar
  2. Click login

                      

Note: All staff that uses the LostAndFound webpage on the library’s behalf will use the User Services Circserv email and a unique password to log in. Contact a User Services Supervisor for login information.

  1. Enter email and Password
  2. Be sure to enter the Security code, make sure your CAPS button is off.

Once logged in, the homepage displays “Account Information”, “My Venue Page: University of Arkansas” and “Your Lost and Found Listings”.

  1. Account Information – Displays account email and phone number. This section also has buttons for reporting lost items or reporting found items.
  2. My Venue Page: University of Arkansas – features two buttons
    1. This button takes you to the Venue Admin Area. This page stores the Venue ID#, Facilities Management/Central Supply address, and contact number.
  3. Your Lost and Found Listings: This is where all the items listed using the Library’s account will be listed. Here you also have the ability to delete/edit selected items from Lost and Found.

Adding an Item

  1. Click - this button takes you to the “Report A Found Item” page.
  2. Input date item was found.
  3. Title – in FOUND field enter brief description of item. Ex. Tall black top hat
  4. Category – select the general category that best fits the item you are entering. If you are not sure what to select, click the  icon to see what sub-categories are available to help make a decision.  Ex. Clothing

Note: Some items do not have a clear category, if you are unsure what category to select, try being consistent, check other items of its type listed by the library and select what fits best.

  1. Sub-Category – Select the sub-category that matches the item being entered. Ex. Hats
  2. Specific Description – Type out a description of the item being entered.
    1. Be sure not to enter any patron specific information here. Such as ID number, full name, etc. The Description field should always be filled in, be as brief or detailed as needed, either way, be sure to enter enough information.
  3. Choose a Brand/Breed – after a category and subcategory are selected a shortlist of brands are generated. If you do not see the brand of the item listed, but the item’s brand can be seen on the item, type in the brand. If the brand is not visible or identifiable on the item and it is not listed, select “Unknown” on the list.
  4. Primary Color and Secondary Color – Select the color(s) listed that best match the color of the item.
  • Location Information -
  1. State, City and Zipcode – already filled out for us.
  2. Specific Location – Type in “Mullins Library”
  3. Location Venue Type – Select “School” then click “search”, another menu will appear, select “University Of Arkansas – 521 South Razorback Rd.”
  4. Clicktoward the bottom of page.
    1. Give the site time to load, the Item detail page should appear
  5. Record the “Unique ID/Ad#” on a yellow sticker. Remember all numbers begin with ILF. 

Note: Stickers are normally kept under the main circulation desk.

  1. Attach sticker w/ recorded “Unique ID/Ad#” to item being placed in L&F drawer.
    1. This unique number can be combined with URL to go directly to item page. EX. http://lostandfound.com/search/detail/344612. Must enter (/search/detail/) followed by unique number.  Items cannot be deleted and/or edited from this page.

When / What Items should be added to LostAndFound.com

Found items should be entered into “LostAndFound.com” as soon as possible. Items should not be in library’s possession longer than an hour before creating a “LostAndFound.com” record. Most Items should be entered into “LostAndFound.com”, meaning any item that is not easily replaced, has value, or is turned into L&F by someone. RANDOM SHEETS OF PAPER ARE NOT TO BE PLACED IN LOST AND FOUND. Only government documents: Birth Certificates, Social Security cards, passports, and government issued IDs, etc. Forms/papers with personal information are to be held till the end of the day then shredded if not picked up, DO NOT PLACE IN LOST AND FOUND. All other papers can be recycled. If not sure if item should be placed in L&F, refer it to User Experience supervisor or librarian.

  • If there is a name or any contact information available on the item try to contact them by email or phone to notify them of their item being found and where to retrieve said item. Use of the University Directory and/or SIERRA to obtain and verify contact info is suggested.

Please use discretion when entering item descriptions into “LostAndFound.com”.  The “Specific Description" field can be viewed by the public and should contain generic item information. For example: when entering  an electronic tablet  into “LostAndFound.com”, we might use the “Description” field to give a general description of the item including details such as; brand, color, model, etc.   

Any items of great value such as: cash, wallets, expensive jewelry, etc. should be brought to the attention of a supervisor in order to be placed in the Circulation Safe.  (Refer to Use of Safe for more information)

Note: Any items being freely distributed on campus (I.e. pins, cups, coupon books, etc.) are not to be placed into lost and found.

Placing items in L&F Drawer (“Housekeeping”)

Small items (earrings, necklace), small cord items (headphones, etc.) are to be gathered and held together with tape and loose documents should all be placed in one of the clear sleeves in the black Lost & Found Binder (Also Identified by a Lost & Found sticker on front of binder). Items must be logged into “LostAndFound.com” before going in to binder. 

Articles of clothing are to have the yellow sticker placed on the clothing’s tag or somewhere easily visible and the sticker secured by a piece of tape. The clothing is then folded or rolled up and placed neatly in the L&F drawer. For items too large to place in drawer a note will be placed in the drawer with the items information. The Item will then be placed in a secured location.

Perishables such as food, drink, or anything that can spill out or spoils over time should be dumped out and rinsed out, then the container(s) may be entered into L&F.

When placing items in the drawer, please place them neatly!

Use of Safe

Often we wonder if a lost and found item has been placed in the safe. We would generally only do this if the item is a wallet or cash.  The lost and found drawer is not left unattended and it is locked at night. If an item is put in the safe we will put a large note in the lost and found drawer indicating such an item has been placed in the safe. This keeps everyone from having to ask around if someone can open the safe and check its contents. Please remember if you put an item in the safe to make a note and display it prominently in the drawer (I usually tape it to the inside back of the drawer) so others will see it.

Removing Items from Lost & Found

  1. When logged into the Library’s L&F.com account; go to “My Account” to “Your Lost and Found Listings”. Locate the item to be removed by title and Listing ID.
  2. Click the “Please Select” button to the right to expand the options menu.

  1. Click “Delete Listing”, a pop-up message will appear toward the top of the page asking, “Are you sure you want to delete this listing?”.  Select “OK” and the listing will be deleted.

Item not listed and link not available

In the past LostandFound.com has had items that are not claimed after some time disappears from the listing. If this is ever the case, we can use the item ID# to locate the items listing page. Sometimes the record page will not have a link that says “Request Listing Owner to Remove Listing”. If that is the case we have no further course of action. 

There doesn’t seem to be a reason why some have the link and others do not.
(Example photo shows a record page without the option to request deleting the post.)

Returning an Item to owner / Discharging IDs

Returning Item(s) to an owner

The Scenario: A patron comes to the desk claiming to have lost something.
Such as: A basic black and white thumb/jump drive.
Unique details would be things like: 4GB and it has the patrons name on the left side. A scratch from where it was drop recently. Also teeth marks from their dog. Anything descriptive terms really.
The Question: What do we do?

The Answer:
First, Ask the patron what has been misplaced. Ask the patron to describe the item (at least two or more unique details about the object). Check to verify if we have any items that fit or come close to the description, be sure to look for and only pull the items that have the unique details listed by the patron. Under no circumstance is the patron allowed to look through the lost and found. If there is more than one item that fits the description, ask the patron for other details to eliminate the less likely items. Staff will remove the items that fit the description and ask the patron to verify the item. Verify patrons ID and delete record from “LostAndFound.com” as soon as possible. (Instructions above)

Releasing item to Owner:

  1. Confirm the item belongs to the patron to the best of your ability
    1. Ask for at least 3 distinctive traits about the item before retrieving an item.
  2. Patron must present Valid ID (University or Government Issued)
    1. Use ID to verify patrons identity
  3. Give the item to the patron
  4. On the LostAndFound.com “My Account” page select the correct item and delete the record.

Discharging IDs to the University ID office

All University IDs should be logged in to LostAndFound.com and patron emailed. The following day all IDs are to be transferred to the UARK ID office. Once transferred/deleted in “LostAndFound.com” the ID card is to be taken to the University ID office immediately.

If the ID has been taken over, Circulation staff is to direct the patron to the ID office. As a campus-wide policy, all university IDs that are lost are to be turned into the ID office, so it is better to direct the patron there even if it was not in the library’s Lost & Found.

Campus Staff Items - That can be Identified

When items are turned into US (User Services) that happen to have property tag (image below), we can find out who it belongs to with a little help from our friends in Business Services. Almost all University of Arkansas property, especially high dollar value items like a tablet, laptop, etc. will have a property tag on it somewhere. Using the barcode,     Assistant Library Budget Officer (Rene Rogers) and Library Budget Officer and Building Executive (Debra Cheval) can look it up in Basis and find who the item is assigned to. In the case of the image below, the item belonged to a program director in the Athletics department. As we do make a reasonable effort to get lost and found items returned to the correct owners, this is a tool that we can use to help in this process.

Guidelines for Releasing Items to Facilities Management Central L & F (FAMA)

Once a week and/or when the L&F drawer gets full, the items contained in L&F are to be transferred to Facilities Management Central Supply Lost & Found (FAMA), which is the main L&F on Campus and located at 521 S. Razorback Road, Fayetteville, AR 72701. 

A full-time Circulation employee pulls the items that are to be transferred to FAMA. Count and record the number of items to be transferred on the “Lost and Found Transfer Log Sheet”. The Form can be found in the L&F Binder. The items are then discharged out of “LostAndFound.com” as per instructions.  After the items have been discharged, record the Date, Number of items (under Description), and Initial. Place the items into a container (bag and or box), not the package as Lost and Found. Send the items down to Shipping and Receiving to be picked up by the Annex staff member to take to FAMA.

Example:

Releasing items to ARKU ID office or Facilities Management Central L & F (FAMA)

When transferring items to another department:

Because there isn’t currently a reasonable way to “transfer” the items using the LostAndFound.com website, we are to delete the record when transferring items to another department.

When “LostAndFound.com” is not available

  1. Use the “Lost & Found Manual Log” Sheet
  2. Fill in the Description and Date of item
  3. For the item number place a temporary number on the item
  4. Write the number in a small area on a yellow sticker and attach to the item
  5. Keep items isolated from other items in L&F until entered into “LostAndFound.com”
  6. Later when “LostAndFound.com” is available to enter items
  7. Replace temporary number with Record number generated by “LostAndFound.com”
  8. Place item back into lost and found

Information on the Lost and Found web page

Be sure to inform patrons of the campus Lost and Found web page. The lost and found site can be used to search for missed placed items as well as reporting items missing. On the Lost and Found site, there is contact information for the various L&Fs on campus as well as information about the main L&F. For additional information on the library’s lost and found, try the Libraries FAQ (https://libraries.uark.edu/info/lost.asp).