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When checking in a returned loan, care must be taken to verify each specimen sent is returned, and no specimens have been damaged. Carefully unpack the loan, setting the specimens on to a work surface near a computer. Lay the specimens out in numeric order. This will help speed up the verification process. Set the paperwork aside for now.

Opening the loan record:


First, Open Specify.

Most loans will be checked in via the loan form. Run a quick query for the loan number, (instructions found here) then double click this number in the query results to open the record. The loan record has to be put in 'edit' mode before you can proceed.


At the bottom of the form is a list of all the Catalog numbers, preparation types, and quantity of specimens sent out to the borrower. It is the responsibility of the person checking the loan in to verify everything is accounted for, and in good condition. This verification is entered directly into the return/resolved Return Loan sub-form.

Note the areas highlighted in red- these are the return preparation fields. Below that, highlighted with a green arrow, is how you access the sub form.



 Basic Loan Return

Follow this guide for filling in the information in the return/resolved Loan Return sub-form.

It is important to note, you have to make sure all returned specimens are also marked as resolved!


In order for the final reports to work properly, loans must marked as 'Closed', with the date the loan was closed filled out. Hit Save and exit. Proceed to the section on running reports for the final steps of checking a returned loan in.


This will be the most commonly used method, please read the whole entry before applying it!


 Quick loan return

Small loans of one or two specimens can be rapidly processed through the Return Loan selection in the Interactions side bar. There are no options in this method to check quantity, catalog number or remark about condition.

First, Enter the loan number (which should be included in the paperwork sent back with the specimen). If there are more than one loan being checked in, list them out with a comma separating them. Next, click OK The specimens are now marked as returned and the loan is closed.

Efficient method for straightforward loan returns.


 Partial Returns

While not common, at times it is necessary to take a partial loan return. This happens more often with exhibit loans, but it can happen with any type of loan. When partial loans need to be processing, you have to edit the loan preps individually.

  • First, be SURE to have the loan record in Edit mode. Access the Return loan sub-form via the button on the bottom left of the screen.
  • In the pop-up window, select ONLY the specimens that are being returned. Select the (Returned) box to fill in with quantity returned. This will automatically update the 'Resolved' box.
  • In the remarks field, make a note of the partial return. It's a good idea to make a statement in the main loan remarks field, also.


Hit save and this window will close. Remember to save your changes from the main form, also!

When the rest of the specimens come back, repeat these steps until all are returned and you can close out the loan.

Partial returns happen more often with exhibit loans, but it can happen with any type of loan.


 Partial return, second method

If you only have one specimen being returned, and don't want to bother scrolling around the whole loan return pop up window, there is another method for selecting and returning a specimen.

  • First, put the record in edit mode.
  • Click on the catalog number of the item being returned. You'll see the three options on top light up:
    Select the edit option (the record icon with a pencil across it)

  • This will open a smaller version of the Loan Preparation table- this time, the window will have only the information for the catalog number you selected in it.

  • Click the 'Return Preparation' button and yet another window will open. Click the green plus to 'activate' the window. Fill out the relevant data information. Again, remember to use the quantity returned field so it auto-updates the specimens resolved field. Once you hit the 'Done' button, the Loan Preparation window will show the information you added.

Method 2 has a few more steps, but it's a good back up approach.


Now, and most important- put the specimens back where they came from. The loan labels make this an easy job. Be sure to pull the loan label that was left in the drawer, and match it up with the label from the returned specimen. Ask the collection manager if they are to be saved or recycled.

The next step in the process is running the return loan report. You can find those instructions here.