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RDS@UF: Catalog Problems Mailbox

Resource Description Services department procedures and policies

Catalog Problems Mailbox

Updated December 2023 by Greg Allen

Catalog Problems Mailbox Guidelines

The Catalog Problems mailbox ( is monitored by Library Associate 2 and above members of the Resource Description Services (RDS) Department on a rotating basis. Each month an RDS member on schedule below is responsible for monitoring the mailbox regularly to ensure a timely response to the patron. Another RDS member serves as back-up. 

2024 Catalog Problems Schedule


Month            Lead / Back-up

January          Greg / Xiaoli

February        Hank / Greg

March             Beatriz / Hank

April                Nathan / Beatriz

May                 Xiaoli / Nathan

June               Sam / Xiaoli

July                 Jody / Sam

August            Greg / Jody

September     Ayman / Greg

October          Hank / Ayman

November      Jody / Hank

December      Nathan / Beatriz




  • Include lib-catproblems when replying or forwarding messages to maintain the record of activity in the mailbox.  Using "reply to all" comes in handy, but you might need to remove an entry, such as
    • Copy patron's email address from the text of the email, and paste into "To" address box.
  • It’s possible to change who the e-mail reply is from by clicking the arrow in From. The default is to send the e-mail from lib-catproblems.
  • When responding to a patron, include your name and affiliation (e.g., [Name], Resource Description Services Department, Smathers Libraries, University of Florida)
  • When the subject line says “Someone reported a problem with this record” change it to more descriptive text (e.g., problem title) before forwarding.
  • When problem is resolved or referred, move the e-mails to the Completed folder (e.g., Completed FY18).  You don’t have to follow-up on problems referred to er-help or circ, unless there is a need to coordinate a response.
  • Keep an eye on the Junk E-Mail folder.  Occasionally e-mails end up there instead of the Inbox.
  • The In Process folder includes individual folders to place in-process e-mails if desired.  Some of us use our individual folder; some don’t.  Please don’t put e-mails there and then neglect to follow-through.

Broken Links

  • Forward e-resource package broken links to as needed (see canned message below).
  • If the broken link is not part of a package, update the link if possible.  Otherwise, the link will need to be removed.  If the bib is an e-resource record, suppress the UFER holding.  



Library West Contacts

User Services (if it involves a patron)

  • Includes rushes, notifies, missing items not on shelf
  • Unit is also responsible for intake of new materials from Resource Description Services and Acquisitions
  • Contact

Collections Services (all other issues/questions)

Law Library




  • Refer problems with embargoed content (i.e., the record says RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2014-12-31 but it's February 2015) to the IR Manager at:


Canned Messages

Link issue

Thank you for reporting the problem. I just tried the link from on campus, and it seems to be working. Were you on or off campus when you had the problem? If you were on campus, it is possible there was a temporary interruption of service. If you were off campus, please check the connectivity options (especially for the VPN) described here. I would recommend using the main campus VPN client. It is considered to be more reliable for accessing the Libraries' materials. If you have difficulty installing the VPN, you can contact the Help Desk at (352) 392-HELP (4357). Please let me know if you are still unable to connect to the resource. 

Link still doesn’t work for patron, or it also didn't work for you.

I am copying our Electronic Resources Unit so that they can look into the problem.

Link issue with ProQuest Ebook Central titles.

Thank you for reporting the problem. For titles in the ProQuest Ebook Central collection you will need to log in with your GatorLink account, regardless of whether you are on or off campus. Try that and please let me know if you are still unable to connect to the resource.

Not on shelf

Thank you for reporting the problem. I am forwarding this to the Circulation Unit at [name of library]. I would check the shelf one more time and if you still can’t find the book, report the problem to staff at the service desk. Check with the service desk to see if you can use UBorrow which would allow you to request the book from another Florida university or Interlibrary Loan.


Not on shelf  - ALTERNATIVE

I see that the book was recently returned to the library. It may not have yet been shelved when you checked the shelf. I would check the shelf again. If you don’t locate the book, ask at the circulation desk and let them know it was recently returned. It may be sitting on a book truck.

UF does not own requested resource.

You might try requesting the book through Interlibrary Loan. I also see that it is available through other Florida university libraries: [link to Primo here]. Sign in to use UBorrow and you can request the book from another school. This latter method is probably faster. Hope this helps.

Book has an item processing status indicating it is in Cataloging, Acquisitions, or In Transit

Book has an item processing status indicating it is in Cataloging or Acquisitions or no item at all (the problem can be referred to Sam Fraleigh). Respond back whether the book has been found or not.

See the following note for patron --  We will initiate a search for the item you are looking for. If it is found, we will process the book. If the item cannot be located, we’ll let you know a couple of alternatives for getting a copy.

Report of a problem requiring record editing (e.g. misspelled title).

Thank you for reporting the problem. It’s been fixed. In some cases, it may take up to three days to display correctly in the library catalog.

Patron request that we pull an item from the shelf for them.

We received your request. This is something that is out of the scope for reporting catalog problems. I am forwarding this to the Circulation Unit at [name of library] so that they can respond.

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