Item State in FOLIO

What is Item State?

FOLIO is implementing a three-part item state. The three factors included are Availability; Needed for; and Process.

While initially developed with system-provided values, the goal is to eventually provide libraries who are using a workflow engine the ability to customize these values (and behavior) for their needs.

As of Poppy, only Availability is currently implemented, as a field labeled Item status. Note that a few availability items are still being developed - see Availability Implementation List for more details.

Needed for and Process are not yet implemented.

Once developed, the three factors for item state will interact together to drive functionality, and display status information on the item record.

Element DescriptionBehavior in FOLIO that is affected by this elementTriggered byCan you have more than one value?Is this a required value?
AvailabilityMay describe information about where an item is (available; recently returned) or if it can be policies, requestingFOLIO workflows. Availability is not a field that is edited directly - it's changed by choosing FOLIO workflow options - for example, selecting "Mark as Missing" from the item menu to mark an item as missing.NoYes (for physical items)
Needed For Allows libraries to assign a path for an item to follow when it is needed for specific things. These may be for staff needs, or for patron needs. Needed For might include Requests; Course Reserves; Binding; etc.requestingFOLIO workflow for some values; manually set for other values.YesNo
ProcessDescribes a staff process that an item is in. Processes might include Digitization; Repair; Cataloging; policies, requestingFOLIO workflow for some values; manually set for other values.NoNo

Item states implemented as of 2021

StatusImplementedApp triggeringBrief description
On orderYesOrder (point of order), Data ImportItem has been ordered, but not yet received
In processYesOrder (point of receipt/check in), Data Import, Others?Item has been received, but not yet ready to circulate (may also be applied in other circumstances, e.g. damaged book being sent to bindery, so it's off the shelf for a while)
AvailableYesInventory (when creating a new item), Check in, Data ImportItem is on the shelf (available to patrons) and ready to circulate (if allowed)
Checked outYesCheck outItem has been checked out to a user
In transitYesCheck inItem is traveling to where it is needed (e.g. home location for reshelving, pickup point for a request)
Awaiting pickupYesCheck inRequested item has been checked in and it is at the proper service point (waiting for a patron to pick it up)
MissingYesInventory (dropdown, not from the edit screen)Item is not on the shelf, but not checked out to anyone and not officially withdrawn/weeded; still hope that it may turn up again
WithdrawnYesInventory, Data ImportItem has been removed from the collection
Claimed returnedYesUsersPatron checked out an item, or an item was aged to lost, and the patron claims to have returned the item; library gives them the benefit of the doubt (i.e. removes the checkout) while they look for it
Declared lostYesUsersPatron checked out an item, and the patron reports the item lost; loan is still active and the fine/fee has not been paid
Aged to lostYesAutomated, triggered by the passage of time in relation to the loan's due date & the associated fee/fine policyLoaned item is so overdue the library assumes the user has lost it
Long missingYesInventoryAn item that was not loaned to the patron is not where it should be on the shelf. The library has thoroughly searched for it and is 99% sure it will not be found.
Lost and paidYesAutomated, triggered by patron paying off a bill associated with Declared lost or Aged to lostItem that the library is not getting back: an item checked out to a patron that they've paid for because the library's not getting it back
PagedYesRequestsItem has been paged and needs to be retrieved from its shelving location
Awaiting deliveryYesCheck InItem has an open delivery request, but check out to patron was stopped/paused (because item doesn't circulate, item has missing pieces, etc.)
Order closedYesOrders; Data ImportAn item that has not been received, but the order for it has been closed
Item is not available to patrons
Item status is not known (used for records imported from other ILSes)
In process (not requestable)Yes
Being worked on by staff, and not requestable by patrons
Intellectual itemYes
Dummy item/intellectual item. Has a record, but does not physically circulate.
Item is available, but there are limits on its circulation (e.g., CDL)

Considerations for Implementers in 2020 and 2021

Because Item State is in development, implementing libraries will need to analyze their workflows and identify scenarios where they need to track staff processes without the ability to use item state. In particular, because Needed For and Process are not yet implemented, libraries that need to track behind-the-scenes work like binding will most likely need to use an alternative approach.

Possible features that could be used as alternatives include:

Alternative: Check In or Check Out Notes

Notes are implemented on the item record in the Loan and Availability section. Adding a Check In note displays a pop-up message when an item is checked in; adding a Check Out note displays a pop-up message when an item is checked out.


  • This is relatively easy to implement and most library staff already are used to using loan notes in other systems.


  • Notes must be manually managed on the item record.
  • Notes that are created and removed on the same day will likely not be captured in the LDP for reporting purposes, because the LDP (as of Q12020) updates once a day overnight.

Alternative: Dummy Users

"Dummy" users are user records that are not for real people but used for workflow. 

So for example, a library that sends items for binding could create a user named "Binding Processes". Then, when an item is being sent to Binding, it is checked out to that user. When it returns it from binding, you check it in and it removes it from that user.


  • You have one place to look for items that are in a particular process state without using a report - simply look at the loans for the dummy user record.


  • Loaning an item to a user will not in and of itself stop that item from being requestable for other users.
  • You may also want the items that are loaned to dummy users to have longer loan periods than to real users.
    • These needs can be taken care of through construction of specific patron groups and circulation rules, but libraries will want to be careful in constructing those rules to make sure FOLIO behaves as they are wanting it to behave.

Alternative: Service Points and Locations

FOLIO has the concept of a permanent location and temporary location for an item (see Effective Location Logic for details). Libraries could use Temporary Locations on items to indicate when items are being handled in staff processes.

So for example, a library that needs to send an item to the Bindery may set a temporary location on that item of "Bindery".

When the item is returned, the staff member removes the temporary location on the item, and checks the item in. This would put the item in route to its home location.


  • This alternative workflow leverages the Circulation Rules system. Rules can be written so that the temporary locations do not allow for requesting or loans.
  • Requiring staff to use temporary locations plus Check In and Check Out to move items preserves up-to-date transit information - so you should know if an item is moving in between behind-the-scenes processes and locations.
  • For those who export location information to a discovery layer, the use of the temporary location can provide an easy way to signal to patrons where an item is and why it's not available.


  • This requires staff to be able to comfortably navigate the four-level location hierarchy, and for libraries with lots of processes to manage, it may get unwieldy.
  • In order for routing to work, this also requires the creation of behind-the-scenes service points (though you could have one service point for many locations – it is a one to many relationship.)
  • As of Q12020, there is no way to do a bulk edit of item records in FOLIO inventory, so managing the temporary location process requires touching the item record directly.

Considerations for Item Migration

As of September 2020, the item state value is an uncontrolled string (see UXPROD-1927 - Getting issue details... STATUS  for a feature to improve this.)

That means that you may not run into error messages if you map in item status values from other systems that do not match values in FOLIO. You'll want to carefully consider how those values are mapped during the migration process.