OWWLAC Meeting, July 26, 2011


A. Grace (WADS), B. Horn (GPL/Central), S. Hylen (ONT), D. Norris (ROS), E. Robinson (CAS), B. Warner (NAP), J. Frey (PLS), B. Morris (PLS), L. Stratton (PLS)


M. Correia (CS)

Old Business / Updates from Previous Action Items

Previous meeting: OwwlacMeeting20110524
  • Aged Circulation scrubbing on hold pending further investigation - current mechanism for doing this would negatively impact circualtion statistics and annual statistics
  • All Ages removed from Item Attributes selection lists - libraries contacted re: clean up, some unanticipated issues with ItemAttributesTemplates

New Business

  • Proposal: Expand Holds Age Based Hold Protection to all new materials
    • Age Based Hold Protection - Proposal - distributed 7/19/11
    • Discussion: general consensus from member libraries that hold protections work well for video materials because the size of the collection is relatively small, whereas opening hold protections to all material types would have more negative impacts because of the larger number of materials. Negatives identified include: patron confusion by inability to place holds on available items, patron inability to place holds if their library does not own a copy and all other copies are protected / having to remember to "come back to it later", most people do not expect to have DVDs right away (they are released after theatrical releases) but they DO expect to have new books as soon as they are released, concerns about the potential impact on the High demand reports as a useful collection development tool due to skewed holds queues, that the increase in number of items impacted would almost necessitate that use of holds protections be mandatory for all libraries, the "tax money" argument specious because "home library" or "pick up library" does not necessarily match tax supporting library, items sent to fill holds generally balance items recieved to fill holds, philosophical opposition to hold protections in general. Outcome: leave the current hold protection policy as it currently stands - use age-based hold protection for video materials only.
  • PatronGroups functionality (L. Stratton, PLS)
    • This functionality was discussed as a possible tool to manage issues related to patrons (typically family members) who may be allowed to perform some library tasks - such as pick up hold items, pay fines, etc. - for other patrons. Once an account is retrieved by barcode, the group list can be viewed, and staff can easily retrieve another group member's account. Groups do not allow patrons to access any other account via the OPAC, groups only streamline circulation activities for library staff. In the opinion of PLS staff, this function entails many issues that would require local library policy/training, and publicising the feature would not be advisible without director input and discussion.
    • Discussion:
      • Policy concerns:
        • privacy - what information can/should a patron be given about another patron's items out/bills/holds/etc., is this different for juveniles vs. adults, young children vs. teens (this issue also larger than the context of groups)
        • allowable tasks - what can a patron do on behalf of a group member: place holds, pick up holds, checkout non-hold items, renew, pay bills, change address, change password, etc.
        • responsibility - how to define and record responsibility? for items borrowed (if item is physically taken away from the library by one person yet had been checked out to a second account), for bills, etc.
      • Impact on other libraries? If a patron (or group members) use multiple libraries, how to handle different policies regarding groups at different libraries?
      • Abuses by patrons when the card holders account is blocked and they request staff to use a different group member account
      • Role of upfront communication with patron regarding group set up, responsibility, etc.
      • Impact on reports?
      • Maybe more effort than needed except in special situations or for bigger libraries
      • Libraries would like sample policies, also more information about privacy - both law and ALA recommendation
    • Outcome: ONT and WADS bothidentified possibly cases where this function would be useful and volunteered to be fieldtest cases and report back to OWWLAC re: practical considerations, staff and patron impressions, pros/cons and other issues to better inform best practices and local library policy recommendations
  • Hold denial message (B. Morris, PLS)
    • Raised in the course of the hold protection discussion, the unhelpfulness of the current "hold denied" message was mentioned. Betsy shared her revised hold denied message, which was agreed to be a bit more helpful. PLS will submit this change to Equinox.
    • At this point, Evergreen does not support hold denied messages tailored to the denial reason (i.e. - patron has fines, item is not holdable, etc.) This may be a feature in future Evergreen releases; PLS is exploring options.
    • CURRENT MESSAGE: No items were found that could fulfill the requested holds. It's possible that choosing a different format will result in a successful hold. It is also possible that you have exceeded the number of allowable holds. For further information, please consult your local librarian.
    • PROPOSED MESSAGE: Unfortunately, your hold was not able to be placed. The item may not be holdable, or you may have too many holds, or overdue items, or fines. Please call you local library for assistance.
  • Improvement in Evergreen response times? (J. Frey, PLS)
    • Query re: Evergreen response times following upgrades. Consensus - yes, response times have improved.


  • PLS will review law and ALA recommendations regarding privacy
  • PLS will collect / draft basic example policies for handling patron groups
  • PLS will submit customized hold denail message to Equinox.


  • OWWLAC recommends that optional age-based hold protection continue to be limited to Video materials only.
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