OWWLAC Meeting, Tuesday, May 27

10:00-12:00 at PLSHQ


Rebecca Budinger-Mulhern (AVO), Lisa Gricius (WAR), Sandra Hylen (ONT), Theresa Streb (LYO), Diana Thorn (BRI), Stacey Wicksall (RJ)


Chris Finger (GPL/Central)

Old Business / Updates from Previous Action Items

New Business

Scheduling the process to mark 3-year expired patron accounts inactive

Currently once a year in March.


The once per year mark inactive process causes problems for libraries on a July-June fiscal year when counting patrons; the drops in patron count hard to explain to funders. As per discussion with Bob Wicksall, a better process, from a data management standpoint and library business, would be to schedule a daily process to mark patrons inactive. This would even out the variations in patron count, and make the "3 Year Inactive Patrons" report truly ad hoc.


Change 3 Year Inactive Patron process to a daily schedule.

GPL considering paperless patron registration

Chris Finger would like to discuss options / workflows / ideas for this. Chris was absent this meeting, but we did discuss this topic a bit. Further discussion deferred until next meeting.


Why are paper forms used? Primarily to have a patron's official signature. Libraries do request copies/scans of registration paperwork when dealing with potential duplicate (sometimes fraudulent) patrons. The signature is used to verify other ID. This led to a discussion of other ways to track signatures - in a notebook, like vote sign in (although these are printed every election); scan paperwork and save it electronically; some kind of electronic solution without paper.

Legacy Bills Browser - still needed?

PLS is in the process of reworking the pls-net.org and owwl.org websites. As part of this proces we are looking carefully at what things we need on our webpage, and what things can be eliminated. The Legacy Bills Browser is a candidate for elimination, if libraries do not use it.


Some libraries do use the Legacy Bills Browser fairly regularly, some have never used it. We looked at the LegacyBillsBrowser, Lindsay explained why it was created, what data it contains, and how the data compares to records in Evergreen. Discussion centered around the service implications of handling these old bills, and how much information is truly needed for a bill that was created 4+ years ago.The general feeling of OWWLAC members is that the Legacy Bills Browser can be eliminated, but the question should be referred to member libraries.

Talking about the Legacy Bills Browser / customer service and old bills raised additional issues of how long to retain old, unpaid bills; many of which pre-date Evergreen. We discussed determining a standard point at which old bills (and associated items, and possibly the inactive patron records as well) should be deleted. Points raised include customer service issues, such as not holding patrons forever accountable for past bad choices, not holding patrons accountable for bad choices made when they were juvenile patrons, patrons who have bills who have never returned to the library because of their bills, should libraries use bills in a punitive way or do we have other more positive options, etc.

Also considered, strategies for resolving bills before they linger, how to get materials back. This touches on issues relating to staff ability to/comfort with negotiating with patrons; social issues that impact patrons and the effect on library service, such as housing insecurity, family instability, poverty, unemployment, mental health issues, etc.; the greater good of library service.

Semi-related practical question: when new materials are lost, when should the library replace them? Most agree that if the item has holds, high demand, has only circulated a couple times, then replace it quickly.


  • OWWLAC would like to know if it is possible to get a report of patrons who have bills in excess of $xxx [no amount set].
  • Members will ask their represented libraries about the Legacy Bills Browser
  • Add planning for a standard recommendation for deleting old bills to next meeting agenda

Evergreen for Directors

Lindsay is working on training sessions for directors, aimed at getting directors familiar enough with Evergreen to make decisions about circulation, workflow, reports, and library configurations. It is proving to be a very complex challenge! Great suggestions came up, which Lindsay is encorporating for the next "Evergreen for Directors" session, and will turn into future sessions.

Lindsay's planning board:
EvergreenDirectors PlanningBoard.png

Discard vs. Delete

A question was raised regarding the Discard/Weeding copy status, versus deleting copies.

"Discard/Weed" is a copy status just like Lost, Missing, Checked Out, etc. The only effect it has on a copy record is to hide the copy in the OPAC and make it non-holdable, it is not automatically removed from the catalog. It is generally used in situations where items are removed from the shelf, then held for some time for evaluation and review, and later either deleted or returned to Available status and reshelved.

Most of our libraries do not use this delayed appraoch, and instead delete copy records (and discard the physical materials) in the same process.

Meeting Schedule

OWWLAC is on vacation for the summer. We have cancelled the July 22 and August 26 meetings. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, June 24, 10:00-12:00 at PLSHQ at PLSHQ; then Tuesday, September 23.


  • Change 3 Year Inactive Patron schedule to mark patrons inactive daily - PLS
  • Add paperless patron registration to June 24 meeting agenda - LS
  • Discuss the Legacy Bills Browser with member libraries: is it used, should PLS include it with the website redevelopment, or can PLS eliminate it? - OWWLAC reps
  • Test report of patrons with excessive fines - LS
  • Add planning for a standard recommendation for deleting old bills to June 24 meeting - LS


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