OWWLAC Meeting, September 5, 2017

10:00-12:00 at PLSHQ

PLS PC Support policies

PLS IT staff have proposed the following policies:
  • No support PCs that are more than 5 years old
    • Older machines are not compatible with new operating systems and software
  • No support for machines that are not running Windows Pro
    • Many software programs PLS uses are not compatible with Windows Home; Windows Home used in an organizational setting is probably an EULA violation
    • All PCs ordered through PLS come with Windows Pro, and our configuration provides cost savings
  • Will provide consultation on creating technology plans
    • A technology plan will help libraries establish an upgrade schedule and help with technology budgeting
These policies are intended to allow PLS IT staff to focus their time on critical tasks, be able to take advantage of remote support options, and maintain effective support services for the longterm.

  1. Share policy proposals and elicit feedback (ALL)
    • No support PCs that are more than 5 years old
    • No support for machines that are not running Windows Pro
    • Will provide consultation on creating technology plans

PLS and CCLS joint Evergreen project

PLS has been discussiong partnering with the Chataqua-Cattaraugus Library System to provide ILS services. We are still in the exploratory stage of this project., but our vision is that CCLS will be added to the PLS Evergreen installation and PLS will provide consultation and support services to them. Their materials and people will be added to our databases. However, the databases will be configured in such a way that they do not have access to our materials and people, and we will not have access to theirs.

We are pursuing this project because almost 80% if libraries' budgets go to paying for an ILS. We want to create a model where small, rural libraries can save money by using open source software, and combine resources to reinvest in things like development work to improve the software. We are ultimately hoping that additional systems will also join us using Evergreen.

  1. None, information sharing

Privacy and Evergreen services

2018 will bring greater focus on patron privacy and security. Some steps, such as the new login for reports, have already begun.
  • OPAC searches - currently, OPAC searches are only secure if the patron has logged in to their online account; otherwise all search data is unprotected.
    • Bob is working to fix that so ALL OPAC searches are secure.
    • Many modern browsers, such as Chrome, give alerts for insecure traffic, Bob's updates will resolve those types of alerts.
  • Reports with patron identifying information - currenly several reports include substantial amounts of patron information, including addresses, birth dates, etc.; reports had been accessible to anybody with the URL and using a library computer
    • The Report Browser login limits acess to library staff only
    • PLS staff will be reviewing the reports for patron information and re-writing them for better anonymity
  • LIBCIRC and LIBTECH passwords - these have not changed since Workflows
    • PLS will change library login passwords on an annual basis
  • Patron record purges - currently records are deleted that have been expired for 6 years
    • OWWLAC proposes reducing that to 4 years
  • Keeping registration paperwork?
    • PLS currently recommends shredding registration paperwork as soon as reasonable for library work flow, or avoiding the use of paper forms entirely
    • This paperwork is another source of unsecured personally identifying information
    • GPL says that they scan registration paperwork and save the digital files to a flash drive, then shred the paper forms. The data is accessible if needed but secure.

Online card registration and digital materials access

PLS is considering options to allow us to offer online registration for digital materials

Fine Free Pilot Program

Following the Fine Free Circulation Discussion, most libraries seemed to prefer fine free circulation for children's materials. The other alternative, and preferred by some libraries, is to allow juvenile patrons fine free circulations. After exploring options and discussion, fine free children's materials is not a viable option - there are basically two ways to
  • special circ modifier - would cause conflicts with checkouts at a fine free library of other libraries' materials, checkouts of a fine free library's materials at other libraries, and managing circulation rules.
  • copy location - would require a single children's location
OWWLAC decided that for the pilot, the fine free juvenile patron is the best option. They also suggest using a custom kid-friendly logo for juvenile cards, and framing the card as something like "Children's Opportunity Card" rather than just "fine free" to convey that this program is to encourage and remove barriers for young readers.

Fine Free Juvenile Patrons Pilot Program outline

  • Juvenile patrons would be able to borrow materials fine free
  • Juvenile age defined per library
  • When a patron ages out of juvenile age, their fine free status will automatically expire
  • Fine Free borrowing would be limited to libraries that have juvenile fine free circ rules
  • Fine free circulations would apply to "Default" circulation modifier items (books, audiobooks)
  • PLS has grant funds to apply toward materials like stickers, special cards, marketing materials, training, etc.
Additional pilot details are forthcoming.

Change mark lost time frame

Part of the discussion of fine free circulations touched on shortening the length of time before overdue materials are considered lost. Currently, overdue materials are automatically marked as lost 8 weeks after the last due date. OWWLAC proposes for consideration shortening this period to 6 weeks. This would be a system wide change, impacting all libraries.

  1. Gather feedback from libraries

Automatic Renewals

Lauren brought up automatic renewals, a topic that was discussed at the recent Public Library System Director's Organization meeting. Some systems have set up their ILSs to automatically renew checkouts where the item has no holds and renewals are otherwise allowed. According to PULISDO discussion, this helps patrons prevent overdues, and cuts down on library staff time spent on overdues and boosts circulation due to renewals.

OWWLAC is interested but wonders how patrons are alerted that this is happening, particularly how they are notified that an item will NOT be automatically renewed. Lindsay does nto know if Evergreen can be set up to do this, although there has been some discussion about it in Evergreen lists.

  1. Lindsay will investigate Evergreen functionality
  2. Gather feedback/gauge interest from libraries

Standarization of circ rules

This topic came up in discussion. Standardizing circ rules, particularly loan durations, across ALL libraries really would improve service by eliminating confusion over circ rule mis-matches for due dates, and allowing us greater flexibility in rolling out special circulation plans, like fine free transactions, automatic renewals, etc.


  1. Share PC Support policy proposals and elicit feedback (ALL)
    • No support PCs that are more than 5 years old
    • No support for machines that are not running Windows Pro
    • Will provide consultation on creating technology plans
  2. Share privacy proposals and elicit feedback (ALL)
    • OPAC searches - unsecured if not logged in
    • Report Browser login (implemented)
    • Re-writing PLS reports to minimize personal identification
    • Change LIBTECH and LIBCIRC passwords annually
    • Purge patrons records after 4 years expired (currently 6 years)
  3. Change marked lost time period
    • reduce the time frame for patron account deletions from 6 years no activity to 4 years
  4. Remind libraries that they do not have to retain registration paperwork beyond their local workflow needs (ALL)
  5. Gather feedback from libraries about shortening overdue items marked lost period from 8 weeks to 6 (ALL)
  6. Gather feedback/gauge interest from libraries on automatic renewals (ALL)
  7. Investigate Evergreen options for automatic renewals (Lindsay)
  8. Draft Fine Free Pilot program (Lindsay/Lauren)
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