OWWLUG Meeting, Friday, April 26

10:00am-12:00pm at PLSHQ, Large Meeting Room

Age-Based Hold Protection - how it works

Repeat of Aaron's System Meeting presentation - Click here to view a PDF version.


"No local demand" report

We previewd the Reports Age Protected Items With No Local Demand Report, which lists age-based hold protected items that are Available and have had the Available status for 7+ days. The report also indicates previous checkouts and system-wide Title level holds. This report is intended to be used to identify items where the age-based hold protection could possibly be removed.

Retarget Local Holds

Age protection or no age protection, when dealing with NEWLY ADDED copies, the the Check In Modifer Retarget Local Holds when changing the new copy's status from "In processing" to "Available". This will AUTOMATICALLY look for holds for pickup at your library, and target the new copy for the oldest hold.

If your item attribute template includes "Available" (not recommended for any reason) or you change the status using Edit Items or you scan the item in un-modified Check In, scanning later using the retarget modifer will NOT work. For more information, see: Add Items > Retarget Local Holds for New Copies.

Once holds are captured for your patrons, so long as the item is returned to your library, your patron's holds will continue to be filled.

Copy Status and Holds

Process materials correctly so that items have the correct copy status and are able to circulate and fill holds! Discussion:

Browse Holds Shelf options vs. Clean Holds Shelf Report

The Reports Clean Holds Shelf was developed for earleir versions of Evergreen, before the BrowseHoldsShelf function was available (it is new in v.2.2), so that staff could identify hold items that were not picked up and need to be put back into circulation. It lists ONLY holds-not-picked-up, A.K.A "Shelf expired holds". The Browse Holds function displays ALL items with the status "On Holds Shelf" including ready for pickup holds, shelf expired holds, and holds cancelled after being made available. This is an easier way to process items that should not still be on the hodls shelf, because it allows staff to link between the hold shelf and hold requesting patrons and other functions, such as check in.

ALERT! VERY IMPORTANT!!! When handling "Shelf expired holds" the items must be 1) removed from the shelf, 2) the hold cancelled, 3) the patron billed for "Hold Not Picked Up" and 4) THE ITEM SCANNED IN CHECKIN! Scanning the item in Check In will update the copy status and route it to reshelving or to fill holds!

Full details for handling shelf expired hold items can be found here: ShelfExpiredHolds

Transit Issues

Various events can result in "orphan" transit records - this is a situation where a transit record indicates the item is on route from one library to another, but the actual copy status is something else, and the item may even have had several circulations while supposedly "in transit". Generally this happens when a transit is aborted and some other series of actions are taken, such as aborting the transit and checking it out to another patron.

In a situation where an item has been checked in and put in transit, and then a patron requests to check it out, staff must 1) Check to see if the item is intransit for reshelving or to fill ahold - scan the item in check in again to view the TransitSlip, 2) if the item is to be RESHELVED, checkout the item to the patron and click "Abort Transit then Check Out" to process the loan, 3) if the item is to FILL A HOLD, do NOT change the copy status or check it out - place a title hold for the requesting patron.

ALERT! Cautionary tale: a library staff member recently reported that one of her holds had been in trabsit to her - when it did not arrive, she checked her account and discovered that her hold had been cancelled and replaced. The item formerly routed to her had been checked out to somebody else. DO NOT DO THIS.

In a situation where an item has NOT been checked in, and a patron requests to check it out, staff should 1) place a hold for the patron, 2) check the item in. If there are older holds for pickup at the checkin library, they will be filled before the new hold. If there are no other holds for the item at the checkin library, the new hold will be filled right away (barring age-based hold protection, that is.)

In general, avoid doing anything with in-transit items other than routing them to the destination library. But if you must, be careful.

Damaged items

Transits lead to a discussion of damaged items - when the damaged item is owned by another library, how to send a damaged item back to the owning library, billing for damages, damaged items to fill holds, etc.

General points included:

  • What constitutes "damage"? This can be very subjective. The best practice is to circulate items in good condition and replace those in poor condition. Where damage is superficial - water marks, repairable spine damage, repairable tears, etc. - owning library should make a note on the item: "water damaged noted, mm/dd/yy LIB" or circulating library should do the same before checkout to prevent a patron being billed for damage. Circulating libraries can return items to an owning library with a note stating their concerns.
    • Side note from PLS Cataloging - do NOT add poor condition items to the catalog!
  • Sometimes "damage" is normal wear and tear
  • Owning libraries have final say in determining billing; In the case of borderline items being returned, circulating libraries should leave the item checked in (renew the item as needed), place in an envelope with thorough notes, and place in delivery to the owning library. Tell the patron what is going on, and warn them of the possibility of a bill.
  • Any library can mark an item damaged; the damaged status overrides targetted (but not available) holds; damaged status does NOT change a transit record

Monitor items with "non-circulating" statuses

Use the List Items by Copy Status report to keep on top of items with non-circulating (on non-holdable, or non-hold-filling) statuses.

Receipt configuration

Example: Add "Notify by Text" to printed hold shelf slips.

Evergreen Receipt Printer Installation > Configure Receipts


Receipt templates available on Evergreen server; Star 200 series vs Star 500 series printers

Configuring your receipts depends on if you are using a 200 series printer or a 500 series printer.

For newer model printers, receipt templates are stored on the Evergreen server, and can be accessed from the "Edit Receipt Templates" function. Click the "Default" button to install ALL PLS custom receipts. Then Click "Save Locally".

For older printers, you must download the receipt templates, then click "Import" and "Save Locally". Full directions at the link above.

In general, the 500 series printers allow easier configuration, higher quality printouts, and they can be shared but multiple workstations. PLS recommends upgrading! Ask Aaron if you have further questions regarding slip printers and printer setup. On a side note, Laurie Newell of Bloomfield says she upgraded to the 500 printer as a customer service measure!

If you are looking into repalcing slip printers, ordering information can be found here: Ordering OWWL Supplies. We have negotiated pricing with Bay Scan, but Budget Library Supplies is a local vendor (Bloomfield!) who also carries printers and related supplies. Aaron will contact them regarding pricing for pritners.

Avoiding pre-cats



Be aware!

When adding new barcodes, don't accidentally include extra characters. When checking items out, scan the library barcode sticker, not a UPC code. Make sure the item is a PLS library item, not a school library item! Avoid typing barcodes! Capitalization counts!

If you get a mis-scan, scan again! If the item is on the hold shelf for a hold, it HAS A REAL BARCODE! Somebody has already scanned it.

If you must create a pre-cat checkout, make sure a real barcode has been scanned - that is the only way to discharge it correctly.

Once a pre-cat checkout has been returned, route it to a holdings maintenance person! The pre-cat should be deleted, the item should be added corectly, or discarded for real.

User Settings - who is responsible for filling in?

"User Settings" refers to the Staff Client label for hold notification and pickup preferences. In a new record, the User Settings area is blank, except "Hold Notification Format" Phone and Email are checked - these are the system default selections. When the patron places a hold, Phone and Email will be checked, and the patron's email address and daytime phone number will display if they have been entered into the patron account. If not, the patron can manually enter a phone number, or be prompted to add an email from their online account. The pickup library will be the patron's Home Library. The patron can also add a text messaging number.

ALERT! Pickup library can be ANY library, not just the Home Library; changing the pickup library will not change the Home Library. Phone notify number can be ANY phone number, and does not have to appear elsewhere in the patron record. The Email notify address is the same address used for all notifications.

Basically, the "User Settings" section of the patron edit form is not REQUIRED when creating a new record, or updating an existing record. HOWEVER, it is good customer service to explain the options and offer to add them, or show patrons how they can manage this themselves.


Staff can add hold preferences from Patron Edit > User Settings. Staff should not add or edit user settings WITHOUT patron approval.

If staff have a question about patron pickup preferences - based on information printed to the hold slip or any other reason - add an alert to the patron account to follow up with the patron when they pickup their hold!


Patrons can edit their own preferences from the OPAC My Account Preferences > Notification Preferences and OPAC My Account Preferences > Search Preferences (pickup location.)

ALERT! Once the patron saves their changes, they WILL appear in the staff client.

Text messaging notifications

PLS recommends that staff do NOT enter information for Text Message Notifications, because of the potential for patron confusion and staff errors. We advise that libraries let patrons know of the option, and encourage them to add their own data from the OPAC.

Text numbers must be entered in specific format and there is NO hint in the Staff Client, but there is in the OPAC. There is also a warning about carrier charges in the OPAC. Additionally, there is no bad format prompt in the Staff Client. If bad text messaging numbers are added, bounceback messages will be sent to the library circ email. The records can be retrieved from information in the bounceback and ALSO from the Reports Monthly New Users > Bad Users list.

Checkout Specific Due Date

Checkout Items > Specific Due Date is used to change the due date BEFORE items are scanned in Checkout.

Staff can manually type a date, or - recommended! - use the drop down calendar widget to select a specific date. The due time will always be 11:59PM and cannot be changed

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