OWWLUG Meeting, Friday, August 28, 2015

10:00am-12:00pm @ PLSHQ

OWWL / Evergreen reminders, updates, issues

Hold shelf expire date and Clear Hold Shelf


The Browse Holds Shelf list appeared to be automatically clearing holds that had not been picked up after 10 days.

What actually happened: The staff person accidentally clicked ClearHoldsShelf.

This is a new feature in v.2.8, which happens to appear in the CirculationMenu immediately below BrowseHoldsShelf. Clear Holds Shelf will, with one click from the menu, remove from the holds shelf list all ShelfExpiredHolds. (Shelf expired holds are holds that have been waiting for pickup on the holds shelf for more than 7 days, 7 days being the OWWL standard number of days a patron has to pick up their holds.)

Clear Holds Shelf does NOT cancel holds, or change their status, or do anything except remove them from the list.

Generally, however, staff need to remove the physical item from the shelf, cancel the hold, bill the patron for holds-no-show, and then route the item on to its next destination. THIS is best accomplished from BrowseHoldsShelf, and the "View Clearable Holds" option, which will change the list to display only those holds that have been on the shelf for more than 7 days. From there, staff can pull the items and complete processing them for return to circulation.

Even if Clear Holds Shelf has been accidentally clicked, it's still OK. Staff can manually check the hold shelf for old items or use the Ad Hoc Report Reports Clean Holds Shelf to see a list of holds not picked up.

Cancelled holds, hold history, suspend/activate holds

General discussion of other holds topics:

Cancelled holds can be viewed by staff from PatronHolds by clicking "Show Cancelled Holds" - this changes the list to display only holds that have been cancelled, either by the patron or staff. From the cancelled holds list, holds can be un-cancelled. This will reinstate the hold, including all pickup and notification settings, but will re-set the requested date to the current date.

Holds history - which includes current pending holds, fulfilled holds, and cancelled holds - can be viewed by patrons via their online account, OPAC: My Account - Holds. Patrons must opt-in to this function, from their online account Account Preferences > Search and History setting. Holds history will only list holds placed after opting in. Staff cannot access this information.

Suspend and activate holds - Holds can be suspended without an activation, which means they will remian suspended forever or until somebody activates them. Holds can also be suspended with an activation date, which means that they will remain suspended until the selected date, at which point they will be automatically activated.

The reason for suspending the hold will determine which option is most useful. The suspend-with-activation-date is best when the patron knows that they will not be ready to receive the hold for a set period - for example, they will be going out of town. In the staff client, this is done by using the Patron Holds > Edit Activation Date action.

Suspended without an activation date is useful for patrons who want to place a large number of holds, but only receive a few at a time, or receive their materials in a specific order - for example, a patron is reading a series so they place holds on all volumes, but suspend all except the first volume and then unsuspend the second volume when the first is received. In the staff client, holds can be suspended using the Suspend Hold action. They can be activated using the Activate Hold action.

Patrons can also suspend and activate their own holds via their online account, OPAC: My Account - Holds.

Transit List weirdness

Issue: occasionally items will crop up that appear to have two statuses - checked out and intransit, available and intransit, etc. This usually happens when an item has been improperly - or not at all - processed when received from in-coming delivery, or when attempting to circumvent the transit status for outgoing delivery.

First lines of defense:
    • Be sure incoming delivery items do not get mixed up with other materials before they are processed
    • Be sure nobody takes incoming delivery items before they are processed
    • Follow all prompts after scanning the item in checkin, such as: routing to the hold shelf for (and checking the item out to the patron whose holds is now available), re-route to a different library (despite any patron information that may or may not have been included on the transit slip, that hold has been cancelled and the item is needed elsewhere)
    • Be sure outgoing delivery items do not get mixed up with other materials
    • Be sure nobody takes outgoing delivery items
    • IF somebody wants an item that has been put intransit/delivery - do not just check it out
      1. Check the item record to see if the item is in transit for a hold and if there are other copies available
      2. Either way, place a hold on the item for the patron at your desk
      3. RESCAN THE ITEM IN CHECKIN - theoretically, it will capture for your patron
      4. Check the item out to your patron
    • If you have the item in hand, scan it in checkin until the transits are clear and status is "Reshelving"
    • If necessary, abort the transit, and scan the item in checkin
    • If you do not have the item in hand, place a CatalogingRecallHold on the item to get it back ASAP
      • When it arrives, scan in checkin to clear that transit
      • Using EditItemAttributes change the copy status to Available
      • Scan in checkin just to be extra sure

Records for transits, checkouts, and holds (and everythging else in Evergreen!) are stored in separate tables, and linked by very specific database IDs. Typically, when all steps of a process are completed in the correct order, all of the tables are updated. Sometimes, however, the links between tables are broken, so all the links in the chain are NOT updated as they should be.

Bill summary and refunds

The display for the bills summary / amount owed can be confusing. Before giving patrons a total amount owed, open the PatronBills tab and look at the screen. The key thing to watch for is the "refunds available" - if the patron has refunds available, the Total Owed amount is the Balance Owed from other bills minus the refund amount. (NOTE: Evergreen automatically "refunds" money paid for a fine that is subsequently voided by the system, such as lost materials paid for and later returned.)

When the bills/refunds were generated in older version of Evergreen, the amount listed under the "Bills" tab button, that summary amount will display the "total owed" (balance owed - refunds available). With version 2.8, that summary amount displays the balance owed.

BillTotals example.jpg

Patron account alerts

PLEASE do NOT read patron alerts out loud! Many of the alerts are quite extensive and can include some awkward information that does NOT need to be directly communicated to the patron. ALSO, when writing alerts, please keep it professional! Your alerts may be read aloud to the patron!

In general, keep alerts short, to the point, and current. If you need to convey detailed information or wish to keep a history of specific issues, use the Patrons Notes function. If necessary, add an alert pointing to the notes. The (see notes) indicator is now a link - click on it to go immediately to the notes display.

When the specific issue is addressed, clear the alert. If your library is not the library that created the alert, but you have resolved the issue - clear the alert!

Local History project

A working group meeting is scheduled to meet Friday, September 18 at PLSHQ from 10:00-12:00. The goal of the working group will be to brainstorm ideas relating to local history collections, and developing a long term plan for managing these materials and best capitalizing on these unique resources.

Lindsay has started working on newspapers as an initial test case.

OWWL@Go Magazines

We explored OWWL2Go magazines, and how to download Nook apps, including to Kindle Fire.
  • This page provides links to iOS, Android, and Windows 8 apps, plus directions on getting started with a Barnes and Noble account and downloading magazines: http://help.overdrive.com/customer/portal/articles/1758808?_ga=1.76499283.710613748.1407938361
  • It is also available from the http://owwl2go.owwl.org site at the very top of the screen where it says: "We've got periodicals! Learn more here."
  • You can get a Nook app for Kindle Fire because it is a tablet that runs on the Android operating system. However, because Nook and Kindle are competitors, you will need to go through some extra steps to get and download the app. This page provides good instructions for doing that: http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-read-your-nook-books-on-the-kindle-fire/
  • An OWWLUG participant points out that when you are starting with a non-Nook device (iPad) and no B&N account, if you just download the app then go to OWWL2Go and check out a magazine you will be prompted to create an account - so you do NOT have to do that in a separate process
  • Once you have set up your B&N account and authenticated your app, you should not need to log in for subsequent magazine downloads (you still need to login to OWWL2Go)
  • Magazine downloads do NOT "expire", so will remain on your account/device
  • Magazine downloads do NOT count toward your 8 item limit, so will not interfere with book or audio downloads
  • Magazines are very big files, so if a device has a low memory capacity, that will limit the speed at which magazines download and the number of magazines that can be downloaded
  • Statistics for magazine use should be available with a library's other Overdrive stats
For other questions regarding OWWL2Go in general or magazine downloads in particular, please contact Pat Finnerty or use the OWWL2Go Support form, located here: http://owwl2go.owwl.org/30423815-6C23-4CF7-9F10-FD02B6DAD1BD/10/50/en/Support.htm

NOVEL-NY databases


The head of WFL-BOCES library services presented to to PLS member staff about social studies, common core, and local history research. In the course of her rpesentation, she mentioned recommending the NOVEL-NY databases to school librarians, and that school age children and their families can also get help using these resources at their local libraries.

In case there is some sudden influx of students or parents asking about them, and also because the databases are excellent resources and paid for by NYS, it is important that library staff can have some familiarity with them.

The NOVEL-NY databases are directly available from the URL above, or from a link on the owwl.org > Resources page (http://owwl.org/resources). When accessed from the NOVEL-NY page, patrons do not need to login. The site recognizes that they are using a computer in NYS. Some libraries may have older links on their websites, which may route patrons through our PLS proxy server, which will prompt for a library card login. This is an out-dated method of accessing the databases.

A few basic tips and info:
  • There is no single search of all NOVEL-NY content, a database must be selected
  • Most of the content is provided by Gale, the two primary collections are:
    • General One File - newspapers, journals, videos, images, audio, etc. on general topics, appropriate for school and general research
    • Academic One File - journals, images, videos, audio, etc. from scholarly publications and reference sources, appropriate for higher level research
  • Scholastic Go! includes encyclopedia type resources, aimed at elementary, middle school, and high school students, with resources for parents, teachers, and librarians
    • Scholastic Go also includes a Spanish language encyclopedia
    • Many Scholastic Go resources offer a "read aloud" feature
  • There are several options to search newspapers specifically
    • Gannett Newsstand Complete - 85 Gannett newspapers, including 6 New York papers
    • Infotrac Newsstand - full text articles from 1,000+ regional, state, and national newspapers
    • New York State Newspapers - the NYS content from Infotrac Newsstand
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