Circulation Minutes 2009 03


Lion Circ. Meeting – Friday March 20th, 2009

Stale Holds: As part of Andy and Alan’s Grand Tour of the Lion Libraries, they discovered that stale holds are still are problem. In an effort to fix this, they will be making adjustments to the way the transit holds flow works, so that holds will remain on material longer than the current hours, and there will be no future weekend movement. This should result in fewer stale holds going forward.
In the meantime, to fix our current stale holds problem, individual libraries should:

  1. run the report recently sent out by Alan, concerning stale holds on titles that are held only by a single library;
  2. Andy will be sending out a report of other stale holds, as he’s done in the past. Here are the instructions he provided last time for dealing with these reports:

“Some of you have expressed interest in some procedures on what to do with the “stale” lists I have been sending out.
This current spreadsheet represents the item level holds on available items in the system placed before January 2008.  These would be item level holds placed by staff (for the most part) that somehow fell through the cracks or are on items that the owning libraries are not going to send out.

I’ve created two worksheets.  The first is by item location, so this would be the owning library.  The second is by pickup location, so we could generalize and assume this is the patron’s home library.

This is what I suggest you do with these lists:

Worksheet 1 (item location) — for each item with one of your library’s locations:
– copy barcode number from barcode cell (right click on barcode number, left click on “copy”)
– in Millennium Circulation module, click on “Search/Holds”, choose “barcode” from drop down index box, with cursor in white box push the Ctrl key and the v key at the same time, click on search
– this should bring up the summary screen with your item record already hightlighted, so click on the tab that says “1 item level hold” and you will see the hold information
– at this point you can decide whether or not you are going to fulfill this hold on your material.  If so, process the hold.  If not, I would suggest you attempt to move the hold to a bib level hold by noting the patron information, cancelling the item level hold, and resubmitting as an bib level hold.  If any of you circ folks have a better suggestion, please share with the group.

OR

Worksheet 2 (pickup location) – for each item that is to be picked up at your library:
– copy barcode number from barcode cell (right click on barcode number, left click on “copy”)
– in Millennium Circulation module, click on “Search/Holds”, choose “barcode” from drop down index box, with cursor in white box push the Ctrl key and the v key at the same time, click on search
– this should bring up the summary screen with your item record already hightlighted, so click on the tab that says “1 item level hold” and you will see the hold information
– at this point you can decide whether or not to resubmit the hold for your patron.  This time, however, use the “bib level hold” tab when submitting the hold and the system will stop you if the owning library has made the item non holdable.

Please try to clean up these old holds.  Then we can move on to the stale bib level holds!  Thanks for your help.”

After the current problems are dealt with, Alan and Andy may begin to run weekly stale holds reports to send out to individual libraries.

Offline Circulation: Alan and Andy discussed a piece of Millennium iii software available for running circulation when the online module is down. The software is currently owned by us, so there would be no additional financial cost to use it. However, the question was raised as to whether we really want or need to use it. The following potential objections were raised:

  1. The online module very rarely goes down, and when it does, not for very long;
  2. The offline module would need to be loaded onto each individual circulation computer of each library that wished to use it;
  3. Although the front-line work of using the off-line module is relatively straightforward, it may create a lot of back-end work for Lion staff to get the off-line circulation work loaded onto the server once the system is back up and running;
  4. If the data is not quickly uploaded by Lion staff, there could be resultant mix-ups with, for example, patrons returning items checked out to them in the off-line module before their check-out of the material is uploaded and registered.

Wallingford Library has volunteered to download and test the off-line module before the next circ. meeting, and to report back in June.

Recording Committee Discussion and Procedures: Some interest has been expressed in setting up a better method for recording Circ. Committee discussions, as well as posting best-practices as a general resource. We agreed to set up a Blog to achieve this: Katie and Julian will examine which software to use, and will attempt to establish a blog as soon as possible. We agreed that the software we choose must have the capability to send out content-based e-mails of new blog postings. Watch this space! In addition to the blog, Lion staff will post our meeting notes to the new, improved Lion webpage.

Holds Task Force: The Holds Task Force, set up to examine and improve Lion library practices in terms of transit loans between Lion libraries, is (slowly!) gathering momentum. Alan and Andy are continuing with their Grand Tour of Lion libraries, talking to individual Directors and staff to get a sense of the current situation, and how we would all like to resolve it. It appears the task force will be opening up to examine other issues relating to holds (e.g. stale holds, pulling holds from the hold shelf, etc.) Alan emphasized that he felt our focus as a consortium ought to be equity and reciprocity. He also presented some statistics illustrating the importance of transit holds:
Less than 600 titles are held in common by all libraries;
At  the time of running his report, there were 13,000 that library patrons had a hold on that their home library did not own.

Linked Patrons: Janet Cavanagh asked if/how libraries are using this feature. There was a general agreement that it is useful for patrons  picking up holds for other members of their family, but that we needed to ask a patron’s permission to use the link feature (for privacy reasons.)

Expiring Patron Cards: Currently, if a patron’s card expires before the end of a loan period, the circulation system automatically sets the loan period to the last day of the patron’s registration. We agreed to change this, to allow for a full loan period, even if the card expires during that time.

Illegible Print Notices: Alan explained that, due to a process used by the post office for sorting mail, a lot of patrons are receiving relatively illegible print notices. He will adjust the Lion printer in an effort to fix this. This led on to a discussion of how a number of Lion libraries have stopped sending out first overdue notices.

Next Meeting: Will take place 9:30 a.m. on Thursday June 11th at Wallingford Public Library. Pat from East Lyme has volunteered to provide the buns!

Return to top

Return to Minutes