March WALS Update

Holds not appearing on Send List even when copies are available.  This is probably because I just did a bunch of database maintenance. The system doesn’t allow one to remove items with holds, but it does allow those items to be moved from a Current Location that is holdable, to a Current Location that is not. This means that if the system randomly assigned the hold to a copy that was LongOverdue, Claims Returned, Withdrawn, etc. and I processed those items so that they are now UI-LOST, ZLOST, DISCARD, etc, those holds are stuck and won’t get filled.   Kathy Grace runs reports regularly to clean up those holds.

Monthly Report xxxxx is missing. Remember, Melissa moved most all of the regularly scheduled library-specific reports from the  REPORTS login to your library’s XX-STAFF login (or XX-PS for those who have it).

Item Maintenance.  As I mentioned in #1, I think I have finally caught up on most of the database maintenance tasks Karen used to do.  This includes:

  • Removing LongOverdue, Claims Returned, Withdrawn, UI, etc items, and the bibliographic record if the item is the last copy.  Kathy Grace then sends the records to OCLC for deletion.
  • Removing fines older than 3 years and less-than-or-equal-to $1.00.
  • Removing patrons with a User Profile of REMOVE. These are duplicates, deceased or moved patrons whose records should clearly be removed from the database.
  • Removing patrons who have been inactive at least 7 years.

Circulation maps – I hope you have had a chance to look over your section of the circulation map that I sent you.  One thing that maybe wasn’t clear in my earlier email is: even if your library doesn’t use a specific Item Type, that Item Type rule needs to be there for your library in case an item of that type arrives to be checked out at your library.  So, I don’t really need to know that you don’t use PAMPHLET or whatever.  Mainly, the thing to look for is: is the loan period/fine rate what you think it should be.

Non-WALS Library Cards – If patrons from Appleton, or FDL, or other nearby libraries that aren’t part of WALS want to use their existing library card at our libraries, that is OK.  Simply add a record for them in our database using their existing library card number. Of course the usual caveats apply: you still need to look them up by name and make sure they don’t have a record already, still need to follow whatever policies/procedures your library requires (proof of address, signature, etc).  You certainly may issue them a card from your library.  For some databases or electronic resources, their non-WALS format may not work, so they may want a card from your library. OR, you could offer to slap one of our barcodes on their physical card.  But for those patrons who prefer the convenience of only carrying 1 card, or have their other card# memorized, it is perfectly acceptable to use their existing card and number.

 SMS Messages.  Jody is ploughing through setting up signup pages for each library’s website.  Oshkosh has gone live. So far, 60 patrons have signed up in the month of March.  Feel free to promote, publicize, announce the service. We are ready to roll!  When I get back from the SirsiDynix conference, I will be working on figuring out how to parse the reports to determine library chargebacks based on # of messages sent.

SirsiDynix Conference. Melissa and I will be out of the office from Saturday, March 28th-Monday April 6th.  This year’s conference is in Portland, OR.  In addition to the regularly scheduled conference sessions, we have a couple meetings with SirsiDynix scheduled and I have various board meetings to attend because I am on the SirsiDynix Users’ Group Board.

Any interest in earning $$ for your library? There are 2 ways that SirsiDynix offers to provide a kickback to your library from patrons that will be featured at this year’s conference.  Only 1 of them applies to us because we aren’t using SirsiDynix’s OPAC.

  •  “I Love My Library Card” – would be a possibility if there is enough interest from libraries.  Actually, it *might* be something that any individual library can do, without being system-wide.  “It’s a fully functional library card that includes a completely optional VISA prepaid debit card feature. Patrons can use the card to check out books like normal, but should they wish, they can also activate the VISA portion of the card.”  More information at    Let me know if you are interested, and I will make a point to talk to the sales folks about it.
  •  Buy it Now – Doesn’t apply. If title doesn’t appear in catalog, patron can click and go to Amazon (or other places) to buy online.

Congratulations, if I say so myself. Winnefox is receiving the Highest Strategic Partners Program Participation Award from SirsiDynix.  We were selected for this award because of our long-term close relationship with their software engineers and developers.  Our size, technical configuration, and diligence in testing the and providing honest feedback about the company’s products before their release ranks us high on their list of desirable participants.   This participation helps Winnefox because it gives us an early say in software development and gives us an “in” with their engineers when we have problems. 


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