Salutations, and Happy Memorial Day!
Today's Topic: Spring Housecleaning! aka Database Maintenance
Just as one cleans out one's garden at certain times of the year, so I do periodic cleaning of our shared database. It is frustrating for patrons to see search results with copies that say "Withdrawn". Also, since WALS fees are based in part on the number of items and patrons each library has, and we take that snapshot in early June, I always make sure to to a thorough spring cleaning in May to clear out as many old, unused records as possible.
The obvious ones to clean up are those items you all weeded. You check out weeded items to your WD-XX user (ex WD-PO, for PoySippi), and that changes the status (Current Location) to WITHDRAWN2 which patrons can't see in the catalog. The next step is a report to move all those withdrawn items to a special, system-location of DISCARD. As I said, those are the obvious ones, but there are a bunch more. For example...
Items set MISSING--You're doing your pull holds list and can't find the item on your shelf. You set it MISSING--it will probably show up. Eventually, you run a list of items that are still MISSING and look more closely for them. You still can't find them on your shelves. You've looked. In theory, if you can't find them after looking, you withdraw them. However, lots slip through the cracks. So, I run a report that moves to DISCARD anything that was set to MISSING more than 18 months ago.
LOST-ASSUM items--As long as these long overdue items are attached to a patron, they can't be removed from the database. However, we all know they're never coming back--it looks bad to see them hanging around in the catalog. I run a report that discharges the item from the patron; writes the title, library and some other info into the patron notes; adds a UI-ITEM bill onto the patron record, and moves the items to DISCARD. That way, the item is clear to remove, but the patron is still responsible for that bill. The report only selects items that have been LOST-ASSUM for more than 18 months.
Claims Returned items-- Similar to LOST-ASSUM items, except the patron is NOT billed. This is why it is up to you to follow these instructions if you want the patron to pay for the item. The report only selects items that have been Claims Returned for more than 18 months.
Patrons-- there are all the duplicate or deceased patrons whom you change their Profile to REMOVE. When you set a patron to a Profile of REMOVE, you need to try to remove all holds, bills, checkouts from their record, or else they will hang around in the database forever. I will be sending out a cleanup list of REMOVE patrons who haven't seen activity for more than 3 years but must still have checkouts or bills because the system won't let them be removed.
Then there are all those patrons who just have disappeared and haven't used their card in over 7 years. Those, too, will get removed if there aren't any bills. However, there are over 12,000 patrons that can't be removed due to bills. 7,000 of them have expiration dates more than 10 years ago!! Do we really need to keep those records around, really??
Today's Outlook Tip: Want your email to go out on Monday morning instead of 11:47pm Friday night? Or you have time to write up a Win of the Week on Tuesday, but know you'll be swamped on Friday? You can "Delay Delivery."
First, you need to Pop-Out your message so that you get all the message menus. Then click on Options, Delay Delivery. In the middle of the properties window there are "Delivery options." One of them is "Do not deliver before." Fill in the date and time you want the email delivered. When you click "send", the message will sit in your Outbox until the scheduled time. . However, Outlook must be online and connected for this feature to work.—if you’re logged off and shut down, it will sit in your Outbox until you log in.Thanks Clairellyn, for showing me how to appear as if I work normal hours! :-)
Share & Enjoy!