Live from Polaris Patron Services Forum Innovative Users Group 2015

Daniel April 16, 20156:53 am

The lady running the forum asked if I could be the note taker.


Yes, I think I can do that. 🙂

Good morning, everyone! Welcome to the last day of IUG 2015! I’ve had a great time so far and I think I might have fallen in love with Minneapolis.

Daniel April 16, 20156:57 am

I spent most of my library career behind a circ desk. I’ve been a library web guy for just shy of three years. The other 16-17 or so were spent as a Page, LA, Parapro, and then Circulation Supervisor of one kind or another.

As a geek, I adore circ because it’s one of the most technical departments the library. Reference got a new database or two? That’s nice. I have a machine that checks in items using radio and lasers and it sorts them into bins! I have a circ robot! You can have your databases. 🙂
Daniel April 16, 20156:59 am

Ginger Olson – Rochester Hills Library will be the moderator.

Daniel April 16, 20157:02 am

What software are you using to be PCI compliant?

Ginger: Envisionware – installed credit card and swipe this week.

Do you like Envisionware?

Ginger: It’s okay. We pushed them to be ready. When we got the software, there were huge gaps between what was in the documentation and what was on the screen. Envisionware STS for cash management, events, PC reservation, and printing.

Daniel April 16, 20157:03 am

Question for the Comprise person:

What are your issues?

Currently having issues with family payment. Being able to scan one account and pay all the kids accounts – advanced payment option. When you’re in one patron’s account, you can scan others into the system to pay for multiple accounts.

The credit card machines keep going to sleep.

Daniel April 16, 20157:03 am

It wastes a lot of paper. If you have cash registers at each station, it prints every time you open the door.

Daniel April 16, 20157:04 am

Integrated Comprise with Polaris. When it works it works. They tend to do maintenance without telling you. Then all cards get declined.

Daniel April 16, 20157:05 am

One library has had miserable support from Envisionware.

Daniel April 16, 20157:11 am

I gave a shameless plug for Active Networks and Class. After using it for so long, I’ve gotta say it’s a really good product. Rarely had issues with it.

Daniel April 16, 20157:12 am

Ginger: Our library allows patrons to put money on their accounts for printing and fines in advance and so on.

Daniel April 16, 20157:13 am

Auto renewal – Anybody using it? You happy with it?

One library is using it. You’d think patrons would be thrilled. Some simply don’t understand why and they want the choice to let it go overdue (O_o)

Max renewals set to 8 but they went down to 3 since the auto-renewal went into effect.

Income? Well, it’ll impact the late fees, and it makes a small difference financially.

Daniel April 16, 20157:14 am

What about people who expect something to be renewal but it doesn’t because of a hold.

Recommended: REALLY GOOD PR. Present it as a good and a bad. It’s a convenient service but people need to know to monitor their accounts. Just like always. And they’ve really had that kind of problem for so long. Make sure the language in your WebAdmin Language Editor is clear.

Daniel April 16, 20157:16 am

You always think you’re speaking plain english with your notices but you know how that goes.

Daniel April 16, 20157:16 am

One library doesn’t use Auto Renew. 

If you don’t use it, go into the WebAdmin and remove the language that’s in there as a default.

Daniel April 16, 20157:17 am

When we upgrade, the language will say “auto renew” even if we don’t turn it on?

Yes. There are strings in the PAC, notices, and so on. Make sure they’re reflecting reality.

Daniel April 16, 20157:17 am

One library turned it on around Thanksgiving and the patrons wondered when it was going away because they thought it was a Christmas gift.

Daniel April 16, 20157:20 am

Cards expiring every two years: Auto renewal of patrons.

Online renewal of library accounts? Why do patrons have to come to the library to renew their card?

Some do it via email. (Scanned documents are ok. Utility bills, recently postmarked mail, insurance cards.)

Others require it due to tax base or location.

Daniel April 16, 20157:20 am

Quipu is a solution for this too.

Daniel April 16, 20157:24 am

Back to printing:

Small community college library wants to set up printing over WiFi in the library and in the computer labs across campus. Anybody done that?

One library: We did a work around. Looked for inexpensive but easy ways. Created a print to go using Cassie. Talked to John at Cassie. Set up form for print to go so people could submit a document to print via the web. Send the document and the library will print out the document and have it ready for them.

More info about CASSIE.

Daniel April 16, 20157:25 am

Envisionware uses a third party vendor called PrinterOn. PrinterOn also functions for hotels.

One library has PrinterOn without Envisionware, another has it with Envisionware. Seems to be a liked product. 

More info about PrinterOn:

Daniel April 16, 20157:26 am

Comment for anyone using the new custom fields-

What are you using?

One library hasn’t started using them yet, but they’re talking about using them to figure out how a customer is coming to them. Maybe meeting customers at an event, converting them to full time customers. Perhaps a drop down but not sure what to do yet.

Daniel April 16, 20157:27 am

The custom fields were most likely a contracted job for a large library.

Daniel April 16, 20157:28 am

One library prefers the UDFs because the interface in Staff Client and Leap the custom info is kind of hidden.

Daniel April 16, 20157:28 am

Anybody using the UDFs as dropdown?

Yes – using it for bookmobile stops. Also using it for local universities. Tracking how much of an increase in traffic they get from the uni.

Daniel April 16, 20157:30 am

Public hold shelf – patron wants to use an alias on their hold slip, but still retain the same patron info?

You could ask for an enhancement. Maybe one of the ten new patron custom data fields could be added to the hold slip.

Are you using the mask name?

Yes, but that’s not making them happy either.

Daniel April 16, 20157:31 am

What’s the patron’s concern?

Probably paranoia. They just don’t want anybody to see anything they’re doing at the library.

You could put the alias in the name field and use a note with the real name….

Daniel April 16, 20157:31 am

No real good solution for aliases.

Daniel April 16, 20157:34 am

Upgraded to 5.0 last month, promoted the user names for logon to the system at home. After the upgrade, the user name stopped working on the public computers, via Cassie. 

Problem was reported, looks to be an issue with another enhancement in 5.0.

It really sucked because after promoting usernames, they had to revert back to account numbers. Also had a problem with OverDrive too.

One library was working with the developers on this issue. It turns out that the significant digits of the barcode was the issue. Depending on how you’ve set up your databases, eContent, etc – your databases might require a certain length of barcode, or certain pattern, etc.

Daniel April 16, 20157:36 am

OverDrive isn’t looking at the username on 4.1R2 either. Essentially you’re starting a new user account with your username.

Moral of the story: If you want to switch to using a username, be ready to work with your eContent and database vendors to make the change actually work with everything else.
One library reports that they’ve never been successful using a username. It’ll get you into Polaris, but everything else is a problem.