September 16, 2003

Present: Ken Crilly (recording), Sue Crockford-Peters, Christopher Killheffer, Beatrice Luh, Judy Parker, Amanda Patrick, Shawn Steidinger, Lisa Thomas


SML Circulation Support Group Circulation Support Group


2:00 PM; SML 409

Shawn reported on several known bugs in Voyager. These have all been reported to Voyager; however, the vendor normally relies on the customer to research and document each problem. Known bugs to date include:

1. The Voyager "amnesia" bug, in which a circ terminal forgets its logged-in home location, and begins producing "route-to" slips for materials discharged at their holding library. Shawn and colleagues are trying to determine what triggers this problem. Often the book discharged immediately before the bug sets in has been sent on Eli Express, with both a hold and a call slip attached to its record. The hold request has usually been placed at the copy level. The item with hold cannot be charged subsequently, since any attempt to do so generates a routing slip. The Engineering and Medical libraries are having the most difficulties with this. Circulation staff are asked to watch for the "amnesia" bug, and as soon as it happens, to capture the information from the item in hand AND the most recently discharged item. It is most important to capture the barcodes for both, which can be done with screen shots. The "amnesia" bug generally goes away if the circ session is closed and reopened.

2. The "in transit on hold" bug, in which a patron requests an item to be sent to a designated location, and then goes to the original location before the item is sent and tries to charge it out from there. Voyager will not let that book be discharged at the original location, and produces an override option that continually reappears and can never be overridden. Circulation staff must cancel the original hold request in order to charge the item to the patron. This bug also occurs when readers request materials that are being status tracked in technical services. Status tracking does not allow overrides [to discharge at another location, or to place a charge on charge?]

3. Problems with patron loads, which are now being run every two weeks. There was a problem with Banner and the Data Warehouse not having the correct ID numbers, especially for students with new barcodes beginning 000… Apparently there has been a lag time between students getting new ID's with Social Security numbers, and those numbers appearing in the Data Warehouse. Privileges has been working overtime to add the new barcodes into patron records as problems arise. There are also about 10,000 instances of patrons having two [or more?] active patron records in Orbis. When a patron with two or more active patron records appears at the circ desk, circulation staff should charge items to the record that matches their ID number, or if both ID's match, then to charge to the record that already have items charged to it. If the ID numbers are the same, but no items are charged, then the patron category with the longer charge period is usually selected.

4. A bug for materials on hold for a pseudo-patron, in which a charge-on-charge is placed for another pseudo patron. Voyager believes that the item must remain on hold for the first pseudo-patron. In this situation, circulation staff should cancel the first hold and place again.

5. Recalls are turning into title-level holds. For example, if a non-circulating journal is charged to a patron [?], and a recall is attempted, the recall is blocked, and Voyager offers to place a title-level hold. Circulation staff should not place the title-level hold, but should click "cancel" and place a copy-level hold manually.

6. When modifying due date, after the message "Your date is in the past," voyager will still set the new due date.

7. Occasionally, the patron search screen only presents the barcode field. If this happen, clear out of the search, hit "patron" again, and the search screen should have reset itself.

8. The item edit function will not allow two consecutive edits to the same item record. If a change is made and saved, selecting "edit" again will not work.

9. There is a problem with course reserve items and their permanent locations. [CCL borrows from other locations, but what's the actually problem?]

Sue reported on the circ job logs, which have not been producing notices when every barcode on a patron record has expired. This has probably been the case since Voyager started, and it includes a large number of pseudo-patrons used for frontlog materials. A report of every expired pseudo-patron record has been run, and Privileges staff are reactivating these records. As a result, expired holds and recalls may appear. Notices are also not produced for items mistakenly charged to bursar barcodes. When patrons claim that they are not receiving library notices, check to see if their ID(s) are expired, and/or if their materials are charged to their bursar barcode by mistake. If materials are charged to bursar barcodes, it is important that they be removed from that barcode and re-charged to the correct patron barcode.

Sue and Judy reported that some initial efforts have been made in SML to deal with the large "missing-in-transit" report, which runs to over 400 pages. Access services staff have been looking for SML and CCL titles, and discharging them when found. There appears to be a particular problem with books that are found on the shelves, but which have lsfc as their item type, a residue of setting the location versus item type. An automatic update program [exists? is being developed?] to reconcile LSF accession codes. This could affect 20,000+ old-Yale-class titles from Mudd.

The project has been discouraging, however, for the number of books found - expecting to find 100%, only 80% or so are showing up. It is important to fix these when we can, however, because missing-in-transit materials cannot have requests placed on them, etc. Shawn will look at the report to see if there is any way to make it more user-friendly.

The Advisory Council on Library Policy has indicated that they want a consistent approach to searching for library materials. Sue indicated that Mudd staff often bear the brunt of complaints involving searching requests.

Lisa reported that CCL has completed 189 reserve lists, with another 6 lists that trickled in late currently in process. The new activation program ran successfully for the first time this semester, although there was also a great deal of quality control work by hand (two ½ days' worth). There was discussion about a problem with call slips generated by CCL requests to borrow reserve materials from other libraries. The location code cclborr and item type nocirc were overriding permanent location information on call slips, making it difficult to interpret the call slip. CCL put a temporary stop to this procedure, which appears to have cleared up the problem.

Sue reminded everyone to not hesitate calling the Privileges Office whenever there are ID problems resulting from inaccuracies in the tape loads. The voice mail in Privilege is checked at least every half hour, and the smlcirc e-mail address is also monitored at all times.

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