[OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] how to attach note to a copy as it goes outwith override?

Melissa Belvadi mbelvadi at upei.ca
Sun Aug 16 08:58:02 EDT 2009

Well, the specific situation is that we sometimes need to checkout materials, esp. reference materials, to someone who isn't in the borrower database (and isn't going to be added). So my idea was that we'd create a generic user account, and then in these override alert notes we'd include the name and contact info of the borrower, so that it's saved with the item record and also visible to the check-in staff so they know to remove it when the item comes back. The only option I can think of with the features we have now (besides having the staff edit the item directly to add the alert) is to have the staff add a note to the patron record at the time of doing this, and putting the info about which title went to which borrower (remember that it's a generic user) in there, but then it becomes a "remember to do this occasionally" kind of task to clean those out, as there won't be any connection to the patron note at the time of checkin.
I thought to just use the existing field because it seemed like a much easier thing to do, just to add input to an existing field at a point where the system code is modifying that particular item record anyway (at check-out), rather than creating entirely new fields in the database, and also because it occurred to me that, as you suggested in your second message, other Evergreen sites might think of other reasons why they might want to be adding/editing the Alert Message at the time of an override (any time you're doing an override you might well want to be leaving a special note as to why).
Would anyone else out there be interested in something like this, or like Jason suggested?

>>> Jason Etheridge <jason at esilibrary.com> 8/15/2009 12:55 AM >>>
> We have a situation where we want to attach a free-text note to a copy
> (really to a check-out transaction, but the copy will suffice) when  the
> staff is needing to override a checkout block (in our particular case,
> because they're checking out a reference book), such that that note will be
> seen at the time the item is checked in.

Seems like it should also be easy for such a message to self-destruct
after the first check-in?  In that case, I'd be hesitant to use the
alert message field for this, since you may have to share that field
with other alert information.  It might be worth creating an alert
"flag" on item notes as alternate mechanism for having alerts, and
then add a "self-destruct" flag as well.  This would keep multiple
alerts separate.

> My first thought is that I'd like to add to the "Override Checkout Failure"
> dialogue box, right below the No/Yes buttons, a text entry box for the
> "Alert Message" for the copy.

I could see it done that way.  I think some libraries that use shared
staff logins may also like a field for entering staff initials with
that dialog.

> Has anyone already done this?

I don't think so.

> Or is there some other way to accomplish this goal?

Hiring a developer or convincing them to implement it in their
spare/community time is probably what you need.

What sort of messages would you be entering into the textbox?  Is it
more important to know that the item had been checked out with any
override, or would you be conveying extra information with the alert?

Jason Etheridge
| VP, Tactical Development
| Equinox Software, Inc. / The Evergreen Experts
| phone:  1-877-OPEN-ILS (673-6457)
| email:  jason at esilibrary.com 
| web:  http://www.esilibrary.com 

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