[OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] Checking out holds to an alternate patron

Chauncey Montgomery montgoc1 at oplin.org
Thu Nov 7 10:32:02 EST 2013

+1.  Our legacy ILS had this feature and it made managing the described 
situations very easy.

Chauncey G. Montgomery, MLIS
Director/Fiscal Officer | Community Library
44 Burrer Drive | Sunbury, OH 43074
740-965-3901 | http://community.lib.oh.us

On 11/07/2013 12:41 AM, Kathy Lussier wrote:
> Hi all,
> One big issue for our libraries has been the workflow in checking out
> items when the patron sends a family member or another person to pick up
> a hold on their behalf. We've been exploring different possibilities for
> development to improve this workflow.
> There are various ways our libraries handle this situation, but the
> following is a likely workflow:
> - A patron goes to the library and picks up their spouse's hold. They
> might pick it up from a self-service holds shelf or, if the holds shelf
> is behind the desk, they will ask staff for the item.
> - We have some libraries that use notes to verify who is allowed to pick
> up holds. In other libraries, particularly the smaller ones, staff may
> know by sight who is allowed to pick up a patron's holds. Libraries also
> have different policies on whether the hold should be checked out to the
> person who has picked up the hold or the person who originally placed
> the hold.
> - For those libraries that check out the item to the person who is
> picking up the hold, when they perform the checkout, they receive the
> message saying that the item is on hold for somebody else. Staff who
> have permission can then override that message and continue with the
> checkout.
> - The hold for the original patron remains, and there is no easy way to
> cancel that hold from this screen. Instead, staff need to retrieve the
> record for the original patron to cancel the hold. If they don't follow
> this last step, the hold remains on the patron's account and gets filled
> again.
> Circ staff who have the right permissions have the ability to perform
> the checkout and cancel the original hold so that the transaction can be
> completed. However, it takes several steps, particularly when it comes
> to the hold cancellation.
> MassLNC is considering a development project that would leverage a
> friends infrastructure already built into Evergreen that would allow us
> to easily manage who can pick up whose holds and automate the process a
> bit. If we decide to move forward with this project, I know I'll be
> sharing more information on this list as we work through some of the
> implementation details.
> However, we also recognize that, even if we provide a means for patrons
> to identify who can pick up their holds, there will continue to be
> situations where friends/family who have not yet been linked to a
> patron's account will be sent to the library to pick up someone's holds.
> In those situations, we still would like an easier way to handle the
> checkout.
> Here are our thoughts for improving the workflow:
> - If an item from the hold shelf is checked out to another patron, staff
> receive a prompt saying that the item is on hold for somebody else. This
> alert should display the name of the person for whom the item is on hold.
> - This prompt should provide three options: an option to cancel the
> checkout; to proceed with the checkout and remove the original patron
> from the holds queue; or to proceed with the checkout but leave the
> original patron in the holds queue.
> - The system should continue to use the same permissions it does today
> to determine if staff is authorized to proceed with the checkout by
> overriding the alert or authorized to cancel the hold.
> We aren't looking to give staff the ability to do anything they can't
> already do. We're basically trying to remove some of the steps required
> to complete the transaction.
> Before moving further on this project, I wanted to throw the idea out to
> the community to see if others would view this additional option on the
> prompt as an acceptable workflow improvement.
> Thanks!
> Kathy
> --
> Kathy Lussier
> Project Coordinator
> Massachusetts Library Network Cooperative
> (508) 343-0128
> klussier at masslnc.org
> Twitter:http://www.twitter.com/kmlussier

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