[OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] Reading History opt in on patron application

Josh Stompro stomproj at exchange.larl.org
Wed Oct 18 14:44:40 EDT 2017

Hello, we are running into the fact that many of our patrons that want to make use of a reading history, don't find out about it until long after they sign up for an account. Many of these patrons are also non computer/online catalog users, so there is no chance that they would ever find the option to enable it themselves, and even if they knew about it, they wouldn't be able to set it themselves.  So they find out about it after talking with staff, and then get mad when they find out that it will only have their history starting at the point they sign up.  Since they don't use computers, they need staff to walk them through (do it for them) logging into their account and finding the option, so it would be handy if staff could just do it for them.

We could set the library setting to default the checkout history to being enabled, but we really don't want to make that decision for everyone, and then put the onus on them to figure out how to use the catalog to turn it off.

So we are considering adding an opt in checkbox to the patron application, along with a user setting that staff can check, to allow staff to enable the circ history at patron registration time.  The user setting being checked or unchecked would trigger a nightly process that would enable/disable the reading history for that account.

In theory, this could result in a customer saying that they never signed up for the feature, saying that staff did it on their own.  But since it is already trivially easy for staff to log into the catalog as a customer, it seems like that would already be a problem.  (staff know what the default pin numbers are based on, or could just change the pin, a customer that never uses the catalog would never know that the pin was changed)

Has anyone else done this or something like this?  Is this a horrible idea?

I think staff would also like to be able to access the patrons history from their staff stations, which would make readers advisory easier.  "Which Louis L'Amour titles haven't I read yet".

We have had problems in the past with patrons physically marking books that they have read before, to make it easier for them to find the ones they haven't read.


Lake Agassiz Regional Library - Moorhead MN larl.org
Josh Stompro     | Office 218.233.3757 EXT-139
LARL IT Director | Cell 218.790.2110

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