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

Rogan Hamby rhamby at equinoxinitiative.org
Wed Oct 18 18:05:51 EDT 2017

There's a lot to think about here.  I do like the idea of the setting being
on the patron registration page so that staff can turn it on and off for
patrons as an assistance.  Actually, I think we should have had that for a
long time now.  If you're doing this as a local hack how you do it is
certainly up to you but if it's an actual change to Evergreen code the idea
of tying it to a nightly cron job unnecessary.  There is a question about
if older circs should get fed in but that might be tangential here and more
about how the reading history works.

I'm not fond of giving staff access to the history though.  Staff trusted
with reporter permissions can do that anyway, to the extent that you
haven't aged out circulations anyway.  It feels like an unnecessary
threshold to cross or at least one that we shouldn't cross, on principle.
It does mean that patrons that want staff to see their reading history have
to go to the step of giving it in some form to the staff but I feel like
that's an acceptable price to pay for privacy.  But I know that some
communities will probably see me as paranoid in that regard.

If it was implemented I feel library options, patron toggling, protection
for patron toggles, etc... would be needed.  It would be it's own viper
nest of issues to sort through.

Rogan Hamby

Data and Project Analyst

Equinox Open Library Initiative

phone:  1-877-OPEN-ILS (673-6457)

email:  rogan at EquinoxInitiative.org
web:  http://EquinoxInitiative.org

On Wed, Oct 18, 2017 at 2:44 PM, Josh Stompro <stomproj at exchange.larl.org>

> 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.
> Josh
> Lake Agassiz Regional Library - Moorhead MN larl.org
> Josh Stompro     | Office 218.233.3757 EXT-139 <(218)%20233-3757>
> LARL IT Director | Cell 218.790.2110 <(218)%20790-2110>
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