[OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] Hybrid Consortium: FIFO and Opportunistic

Josh Stompro stomproj at exchange.larl.org
Tue Feb 13 10:06:10 EST 2018

Hello Scott, we are much smaller than your organization, one system has 23 org units and the other has 10 org units.  But we do have one system using request time as one of their primary sorts.  They are not using pure FIFO, but request time is the determining sort for holds in the same system. They are using a modified hprox[1] sort that always prioritizes holds that are in the same system as the items owning location.  So they will always fill all of their own holds first (in FIFO order) before the items will go to another system.  And if another hold is placed for one of their patrons, their items will always come home to fill those next.  Without using the modified hprox or without the age hold protection I don't think they would be very happy with FIFO.  What they really wanted was FIFO for their own holds, not to fill the other system's holds first if they were newer.

The best hold sort order is tied to the item's owning location.  So the FIFO preference will follow their items when they get sent out to another system.  So it could increase delivery load.  In your case, If they just enabled FIFO with nothing else, then after the 3 month age hold protection is up, their items would start filling the oldest holds across the consortium.  That is probably good for the other systems, but not ideal for their own patrons.

This seems to work fine so far, but the same system that uses FIFO also is currently Age Hold Protecting their new items for 5 months.  So not many of their new items ever get sent to the larger system anymore.  So it is hard to know how it is really working out since the volume is so low.  After switching to FIFO they haven't said anything about their delivery load being too high.  And the larger system usually fills most of our high demand title holds before 5 months are up, so we don't have a large number of their FIFO items in delivery.

When I look at how some of our high demand titles are operating, I do see situations where one or more locations get starved for items for months at a time because all the items are at other locations with many holds.  It might actually help things out to have some fifo items in the mix, since those would help fill some of those holds that are older.

We are also exploring turning off age hold protection as soon as an item has sat on the shelf for at least x number of days.  One of the main reasons the smaller system uses the age hold protection is because they want their users to have a chance to browse and discover new items on the shelf before they go off to fill the larger system's holds for months at a time.  As long as the item has been available on the shelf for a certain amount of time, they may be ok with the age hold protection getting turned off much sooner.

1 - https://bugs.launchpad.net/evergreen/+bug/1738844 - If anyone else would find this useful it would be good to get some feedback on it.

Josh Stompro - LARL IT Director

From: Open-ils-general [mailto:open-ils-general-bounces at list.georgialibraries.org] On Behalf Of scott.thomas at sparkpa.org
Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 6:53 AM
To: Evergreen Discussion Group <open-ils-general at list.georgialibraries.org>
Subject: [OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] Hybrid Consortium: FIFO and Opportunistic

   Our consortium is currently at 121 members and growing. While individual library systems practice resource sharing and we are in the midst of a resource sharing trial between three more distant libraries, we do not have consortium-wide resource sharing at this time. Holds consortium-wide are set to not use FIFO. This has not been a problem, but now one local system has requested to be switched to FIFO. I am not unsympathetic: they are a consolidated library system with two buildings both within a mile of each other. For them there is no intrinsic advantage to opportunistic holds, and the current method is unpopular with patrons. However, they  resource share with two other nearby library systems that are not FIFO. If we were to switch this library to FIFO, what implications would it have for the other two non-FIFO libraries with whom they resource share? I am not sure if it matters, but they use 3 month age protection.

Thank you,

Scott Thomas
Executive Director
(717) 873-9461
scott.thomas at sparkpa.org<mailto:scott.thomas at sparkpa.org>
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