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Patron Service

  • 5/20/2021 KLAS Users' Roundtable: DoD Tips & Tricks for Serving Patrons

    Sam Lundberg moderates the 5/20/21 KLAS Users' Roundtable.

    Below is the recording and chat transcript for our KLAS Users' Roundtable: Duplication on Demand Tips & Tricks for Serving Patrons that was held on Thursday, May 20, 2021. (57:24 Run Time)

    Chat Transcript

  • Duplication on Demand: What works best for you?

    Duplication on Demand: What works best for you?

    Many KLAS libraries are already wrestling with (or soon will be) the challenges of reduced space to house their collections and / or less circulation and support staff. With these issues and other in mind, we designed KLAS' Patron Centric Cartridge functionality to provide library staff with the ability to quickly select and reproduce a specific set of books onto a cartridge for a specific patron.

    While this works well for many libraries, we know this is not the best option for ALL organizations.

    In our discussions at Keystone, we have identified at least three different duplication on-demand workflow scenarios including two patron-centric and one title-centric:

    1. A single cartridge tied to a single patron which is reloaded with books for that patron each time it is returned.
    2. Cartridges that are loaded with titles based on a single patron's preferences but are not tied to one in particular. Rather, whichever cartridge is available at the time is loaded with the patron's books.
    3. Cartridges loaded according to inventory (Examples: The Harry Potter Series, Nonfiction titles added in the last 30 days, 1 year of Southern Living)

    Some questions we have as we prepare to move forward with providing additional duplication-on-demand functionality within KLAS are:

    1. Do any of these options appeal to your organization and how it operates more than another?
    2. What considerations do you think need to be made for each?
    3. What specific challenges and / or benefits do you think you may see from operating under each?

    Please share your answers / thoughts / feedback on the "Duplication on Demand: What works best for you?" klausers.com discussion forum thread.

  • Improving Foreign Language Service

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    As you may have heard, PIMMS recently added a large number of new Patron Language codes. This will be great for getting data and statistics on non-English-speaking patrons... but it also provides an opportunity for much better patron service!

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    Like many opportunities, though, there's a bit of challenge too. In KLAS, Patron Language (aka PatLang) is not like Subject or Author preferences. There is no Nightly Program that goes through, finds books in a patron’s preferred language or languages, and assigns them or adds them to a Service Queue. Instead, Language is one of the options for every other program to check against.

    Most Libraries have Nightly set up so that Requests and Reserves ignore language, but Subject and Author have to match. This allows any patron to request a book in a language they don’t usually receive, but ensures that automatic selections will be in their preferred language (or languages).

    This also means for patrons who speak a language other than English or Spanish, there will be few-to-no books available by AutoSelect. NLS is working to fill out the foreign language collection, but for now, Nightly will find few (if any) Mystery books for a patron speaking only Cantonese, and few (if any) Romances for a patron who only speaks Polish.

    So how do you ensure that your Cantonese- and Polish- (and Everything Else)-speaking patrons get books?

    First, they need to have the specific language(s) they speak on their profile. If they have a Patron Language of just “Other,” NLS won’t know what languages are most needed, and you won’t be able to match up that patron with any books in your catalog. That patron will only ever get Requests and Reserves (potentially including Series, depending on your Nightly configuration).

    Second, you need to make sure they have a preference setup to find books matching their language. At this time, our recommendation is to have Subject headings for each of your Patron Languages other than English and Spanish.

    This allow you to add the subject “Cantonese Books” to all titles in Cantonese and give your patron a preference for any/all of those books. This is much more efficient than needing to either give your patron preferences for every subject you might get a Cantonese title in or manually doing a book search and adding requests for the patron every time a new batch of Marrakesh titles are added.

    Additionally, a patron with both English and Polish as Language preferences and both Romance and Polish Language Books as subject headings will receive a mix of Romance books in English and whatever's available in Polish. 

    Hopefully the foreign language collection will eventually be large enough you can send foreign language titles by actual subject preferences. But, for now, this approach will ensure patrons get what you have. Plus, NLS will get the statistics on what languages are most needed, steering their collection development to the benefit of your patrons—a very win-win scenario.

    Please let us know if you have questions, any time you need more Patron Language options added to your list, or if you need help setting up Subject headings for specific languages. 

  • Improving Foreign Language Service – Part II

    A word cloud of

    A word cloud of A word cloud of "hello" in many languages, written in different colors and directions. The translations include aloha, dia duit, bonjour, verwelkoming, and sannu.During our latest New Features Webinar, we had a question about getting the complete list of all languages recognized by PIMMS. Here are some things to know about that list:

    • The list that PIMMS adopted is based on the ISO 639-2 Bibliographic list, a standard list maintained by the Library of Congress. There are 487 languages on this list.
    • This list is designed to represent all the languages that you might expect to find a book written in, but it is not necessarily a list of all spoken languages.
    • The code values in the ISO-639-2 list are used in MARC records to indicate the language(s) of a title.
    • The code values that PIMMS accepts are numeric codes, instead of the alpha values that represent the standard they are attempting to match.

    There are also some things to consider regarding language codes in KLAS:

    • The list of Patron Language codes (PatLang) are mapped to the numeric PIMMS codes.
    • The list of Language Codes for title records (LangCode) are mapped to coincide with incoming MARC data.
    • The local codes for Patron Languages and Language Codes for title records need to match for Nightly and Book Search exclusion checks.
    • The list of values in a drop down are sorted by Code Value instead of description.
    • The more values you have in a list of codes, the more difficult it gets for your staff to use.
    • Changes to a Code list are not applied retroactively; clean up needs to be made on all affected records.

    In short: there are a ton of language possibilities out there. However, when you balance out the needs of your patrons, your collection, and your staff, the only languages you really want to have in KLAS are the ones you need right now.

    You can certainly add more languages than you have now without causing headaches—and we’re happy to help you do it! Languages that your patrons speak, that appear in the collection, and/or that you want to track interest in should definitely be added to your code lists.

    Just know that too many languages can make things complicated, and too many changes later on can be a pain.

    If you want the long version, read on for more details.

    Difficulties of a Long List

    Having “too many” options in a drop-down field introduces some really interesting ways to mess up data entry. For example, while the full list of PIMMS languages was briefly available, one patron was given “Middle English” as their default Language! The more options there are, the easier it is to accidentally select the wrong one, either by misreading or mis-clicking.

    In addition to the unwieldiness of such long list and the ease of selecting an unintended entry, these lists sort by code not full description. This means you should take care with how you setup the codes, or the list will not be in a straightforward, alphabetical order.  Once you get more than 30 or so entries in a combo-box, having a logical sort order becomes very important! For example, browse through the list of states on the Contact tab. The state codes are well-known—but they don’t sort the same as the names of the states. If you weren’t already familiar with them, could you easily use this field? What if the states weren’t in order at all?

    Getting back to the list of languages that you are managing in your database – another thing to keep in mind is the way a language might be referred to by a patron vs its official name or designation. Many libraries have had Cambodian in their Patron language list for years as C or CAM but the Marc value is khm for Khmer. Serbo-Croatian was previously used for what are now distinguished as four different languages whose official codes are based on the spelling of the language in that language – hence HRV for Croatian. The MARC code is PER for Persian but the language is frequently referred to as Farsi.  

    Will those codes help your staff browse to the right part of the list? It’s important to understand how patrons might ask for materials in these languages, and choose local codes and descriptions such that your staff can match what a patron is saying to the proper selection.

    Fortunately, the Code Files allow you to use a local code for the Patron and Catalog modules while still mapping to PIMMS and to the codes used on MARC records. Think about the local codes you may want to use, and how can use them to enforce a reasonable sort order.

    Remember: selecting logical, well-sorted codes, and then selecting the right one from the list every time will be easier the shorter you keep the list.

    Changes to Code Files are not retroactive

    Code Files can be tricky to deal with, especially in cases where you are dealing with large numbers of records, mapping between modules, and mapping with both PIMMS and MARC records. If you’re up to it, you can add to your PatLang codes, but we recommend you leave the LangCode file to us—and don’t go hog wild changing the codes.

    Here’s why:

    Code Files aren’t like Headings. Headings are linked on each record; when you update a Heading, the changes appear on each record. Codes get stored on each record instead, and the Code File simply defines what that code means. If you change a Description, that’s fine! But if you change a Code, all the records with the old code still have the old code. Records with the old code won’t be able to find it in the Code File to define it, triggering error messages and generally breaking things.

    Plus, for this Code File, mapping must be maintained between the Patron and Catalog modules. Doing so means Nightly can match the patrons’ preferred Language to the Language on title records.

    So, if you want to change one of your language codes:

    1. Add the new Code to the PatLang Code File, setting the CMLS Lang Code to match the code you want to update.
    2. Find all of the patrons with the original Code on their record, updating each of them to use the new Code instead.
    3. Only delete the original Code from the PatLang Code File once it’s no longer associated with any
    4. Repeat the process in the LangCode file, with the catalog records, making sure to maintain the CodeXref (MARC record mapping).

    Or... better yet, have us do it.

    Any time you need a language added to the list, or if you want to adjust the local codes in use for sorting the list, please send the details to Customer Support at , and we’ll take it from there.

    Policy Changes are also not retroactive – About Bilingual Titles

    While you’re thinking about all this, here’s one last thing to keep in mind:

    In the past NLS issued MARC records for bilanguage titles with a combined code, such as E/S or S/E for books with both Spanish and English parts. That policy changed! According to NLS, these books are now given a language code reflecting the “primary” language of the title, even if one or more additional languages are included. For example, “Drivetime German” which is marked as E/G in a number of databases, is primarily in English (with some German) according to NLS. Meanwhile, “eTicket Ingles” is a Spanish title (which also has English).

    New MARC records arrive cataloged this way. It’s up to you whether you want to update their records to reflect the bilingual nature of the titles, or want to update your back catalog to use the approach of cataloging the primary language.

    For more information about this, or advice on how to apply changes in the direction of your choice please let us know!

  • Order up!

    Order up!

    I have another 7.7 preview for you today!

    As part of our continuing efforts to support the high-volume duplication service model, we have been working on another new tab for the Patron Module: the Orders tab.

    Right now, both the cartridge itself and each of the titles loaded on it are listed individually on the Items tab, and it can be difficult to tell which titles were on which cartridge, or to tell which were pre-existing cartridges vs which were duplicated for the patron. Well, in KLAS version 7.7 and onwards, they will continue to be listed there, allowing you to continue using the tab you are already familiar with to quickly check whether a patron has had a certain title, what was the last thing sent, and so on.

    However, when you need more detailed information or to see which titles were on which cartridge... now, you'll have the Orders tab.

    For right now, this is a Read-Only tab, meaning that nothing can be changed or modified from this screen. However, you will be able to browse each duplication order sent to that patron in the top browse, and view all of the Titles from a specific order (and only the Titles from that order) in the bottom browse.

    Using this tab, you'll be able to easily answer patron questions like "I accidentally sent the wrong one back! What was on the last cartridge you sent me?" or "Oh, what was that book I read right after the new Nora Roberts? It was the last one on the cartridge and I forgot to write the name down..." and even "Why did you send me that awful book?"

    Here's a preview of what it looks like right now:

    OrdersTab

    And there's more! While we think this will be a useful starting point, we have more development planned for the Orders tab, including:

    More filtering options - such as Circ Status (Assigned, Out, Returned), date sent, and date returned

    Functions - such as resend order (great for those "I didn't mean to send that one back!" patrons)

    So what do you think? Is there something you'd like to find on this tab that isn't there yet? Any functions you want us to build in? Let us know!

  • Patron Holds

    Welcome to the Key Notes blog, where we will be bringing you weekly posts on conference planning, happenings at Keystone, or how better to put KLAS to work for you!

    We’re kicking things off with a discussion on putting patrons “On Hold.” KLAS offers a number of different ways to halt or pause service to a patron, including:

    • Main Status types
    • Media Status types
    • Blocks

    Each of these options works a little differently, offers different benefits, and may work better for some situations than for others. Bear in mind—NONE of these will affect a patron’s BARD account, as there is currently no direct communication between KLAS and the NLS BARD servers.

    Are there situations where you like to use one method over another?
    How do you like to document the reasons or end dates for patron holds?
    Do you have questions or need some help navigating the best workflow for a particular situation?

    Review your options below, then visit the Patron Holds forum thread and join the discussion!

    Options for putting patrons "On Hold"

    Each library or system will develop their own standard procedures. This information is only intended to help you understand your options and to suggest possibilities.

    1. Patron Main Status:

    Change this status to ensure that nothing goes out to a patron until / unless the status is changed back to ACTIVE, and to facilitate the process of removing inactive records after a reasonable period.

    • The lifecycle of a patron record should generally be:
      ACTIVE > SUSPENDED > WITHDRAWN > DELETED
    • INACTIVE should not be used for the Patron Main Status.
    • Once a patron is marked WITHDRAWN, all materials checked out to the patron are marked Lost (including equipment).

    2. Patron Profile and Media Status:

    Change one or more Patron Media Status to stop materials in that medium from going out to the patron, and / or update the Cir Status and Dir Status to stop magazines in that medium.

    • Set the desired media to INACTIVE to block materials from being sent. The status can be set back to ACTIVE at any time to resume service.
    • Dir Status is the status for Direct Magazines—magazines circulated by NLS directly to patrons. Update the subscriptions for these magazines from the Subscriptions tab so information can be sent through PIMMS.
    • Cir Status is the status for Circulating Magazines. Update the status here to block magazines circulated by your library.
    • Other profile adjustments can be made to the NSCutoff, Next Serve Date, or ServeCode, depending on the exact results you want.

    3. Blocks:

    Create a block to stop both books and circulating magazines from being sent from your library. Set an expiration date to make the block temporary without needing to go back and manually reverse changes to a patron’s account.

    • Is not communicated to NLS and does not affect Direct Magazines.
    • Some libraries allow new types of blocks to be created directly in the tab, or you can create a standard “Hold” block type to be used as-needed.


    Read this “QuickTip” Tutorial for more information and instructions for each option:

    Please be sure to login to download content. Thanks

Join the discussion in the Patron Holds forum thread!

  • Why Enter Has-Hads?

    For KLAS-to-KLAS patron transfers, a patron’s reading history (HasHads or HHs) automatically transfer with the rest of the record. Thanks to PIMMS, more and more libraries will be able to automatically transfer records, even if one of the libraries uses WebReads or another system. Eventually, even BARD HHs will be automatically imported into the system right away.

    In the meantime, however, at least some out-of-system patron transfers will come with a paper or .pdf list of HHs to enter manually, and BARD HHs are only created when the BARD Circulation Stats are manually uploaded. So: should you spend valuable staff time adding these HHs?

    Here’s some information to help you make that choice:

    How to do it


    For transfer patrons: In the Patron Module, open the patron record in question, then press Alt + H on your keyboard or use the menu to select Functions > Items > Add Has Had.

    In the Add Has Had window, you will be able to enter KLAS IDs exactly as you do in Quick Requests.

    For BARD downloads: Use the Administration page in BARD to download the statistics for your branch for each month. You will need to save the .cscv files; do not open them, as this will re-format the information and keep it from loading properly.

    In the Patron Module, use the menu to select Tools > Load BARD Circs. Browse to find the saved stats file, and either Load Now or select Load via Batch Manager. Depending on the size of the file, it may take a while to load.

    For help addressing BARD load errors, once the batch has loaded, use Export – Load Errors and save the file. Send it to Ks7 and we will help you identify patron errors and load missing catalog records.

    What does it affect?


    Nightly Autoselect: For most libraries, the Nightly processes are set up not to re-send HasHads based on author or subject. Generally, your patrons should only receive books they have had before if they specifically request them.

    Series: If a patron requests a series, KLAS will prompt you to ask whether HHs in that series should be sent again or if they patron wants to pick up right where they’ve left off previously. If the HHs are on file, it puts this choice right in the patron’s hands (or in the hands of the contact person or RA helping them). If they were never added, the patron will receive “repeat” books whether they wanted them or not.

    Book Search: When RAs use Book Search, the results page lists any exclusions the patron has against that title, including HHs. Again, having this information on-screen empowers your RAs and your Patrons.

    Request List: If a patron downloads a title from BARD after it was added to their request list, KLAS will automatically remove the request or reserve. This is great for patrons who request a book, then change their minds and download it instead, or for patron who have a series preference, but download the latest book before your library gets a hardcopy.

    The Bottom Line


    HasHads are an important part of the Patron record and having an accurate history for a patron improves service.

    It does take time to enter this information, especially if you are far behind on your BARD stats or if a patron comes in with an extensive reading history. That said, having full and accurate HasHad records improves automatic picks, provides valuable information to your RAs, and helps answer patron questions (What was that book I read three years ago? I think the love interest was a doctor. . . )

    So, chime in: Do you enter all of your HasHads? What about just recent HasHads, that are otherwise more likely to be assigned by Nightly?
    Has leaving them off ever caused trouble for you?

    Head over to the Entering HasHads forum thread and let us know!

  • KLAS Users - Keystone Systems, Inc. logo

    Keystone Systems, Inc.
    8016 Glenwood Ave., Suite 200
    Raleigh, NC 27612
    800-222-9711