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Issue Return Renew

SWIMS Circulation FAQs – Issue Return Renewal

Queries arising because we have many locations

  1. What should I be aware of when loaning to someone registered at another SWIMS Network library?
  2. What is the ‘In Transit‘ copy status and who uses it?

Issuing, renewing and expiring users

  1. What is the recommended policy on borrowing without a SWIMS card?
  2. The loan is issued for the wrong number of days – why is this?
  3. How does OLIB check a user’s maximum renewals and how can I set these up?
  4. How do I renew selected items rather than renewing all or one at time?
  5. Can I renew in another way other than on the Issues/Returns/Renewals screen?
  6. How does OLIB check a user’s maximum loans when I am issuing and how can I set this up?
  7. What do I need to be aware of when issuing to or renewing for a user who has expired or is about to expire?
  8. What is the Claims Lost Return transaction type and how does it work?  SWIMS Network mandatory procedure
  9. What are loan reminders and how are they set up?
  10. What is the maximum length of a single loan?  SWIMS Network mandatory procedure

Temporary Loans

  1. How can I use Temporary Loans for issuing journal issues?
  2. How can I use Temporary Loans for issuing ILLs to my end users?
  3. What else do I need to know about the way Temporary Loans work on OLIB?

Records of transactions

  1. Why in the user record or copy record Transaction History is the ‘Transaction Recorded by’ field sometimes blank?
  2. How long are transaction records available for?
  3. Why is the return date in the Transaction History sometimes wrong, and might even be in the future?

Workflow error messages and locked records

  1.  What should I do if I see a warning error message and I can’t issue or renew as normal?

 


What should I be aware of when loaning to someone registered at another SWIMS Network library?

If you enter the barcode in the issues screen of a user whose location doesn’t match yours, then you will see a warning message to this effect.

The ‘loan terms’ of that user’s User Category will determine how many items they are allowed, how many renewals they are allowed and whether their loans accrue fines. This applies to the loans from your library as well as their ‘home’ library, although the maximum entitlement will operate across all loans they have.

Many options have been considered for solving this; the current thinking is that the only way to solve this completely would be for all SWIMS Network libraries to have the same loan terms.

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What is the ‘In Transit’ copy status and who uses it?

The ‘In Transit’ copy status can be used to record that an item is moving between sites.  To change a copy record to this status before it goes on its travels, put the record in modify mode and change the Status to ‘In Transit’.  Reverse this on arrival.

The ‘In Transit’ copy status is used by some SWIMS Network multi-site services to record the movement of their stock between their own sites.

There is much more sophisticated ‘in transit’ functionality available in SWIMS, such that items can be issued ‘in transit’ to a particular location, and also be on loan and reserved at the same time.   The issues screen transactions ‘issue in transit’ and ‘return in transit’ are used in this configuration.  This ‘in transit’ functionality is being tested as part of an ILL pilot between OXH and HHLS libraries running June – Aug 2012.

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What is the recommended policy on borrowing without a SWIMS card?

This refers to borrowing without a card in a library live with SWIMS when the user has forgotten their library card.

Libraries should deal their own users according to their policies. However, in the case of non-home borrowers, libraries should ask to see photo ID where possible.

This recommendation was proposed by the SWIMS Circulations Group and agreed by the SWIMS Project Board at its meeting on 14 March 2005.

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The loan is issued for the wrong number of days – why is this?

This is most likely because the particular Loan Term is not set up correctly for this user.  To explain: everything about the loan is determined by how the Copy Category is set up in the User Category of the user.  This linking of Copy Category and User Category is called the Loan Term.

To view the Loan Term for a particular User Category / Copy Category combination:

  1. Ascertain the user’s User Category
  2. Search for the User Category: Reference Data > User Categories
  3. Look at the Loan Terms box on the Main screen
  4. Double click the individual Loan Term to view it in full
  5. You can then modify the record and input the relevant values – including Loan Days (i.e. the number of days an item will be loaned for), Max Loans (to this User Category of this Copy Category), and the Max Res values according to your library’s policy.

Just because a Copy Category is called ’14 day loan’ for example doesn’t mean that it will automatically be issued for 14 days – this has to be set up in the Loan Term as above.

It is important to remember that your users may borrow at other SWIMS libraries which may use Copy Categories which you don’t use, so you need to populate all the Loan Terms.  If you don’t, SWIMS may for example issue 14 day loans to those users perhaps for 28 days, or alternatively perhaps not at all.  If the Overdue Sequence in the Loan Term isn’t populated, then no emailed overdues will be generated for that loan.

You can set up the Loan Days (and other values) of the following according to your library’s own policy:

  • Reference
  • Restrict
  • Quick Cat
  • Temp Loan

But note that if one of your users borrows one of these Copy Categories at another library, it will be according to the user’s own User Category and so won’t take into account the lending library’s policies.  This is arguably not ideal but not currently surmountable on OLIB.  See the FAQ above on loaning to users registered at other libraries.

You don’t need to populate the following Loan Terms, as items of these Copy Categories are never loaned:

  • Electronic
  • Hidden
  • ILL Temp Copy
  • Jour. Holding
  • Mono. Holding
  • Resell Copy

If in any doubt about any of this, ask your system administrator for help.

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How does OLIB check a user’s maximum renewals and how can I set these up?

When carrying out a renewal transaction OLIB checks the following fields in the order given for the maximum number of renewals allowed. If it finds a blank or if it finds a value higher than the number of renewals carried out so far, it checks the next stage. If it finds a value equal to or lower than the number of renewals already carried out against that loan, it prevents the renewal.

  1. User Record Max Renew (Total)
  2. Loan Terms Max Total Renew for that User Category/Copy Category combination
  3. User Category Max Total Renew
  4. The Max Renew (Seen) or Max Renew (Unseen) field respectively in the User Record
  5. The Max Renew or Max Unseen field respectively in Loan Terms
  6. The Max Renew or Max Unseen field respectively in the User Category

When a new User Record is created, the Max Renew fields in the User Record are blank. (Until 10/1/05 they were populated automatically from the Max Renew fields in the User Category, however on this date all existing records had this value removed to leave a blank.)

Because OLIB checks the Max Total Renew field in Loan Terms before the Max Renew (Seen) or Max Renew (Unseen) fields in the User Category, this gives us the option of setting a final cap on renewals by Copy Category. This is useful bearing in mind that the functionality of Seen Renewals reallocating Unseen Renewals can make it difficult to work out how many maximum renewals may be permitted. (The unseen renewal count is reset to zero when a seen renewal is performed and a further set of unseen renewals is allowed.)

The three Renewals values can be set in User Categories and left blank in Loan Terms unless something different from the norm is required for a particular Copy Category.

It is possible to make special arrangements for an individual by setting a particular value in the User Record Max Renew fields, however it is not possible to allow an individual to have a different renewal entitlement for a particular Copy Category. A possible workaround is to place a user trap to explain that this user is permitted additional renewals.

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How do I renew selected items rather than renewing all or one at time?

In the Loan Items box tick the individual items and then click the Actions drop down box and click Renew selected (with check).

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Can I renew in another way other than on the Issues/Returns/Renewals screen?

You can renew from the Loans box on the user record.  This may be useful if the user record is ‘locked’ and you are unable to renew on the Issues/Returns/Renewals screen.  The usual checks are carried out for maximums/reservations etc using this method so this is a ‘safe’ way to renew.

  • Carry out a Users search for the user record
  • In the Loans box tick then click the Actions list and select Renew Copy
  • Refresh the screen and the new due date will appear.

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How does OLIB check a user’s maximum loans when I am issuing and how can I set this up?

When loaning OLIB checks the following for an indication of the maximum number of loans allowed. If it finds a blank or if it finds a value higher than the number of current loans for that user, it checks the next stage. If it finds a values equal to or lower than the number of current loans for that user, it prevents the loan.

  1. User Record Max Loan – this defaults to blank
  2. Loan Terms Max Loans for that User Category/Copy Category combination
  3. User Category Max Loans

When a new User Record is created, the Max Loan field in the User Record is blank. (Until the OLIB 7.6.2 upgrade in Apr 08 it was populated automatically from the Max Loans field in the User Category, however after this upgrade all existing records had this value removed to leave a blank.)

It is possible to make special arrangements for an individual by setting a particular value in the User Record Max Loan field, however it is not possible to allow an individual to have a different loan entitlement for a particular Copy Category. A possible workaround for this is to place a user trap to explain that this user has a different loan entitlement.

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What do I need to be aware of when issuing to or renewing for a user who has expired or is about to expire?

If the loan period is shortened by OLIB to align with a user’s expiry date, a message is displayed: ‘Return date is after the user’s expiry date. Setting to expiry date’  and the item is then due back on the last library open date before the user’s expiry date.  (Before the upgrade to OLIB 9 in Feb 2014 there was a bug such that the item could potentially be due back on a library closed day.)

No warning message is given if a user self-renews on WebView.

If an item is issued or renewed to a date in the past, fines will accrue if implemented.

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What is the Claims Lost Return transaction type and how does it work?

This is used on the issues screen when a user claims the he/she has lost an item that is recorded as on loan to him/her. To use this, set the transaction type to Claims Lost Return and return as normal.

The user is recorded in the Lost By field on the copy record and the copy is recorded in the Lost Items box on the user’s record.

It is possible to refine on copies which have the status of Claims Lost.

If an item with the status of Claims Lost is borrowed or passes otherwise through the issue desk, i.e. it is no longer lost, a message displays that it is unavailable. The copy information should be updated accordingly by putting the relevant copy record into modify, and deleting the value in the Lost by field. The Lost Items field in the relevant user record will then be cleared automatically.

SWIMS Network mandatory procedure:

Copy records with status of Claims Lost must be deleted no more than 5 years after the date that the item has been returned from loan.   To check for these records:

  • Launch a Copy barcode search
  • Refine on own location
  • Refine on Copy Status > Claims Lost
  • Refine on Last Returned On > Before > enter the date 5 years ago
  • Delete the copy records

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What are loan reminders and how are they set up?

Loan reminders and loan reminders before expiry are 2 notices which you can have set up for your location. These are sent automatically by OLIB to your end users a predetermined number of days before loans are due or the user expiry date.
They are sent on the day which is your chosen X number of days before the due date/expiry date.  If a user is to be notified of more than one item on a single day, these will be grouped into a single email.

A typical loan reminder notice may look like this:

Dear Jenny,

You currently have the following items on loan and they are due back in the next 3 days:

BarcodeTitleDue Back
DUMMY1Dummy record14-APR-2008

Please either return them on or before the day they are due to avoid fines, or renew them. You may be able to renew them yourself by going to your account details page in WebView and entering your library card number.

Thank you,
Jenny Toller
Librarian
Utopia Library

The account details can be a clickable link which opens the login page for WebView. It is possible to set this up to log the user in automatically but this is not recommended as it is possible for another user on the same machine to re-use the URL and see the logged in account.

A typical loan reminder before expiry notice may look like this:

Dear Mrs Toller,

Your membership of the Library expires on 18-APR-2008. According to our records, you still have the following items on loan. Please ensure that you remember to return them to the Library before you leave.

Yours sincerely,
Jenny Toller
Librarian
Utopia Library

BarcodeTitleDue Back
DUMMY1Dummy record18-APR-2008

If you would like these notices set up for your location, please contact your system administrator. It is recommended to test on librarian data before making available to end users. You can test that the loan reminder works by setting one of your librarian’s book loans due dates to be X+1 days hence, where X is the number of days you have set (making sure that the librarian has both an email address and that the books are loaned to their user record with user category of librarian).  You can test the loan reminder before expiry by setting one of your librarian’s expiry days to be Y+1 days hence, where Y is the number of days to expiry (making sure that the librarian has both an email address and books on loan). When done you should find that emails appear early next morning to the librarians in question. Of course when testing is complete you can undo the expiry date.

More details on notices are available in the alerting FAQs.

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What is the maximum length of a single loan? 

SWIMS Network mandatory procedure

There is no maximum in terms of the length of time an item may be loaned to an individual; however in system terms a continuous loan, with renewals if appropriate, must not total more than three years.  After a maximum of three years the loan should be returned and re-issued.  This is to facilitiate system integrity.

To check for loans exceeding three years:

  • Launch a search on Copy Barcode
  • Refine on Copy Status > On Loan
  • Refine on At Location > your location
  • Refine on Last Issued On > Before > enter the date three years ago (or a little later so that you can check before the three years is reached)

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How can I use Temporary Loans for issuing journal issues?

To create and issue the record: In the issues screen place the cursor in the copy box and click New and fill in the details accordingly.  Assign a barcode as per local policy and then issue to the end user. 

Assigning the barcode: It is safest to use a brand new barcode each time.  This is particularly the case at locations which fine for late return of Temporary Loans.  It has been found that if a Temporary Loan barcode accrues a fine which remains unpaid, and if the barcode is reused and issued to another user, the fine will be assigned (wrongly) to the new user.

To return: return in the normal way.  The copy record is then deleted overnight.

See FAQ below for further general information on Temporary Loans.

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How can I use Temporary Loans for issuing ILLs to my end users?

If the book title is already on SWIMS, it is possible to follow the (slightly simpler) instructions for loaning journal issues using Temporary Loan – see FAQ above.

Alternatively, and certainly if the book is not on SWIMS, do as follows.  There are three steps:

Step 1: Create a simple ILL title record for your location called Interlibrary loans – [your location], and start the title with the word interlibrary e.g. Interlibrary loans – South West Hants.  You only need to do this once.  See examples of existing records.

Ensure that the title record doesn’t display in WebView.  See the FAQ for how to do this.  There is no need to add a title note.

Step 2: Create the ILL copy.  This can be done at the point at which the book is received from the lending library, or just before it is lent to your reader.

  1. In the Issues/returns/renewals screen, put the cursor in copy box and click New 
  2. In the Barcode field, type in a new unique meaningful barcode according to local procedures.  A suggestion is to type the location code of the source library followed by the barcode of the book.  It is safest to use a brand new barcode each time.  This is particularly the case at locations which fine for late return of Temporary Loans.  It has been found that if a Temporary Loan barcode accrues a fine which remains unpaid, and if the barcode is reused and issued to another user, the fine will be assigned (wrongly) to the new user.
  3. Click on the Title button and search for the title Interlibrary loan – [your library].  Select this title into the record.
  4. The Temporary Title field will also be populated automatically with Interlibrary loan – [your library].  Delete this and type the title of the book.
  5. Check that your location is displayed in the Location field.
  6. Add a Trap indicating where the book should be returned to e.g. ‘Return to D08’.  There is no need to search for an existing Trap message – simply type a free text message in the ‘Message’ field.
  7. Save the trap and then save the copy record.

Step 3: Issue the ILL copy

  1. In the Issues/returns/renewals screen, scan or type in the user’s barcode and then type the barcode of the temporary copy into the copy field.
  2. At this point decide if the item is to be issued to the default return date.  This will be calculated by OLIB on the basis of the Loan Terms which link the Copy Category of Temporary Loan and the User Category of the user in question.  Change if desired.
  3. The trap will display telling you to return it to another library.  Click yes to continue.

To return: return in the normal way.  The copy record is then deleted overnight.

See FAQ below for further general information on Temporary Loans.

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What else do I need to know about the way Temporary Loans work on OLIB?

To search on OLIB Web

Launch a Copies search
Change to Copies of a Title
Refine on Copy Category of Temporary Loan
Refine on Location if desired

In the case of Temporary Loans used for ILLs it is helpful to be able to search by Temporary Title.
To do this, carry out the search above but refine also on Title.  Perhaps use the operator Similar to: and the search term in the format %nursing.  Note that this title search refine is case sensitive, so %Nursing and %NURSING will all retrieve different results.

Webview: Temporary Loan journal copies are not searchable and do not display in WebView.

Webview self-renewal: The end user can log in and see their loans and this includes Temporary Loans.  They are also given the option to self-renew so it might be preferable to minimise the number of potential renewals in loan terms if required.  Note that this will impact on both the loaning of journals and of ILLs if Temporary Loans are used for both purposes for your user categories.

Overdues: Temporary Loans are included in emailed overdues and also printed overdues.

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Why in the user record and copy record Transaction History is the ‘Transaction Recorded by’ field sometimes blank?

In a user and copy transactions record, OLIB indicates the logged in staff member who performed the renewal.  Previously, if you renewed by the ‘Renew Selected Items’ or ‘Renew Selected Items (Unseen)’ or ‘Renew All’ right click methods, the logged in staff member was not displayed, i.e. the transaction was anonymous.  This was fixed with the application of Service Pack 2 on 7 March 2011; however not retrospectively for renewal transactions carried out prior to that date.

It is not clear why a Reservation sometimes also lacks this information.

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How long are transaction records available for?

The Transaction History box in the user record History tab and the copy record History tab shows transactions.  Until May 2013 this was set to 3 years, which is the recommended system default, and transaction records older than 3 years were automatically deleted by the system. However in May 2013 it was set to 10 years after consultation with the SWIMS cataloguing and circulation groups.  The system no longer deletes older transaction records and so the oldest records are from May 2010.  The history continues to grow.

The system retains fine data indefinitely.

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Why is the return date in the Transaction History sometimes wrong, and might even be in the future?

This was a bug and occured in a very particular scenario.  It was fixed in service pack 6 on 20 May but may still be visible.

When an item has been issued to user 1, and then issued to user 2 without being returned first (in this scenario the system automatically returns from user 1 and issues to user 2 and warns you it is doing this), and is also issued to user 2 using a manual return due date (as opposed to the auto return date which most loans are issued to), the date of return recorded in the transaction history of the item of user 1 is wrong.  It should be the actual return date, but instead it is the new due date of the item for user 2.

These incorrect return dates can be easily identified because they have a time of 00:00 which of course would be very unlikely for a time of return. Because the transactions in the History tab file in order of Date/Time, it might mean that this record doesn’t appear where it should.

This relates to the transaction history in both the user record and the copy record. 

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What should I do if I see a warning error message and I can’t issue or renew as normal?

See also the FAQ on records locked after unexpected disconnection.

In particular circumstances OLIB displays an error message to indicate that data should be saved or windows closed before proceeding.  Usually this occurs if the user record is open in another window, or already loaded into an issues screen including at another location.  This is most prevalent with user records for libraries when more than one library wishes to issue or renew for them at the same time.

If you see an error messge that the user record is in use, you can email SWIMS-SYSTEM asking the library which has it open to hit ‘Save and Clear’ on the issues screen.  (It isn’t possible to tell from OLIB which library has it open.) 

To help avoid this problem generally please hit ‘Save and Clear’ after completing a circulation transaction so that the record is freed up for use.

If the problem is not resolved quickly you might find helpful the FAQ above on renewing from the user record (rather than the issues screen).

The error messages you might see include the following.  Please follow the instructions.  If in doubt, please close OLIB, close the browser and log in again.

“It is not possible to continue with this transaction at present.  It is possible that the user record is being modified in another window or by another staff member.  The user record should be saved before attempting the transaction again.”

 

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