April Executive Committee Report

Work is proceeding well and is on-schedule for the Evergreen Circulation demo release. This release will demonstrate basic circulation functionality, and its purpose is to gather feedback on workflow and design. We are also planning on improving and upgrading some cataloging functionality that was available in the previous release.

Here are some specific new features that we plan to have in the upcoming release. This certainly isn’t an exhaustive listing, and I’m just hitting the high spots:

  • Basic Circulation (checkout and checkin) of materials
  • The Evergreen Circulation Matrix allows central administration to determine loan duration and number of allowed renewals based on almost any aspect of the patron, checkout library, owning library, copy, or title.

    The Evergreen Fines Matrix allows equal power and flexibility in fines and billing determination. We may have limited fine and billing functionality in the upcoming demo release. This will be fully implemented by Alpha.

    The client-side system will check for mis-scans of barcodes.

    Checkout receipts will have locally definable text (such as headers and footers) and layout. Also, checkin receipts will be available.

    Sounds will warn staff of problems. These will eventually be locally-customizable.

    Any copy checked-in with a special status (for example, a lost book) will warn the staff member with audible and visual warnings. The staff member will be unable to simply “scan through” the error, and must actively acknowledge it in order to continue.

  • Patron Search
  • Customizable views of patron data on the patron search screen. This gives staff the ability to view as much or as little of the patron’s data as needed when searching.

    Ability to search by practically any field such as patron name, street address number or name, zip code, county, phone number, email address, etc.

  • Patron Registration and Maintenance
  • In Evergreen, Patrons can be assigned locally-defined fields. For example, if a library wanted to keep track of who is a college student, that library can add a custom field to the patron registration screen. That field is only visible at that library.

    Juvenile patrons can be automatically “upgraded” to Adult on their 18th birthday by the system.

    There is a special functionality that works like a “patron alert”. Staff can fill in a special warning field in a patron’s record, and the next time that patron’s barcode is scanned, that warning pops up on the screen. For example, if a patron’s keys are found in the library, a warning can be put here to record that and to alert staff.

Here are some things that are upcoming, but not included in this release:

  • The Evergreen Holds Matrix.
    Central administration can determine holdability and priority based on practically any aspect of the hold, the patron, the copy, and the title. This is due with the Alpha release.
  • I mentioned it previously, but full fines and billing capability, including the ability to hold a credit on a patron’s account for future use for things such as photocopying or faxing. This is also due in Alpha.
  • Renewals may make it into the upcoming demo release, but will definately be including in the Alpha release.
  • “My Account” area in the OPAC is due with Alpha. This will give the patron ability to place holds, view fines, and renew materials. Eventually, other things affecting the patron experience will be controlled from here, such as personally-definable search parameters.

We will be demonstrating Evergreen at the PINES meeting in Warner Robins in May. We hope to see all of you there.