Offline Circulation Training 01.11.2024

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Offline Circulation Training 01.11.2024

Training Recording

  • The Sierra servers for MLN1 and MLN2 on operating systems must be updated to continue receiving OS updates and security patches. This process involves setting up completely new servers and migrating the existing systems to the new servers.

    • Marmot will be taking Sierra offline for MLN1 libraries on Tuesday, January 16th.

    • Marmot will be taking Sierra offline for MLN2 libraries on Tuesday, February 13th.

  • Marmot will process checkouts submitted through the Offline Circulation Process. If there are any failed checkouts as part of that process, Marmot will contact someone from your library to process any failed checkouts manually.

  • To see the failed or not processed checkouts using the Offline Circulation Report in Pika, you must have the Pika role of Circulation Reports or Library Admin.

    • To determine if you have a Pika Role, follow these steps:

      1. Log in to Pika.

      2. Go to the Account Settings in the My Account section.

      3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and locate the Staff Settings section.

      4. In this section, any associated Roles with your login will be displayed.

      5. If you do not have a Pika role, the Staff View will not be visible for your account unless it uses a staff Ptype.

      Please note that you can only access this information once logged into Pika.

  • You do not need to log into Pika in order to use Offline Circulation.

    • If you have the a link to the Offline Circulation URL no login is needed to use the Offline Circulation.

    • You only need the admin permissions listed above to see the Offline Circulation Report and the Offline Circulation tab after you log into your Pika account.


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Training Material

Q & A Section

Q: Can I use my individual Sierra login for the Offline Circulation process?

Typically, individual Sierras logins don’t have the same scoping parameters or the same location served parameters as your library’s general circulation login. In order to make sure the correct loan rules are being assigned, it is best to use login you normally use for circulation. Since Sierra is offline, you will not run into any issues with too many sessions. You will be able to run offline circulation in an many webpages as you need. It is best to use the same circulation logins that you normally use at your checkout desk. For libraries with branches, make sure to use the correct circulation login for your branch.

Q: Can I use the offline circulation process to check-in items?

No. This process is only used for checkouts. You will have to wait until Sierra is back online to check-in items.

Q: Can RFID pads be used to check out items using the offline circulation process or can you only use barcode scanners?

It depends whether or not your RFID pad can input into a text field. A good way to test with an RFID pad is use the offline circulation process and put a book on the pad and see if it populates the barcode into the field. Sometimes the RFID pads are configured to communicate with Sierra and not a text based document.

Q: Can staff practice using the offline circulation before January 16th or February 13th?

Marmot receives a report when someone submits an offline circulation form. If you want Marmot to send and process any transactions, you can inform Marmot of your intention to do so. As long as the transaction is successful, the items will be checked out on the patron's record. Therefore, you will need to check those items back in to remove them from the patron's record. Offline circulation transactions do not process automatically.

Q: Can you use the patron's .p # or name rather than their barcode # to check out?

No. The system is not setup to look up patrons based on that record number. The system is setup to use the patron’s barcode. You also do not have an option to look up a patron by name. Make sure your patron’s have their barcodes or student ID numbers in order to be able use offline circulation. Depending on the size of your patron database, you can use Create List to generate a list of all your patrons and export their names, barcodes, and any other necessary fields into an Excel spreadsheet if you frequently perform lookups by patron names.

Q: If the patron's account has a message in the message field that normally pops up when we scan their card, will the offline circulation reject that account?

Those pop-ups are not an obstacle to the circulation transaction it is only an obstacle to getting into the patron’s account.

Q: If we retrieve an item on hold for a patron from the physical hold shelf and use offline circulation to check it out for that patron, would that be flagged as an exception in the error report? Would this same question apply to Prospector Items?

This item should not trigger an error report if it is checked out to a patron who placed the hold for it. Only items that are on hold for a specific patron should generate an error report if someone else tries to check them out.

Prospector items should be shelved under the patron's name who placed the hold. Prospector items will check out through the offline circulation without an issue. This item should not trigger an error report if it is checked out to a patron who placed the hold for it. Only items that are on hold for a specific patron should generate an error report if someone else tries to check them out.

Q: Is it going to be possible to export the offline circulation report?

This report is not setup for exporting. However, you can copy and paste the information into Excel. Marmot will be sending out a link to the report as well as an Excel version to the person or persons at your library that have correct permission to access the report.

Q: What happens if I incorrectly type in a Sierra login?

Since Sierra is offline, it will not be able to authenticate if your login is correct or incorrect. When Marmot runs the checkouts the next day, your incorrect login will display with all the checkouts not being processed. So please make sure make you enter your Sierra login correctly for the offline circulation process.

Q: Will patrons be able to place holds through Pika?

Pika will be in offline mode. Patrons will still be able to use Pika to place a hold. Patrons will login as they normally do using Pika. If patrons have logged in before, they should not have any problems. If patrons have never logged in before, they will not have access to place a hold, since the system will not be able to validate them.

Library staff can place holds on behalf of patrons from Pika during the downtime using the Staff-placed Holds or Masquerade Mode functionality.

Here is a list of services that will not be functioning will Sierra is offline.

Q: Will the self-checkouts work during the Sierra downtime?

Self-checkouts will not be working will Sierra is down.

Q: Would we wait to run paging lists until Sierra is back online and the offline circulation transactions have be processed?

It is best to wait until all the offline circulation transactions have been processed before you run your paging lists. If you run paging lists before the offline circs have been processed, you will have items showing on shelf with a bunch of paging lists that might be tied to items that are not actually on the shelf since they were checked out during the offline circulation process. You should wait until you get the confirmation that offline circulations have been processed before using your paging lists.

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