Creating a New Patron Record (Check Out (Circulation Desk) (Sierra)

Libraries can add new patrons through the Check Out (Circulation Desk) Function. It is best to use the patron record templates whenever creating new patron records.

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Adding a New Patron Record

Choose the Check Out (Circulation Desk) function from the drop-down menu.

Click on the New icon.

You can also get to File | New Patron.

Depending on how the record templates are set up for a Sierra login will control what is displayed.  In this example, the Preferred Record Templates are set up to always Prompt for Record Templates, so this person will always see multiple choices.  A person would pick the template they want to use, and click the Select button.  A Sierra account may be set up to automatically choose just one template, and have it automatically prompt for just that template each time.  See Record Templates for more information.    

Next, your patron record template will display pop-up boxes for information you need to fill out.  Some patron record templates may populate some fields automatically.  Fill in the pop-up boxes, and click the Next button for each one. 

Generally, the first box that will pop up will be the EXP Date (expiration date).  This is the date the patron will no longer be able to checkout or place a hold on physical items or eContent titles for your library.  To enter a date either type it in using the mm-dd-yyyy format, or double click in the white box to bring up the calendar (see below).  Click Next

When you bring up a calendar, the greater-than (>) symbol will advance the calendar by months.  The double greater-than (>>) symbols will advance the calendar by years. You must pick a day by clicking on it.  Click the OK button when finished.

The following popup boxes will depend on your library.  The order in the popup boxes appears depends on the way the patron record template was created by someone at your library.

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Most libraries will use the following popup boxes to prompt for information

The P Barcode is for the patron barcode from your library.  The barcode can be scanned or typed into the box. Click Next.

The n PATRN NAME is for the patron’s name which should be entered by last name, first name. Click Next. Note: there is not standardized formatting across all Marmot members. Your library can decide whether to use all caps or middle initials.

The a ADDRESS field does not distinguish how to enter the patron’s address.  The first line is usually for the physical address or PO Box information.  The second line is for the City, State, and Zipcode. Click Next.

The t TELEPHONE is used for the patron’s phone number.  The system will not automatically fill in any parentheses or dashes. A phone number can be entered in a few different ways (970) 555-555 or 970-555-555. Important: Made sure you add an area code and the hyphens if you run the automatic hold slips. Otherwise, when you check-in an item you will not be able to print a slip. Click Next. Note: The phone can be used as a notification preference, depending on the library’s procedures and workflow.

The z EMAIL ADDR is used to send notices to patrons.  If your patron does not have an email, this field can be skipped.  Click Next. Note: if a patron does not have an email address, you can also change the notification preference from Email to None. Tip: you can also add multiple email addresses separated by commas for children and parents with separate accounts.


The PIN/Password is used to set a secure password to protect patron privacy. Passwords are for more than just protecting the patron reading history. It also protects personal contact information from potential identity theft or other crimes. Staff can use this field to help patrons change their password. Staff can turn the screen to the patron to allow them to reset their own password Sierra.

Once you add the PIN field, the Set PIN field box will appear. Cultural use and acceptance of the word PIN implies a four digit identification number. Although this is certainly better than nothing, Marmot decided to alter the language to reflect an even more secure and customized authentication token. Cultural use of the word PASSWORD implies an alpha-numeric token. Passwords also have generally accepted complexity standards - such as uppercase characters, lowercase characters, numbers, and symbols - that you can direct patrons toward in order to encourage more secure authentication tokens.

Note: Passwords entered by staff during record creation should be a temporary password.

Password Reset field is used to allow staff to work with patrons to reset their Sierra password to prompt for a password change in Pika. This field could also be used to reset a password for patrons who call in to ask for assistance.

The ideal functionality of the Password Reset field is as follows;

  • Staff set the field to a value of zero (0). Staff can also delete the Password Reset field to force a password reset in Pika.

  • Pika sees that value and knows that it means the patron should be prompted to reset their password when they log into Pika.

  • After patron resets their password Pika changes the value in that field to something like a date (i.e. 01/06/2023) so that staff know the last date the password was reset.

This field was never meant to house the password itself. Staff can have patrons set their password in the PIN field. 

Note: this functionality is in active development and is subject to change.


Note: Your library might also include PCodes. Look at the Create Lists - Patron Fixed Field Definitions documentation to learn more about what the PCodes do in a patron record. Most libraries that use the PCodes will have them filled in so anyone creating a patron record will not need to guess what PCode to use during the record creation process.

Once the patron record has been filled out, you will be given an option to make corrections. Once finished, click the Save/Close icon.  

Click on the Insert icon to bring up the Insert a non-MARC field box.  Choose the field you would like to add from the drop-down menu.  Enter the information and click the OK button. This will add the new field to the patron account. Click the Save/Close button to save the changes.

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