Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Reports: Borrower with items out

As we wrap up the end of the year, many of you are wanting to run reports that you can give to teachers with all the books their students still have out. I've put these reports in the Check-out Listings folder in the Jeffco reports folder. Each report has slight differences.

    1. Borrowers with Items Checked Out
      • Sorted by responsible party; 
      • Lists student's name, phone number, grade level and ID;
      • Shows title, call number, barcode, and replacement cost of book;
      • No page break between responsible parties
    2. Borrowers with Items Checked Out, borrower page break
      • Same as #1, but puts a page break between each borrower
      • Good to run for staff, to give teachers a list of what they have out
    3. Borrowers with Items Checked Out, half sheet notice
      • Same as #2, but pages are 1/2 sheets;
      • Good for notices to give to students
      • Remember to change "Page Scaling" to Multiple pages per sheet in the print dialog box to get the half-sheets
    4. Borrowers with Items Checked Out, list for Excel
      • Same info as #1, but in a grid format
    5. Borrowers with Items Out by Responsible Party - Full Sheet
      • Sorted by responsible party; page breaks between RP
      • Lists student's name, ID, and grade level
      • Shows title, author, barcode, call number, item status, and replacement cost
      • Can run for just one teacher (have teacher's ID# ready)
    6. Borrowers with Items Out/Overdue by Responsible Party
      • Sorted by responsible party
      • Can run for just one teacher, don't need their ID
      •  Lists student's name and grade level
      • Shows title, call number, due date, and item status
 If you need a report showing fines, look in the Overdues & Fines folder in the Jeffco folder. There are too many to list here, but here's a few tips to keep in mind:
  • Notices generally indicates a report with one borrower per sheet (half or full) - a notice you can hand to a student. (Except "Notices OD with Fines" - that's a full sheet for each RP. Go figure.)
  • List indicates just that - a list of students with fines, overdues, etc.
  • Remember there are 2 pages of reports in the Overdues & Fines folder - click on the double down arrows to the left to get to the next page.
  • Use the Sample Reports folder to find what you need - click on any Report View in that folder to see a sample of the report.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New Reports

TLC has released its 1st quarter set of new reports, and there are a few I thought would be useful that I'd like to mention. I have put shortcuts to these reports in the Jeffco folders, so they're easier for you to find.
  • Circulations for Owning Holdings Codes at Location by Date Range (in Jeffco > Circulation Activity): This report lists all the holdings codes that have had circulations during the time period you specify, with the number of check outs and renewals. It also lists the percent each holdings code represents of your entire collection (not just the checked out items), and the total number of items in each holdings code.
  • Intra-Location Items Checked Out (in Jeffco > Items): This report has two functions. With it, you can get a list of items checked out from your library by borrowers at other locations - especially helpful for those of you with many borrowers who have a different home location. You can also get a report that shows items your borrowers have checked out from other locations. For both versions of the report, it shows the item owning location, the borrower location, call number, holdings code, title, barcode, and due date.
  • Items by Location, Holdings Code(s), and Status(es) in Date Range - Excel (in Jeffco > Items): This report is similar to Items by Selected Holdingscode(s) and Status(es), but it allows you to specify a date range for the "update" date - the date that the status was set (e.g., book checked out, marked lost or missing, put on hold, etc.). So for instance, you could use it to get a list of items in your Fiction collection marked lost during last semester. The report shows the holdings codes (owning and active), call number, title, barcode, date added, date checked out, update date, and current status. If you're unclear what the status codes mean, check the Abbreviations page on the Jeffcat website for help. Note: This report displays in a grid format for easy porting into Excel; it does not automatically open in Excel - you still have to click the View in Excel button once you've run the report in HTML or PDF.
A couple more things: I'm making a few changes to the Jeffco reports folder to try to make them easier to use. I'm getting rid of the "Shortcut to" wording that precedes each report title to clean up the look of the folders. I'm also adding screen tips to the reports - if you hover your mouse over the report icon to the left of each title, you'll see added information about the report (I've only gotten through the Borrowers folder so far). Remember that you can view samples of each report in the Sample Reports folders, in case you have questions about what you'll get from a report.

These changes should not affect the reports you may have put in your My Folders section. A note about putting reports in your My Folders - it's better to use the Create a report view of this report... link, rather than the Copy... link (you'll find both in the More... link on the far right). When you create a report view, your report view is still linked to the main report, so if any changes or updates are made to the main report, they will flow down to your report view. Creating a copy of a report severs this link, so if any updates are made to a report, you would not see those reflected in your copy. This does not apply to reports you have already run and then saved to your My Folders - those report will stay the same (retain the same data) as when you saved them.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New "Add Item" Functionality in TLC

In case you missed it, there's some new functionality in LS2 Circ that I want you all to be aware of. TLC modified the Add Item function in Staff Services to make it easier to add multiple copies to one title record. The way it's designed is that if you have an item selected (it's highlighted and you see the Item Details on the right, as in the image to the right), when you click the green plus sign to add a new item, the system automatically populates the item record with the information from that highlighted item. Basically it copies the location, call number, etc.--everything but the barcode--from that item and plunks it into your new item. Which is great if you WANT to copy that item. But you may just be looking at it for reference, and then the information is inadvertently copied into your new item.

So the thing is just to be aware of this functionality. The easiest way to check your work is to see what location is listed in your new item--if it's your location, you're fine, but if it's a different school, you'll want to either A) change the location (you'll also have to click the "Circulated By" box and change that location); or B) click the Clear Fields button in the lower right, which will wipe out all the information and give you a clean slate. Here's an example of a copied item:

Of course, if you are adding multiple copies of a title, this makes it a lot easier - just select the item you want to copy, scan your barcode, and click "Save and Add Another." Makes it much faster!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New items on Jeffcat website

We've added a few new bits of circulation information to the Jeffcat website. First, there are new pages that outline the circulation rules in place for all the different levels. These are the basic rules the system follows for how long to check items out, fines to charge, etc. You can adjust these on a case-by-case basis at your school (by using the Change Date feature, waiving fines, etc.).

Second, instructions for marking items lost have been added to the Circulation page. These instructions outline how to mark items lost whether or not they are checked out, and give some guidance on Lost vs. Missing.

Finally, we're curious. How are the circulation rules working for you in your school? Comment and let us know!

Friday, March 9, 2012

TLC Upgrade this weekend

We're installing the newest release of the TLC circulation software this weekend. You'll see a few changes and some fixes on Monday, so we wanted to let you know what's coming. Click here for a Jeffco Google doc that outlines what's new and what's been fixed; below is a list of the highlights. You don't have to do anything to implement this change at your library - the new features and fixes will just be there when you log in on Monday. If you run into any problems, please contact the Help Desk.

  • Items checked out appear at the TOP of the check out list
  • Quicker way to add new items by “cloning” existing items
  • Printable receipts for credit refunds
  • Credits and credit withdrawals (refunds) added to Payment History screen
  • Cursor focus highlighted when using Firefox and Chrome
  • “Date Added” and “Date Inventoried” added to Item Details in Titles & Items

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What's popular?

I thought it might be interesting to see what books and subjects have been popular with our students recently, so I pulled some statistics from our database and LS2 PAC and Kids. Below you'll find a few top 10 lists for the whole district. Do they match up with your sense of what your students like?

Top 10 Searches in LS2 PAC 
[These are district-wide, and cover the last 1-1/2 years or so]

*Dogs may be high because that's my favorite practice search term!

Top 10 LS2 Kids Categories
[Again, district-wide and covers 1-1/2 years. The "number of clicks" means the number of times that category was selected from the Category Wheel in LS2 Kids.]

Top 10 LS2 Kids Series
[District-wide over the last 1-1/2 years. Number of clicks indicates number of times a series was selected from the Series Bar in LS2 Kids]

Top 10 checked-out titles that aren't part of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series
The DoWK series holds the top 5 check-out spots hands-down, so here are the next 10 titles that top the circulation charts for last Fall (August-December 2011). Number of checkouts is for the whole district.

Diary of Wimpy Kid series ranking, Fall 2011
And in case you want to know how the DoWK series stacks up, here it is:

If you want to see the top circulated titles in your collection, you can run the report Shortcut to Activity of Most Circulated Titles in Hcode and Date Range in Reports under Public Folders > JeffCo > Circulation Activity. Select "Owning" for holdings code type, then the holdings code you are interested in, then the date range. If you're interested in your library's search statistics, let me (Kathy) know in Jeffcat and I'll pull them for you.

Friday, February 10, 2012

IE, Firefox, and Chrome... oh my!

The days of a one size fits all browser are coming to an end. With the push of Google Chrome to all Jeffco computers for use with Google Apps, we're all getting used to having multiple browsers open and using different browsers for different tasks. So I wanted to update you on browser issues around TLC.

  • IE: All computers should now be running IE8. If you have any computers still on IE7, you can submit a help desk ticket to get it upgraded to IE8. To see which version of IE is on a computer, open the browser, click on the Help menu and click About Internet Explorer. A small window with the version number will display. IE7 tends to run slower than IE8, and as we look to new developments within TLC we'll all need to be on IE8, as they are discontinuing development with the older browsers. So it's important to get upgraded now.
  • Firefox: Both LS2 Circ and PAC tend to run a bit faster in Firefox. Some schools have noticed a slowness when adding items to TLC when using IE - if you run into this, you might try using Firefox or Chrome instead. We have also adjusted the Reports tab so you can now login to report using Firefox. The Self Service Mode in LS2 Circ also works better in Firefox - students don't have to click the "Scan Your Items" button. Just remember that Firefox is not a Jeffco supported browser, so if you run into problems when using it, try what you're doing in IE first, and if you still run into problems, contact the help desk.
  • Chrome: The new icon for Chrome on your computers is labeled Jeffco Google Apps, because it is primarily intended for use with Google Apps. That said, LS2 Circ does work in Chrome (and is somewhat faster than IE). However, Reports may be problematic because of the way Chrome handles (or doesn't) PDF files. Chrome is not a supported browser for LS2 PAC, so you will get a message indicating that when you open your PAC (the book river one).
The upshot of this is that we all need to learn to try web-based programs in different browsers when we run into problems. Browsers handle programming code in different ways, so you will see differences in display and minor functionality between browsers. Being flexible is the name of the game!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Help your local cataloger

You may or may not have noticed, but we library cataloging-types are really anal. Yes, it’s an affliction, but we’re learning to cope with it, and you can help. Here’s how:

Are you entering on-the-fly (OTF) records into TLC for library books? Those are the records you enter when you click Add New Title*. Please don’t, especially for fiction and non-fiction books and audiobooks for your kids (including reference), or professional materials for your teachers.  It causes us undue stress, and with rising health care costs we all want to remain as healthy as possible.

These harmless-looking little records are in fact rather insidious. When anal cataloging-types see them, we think, “oh my gosh, how are our students ever going to find this book? There’s no author or date, the ISBN has a typo in it, there’s no subject headings or other indication of what the book’s about, there’s no paging to show how big it is, and there's no series information.” Or we think (often at 3am), “What about reports? With no date in the record, our collection statistics will be totally off! How can I help a librarian five years from now understand what the item is, when I don’t know because there’s no date, no ISBN, no edition statement, no indication of whether it's a book, CD, or DVD? What happens when they want a list to weed from?” You see how we obsess over the details and become stressed out. It’s all part of the affliction (not sure whether it’s listed in the DSM-IV yet or not).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Duplicate borrower records

You may have run across a borrower record with a comment on it that says "Duplicate record - use 123456 instead" -- like this:
This is part of our effort to clear out duplicate borrower records. With the implementation of Jeffco Connect last fall, a lot of duplicate records were entered into Campus. Because TLC gets its borrower records from Campus, we are seeing a lot of them in TLC as well.

The folks who manage Campus decide which of the duplicates is the "official" student record and which is the duplicate. They then send a message out to everyone whose system uses these student records (like Food Service, Transportation, and us!) so we can clean them up in our databases. In Jeffcat, we look up these records in TLC and delete the duplicates.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New Mackin collection analysis coming

We sent our database to Mackin for collection analysis a couple of weeks ago, so you should be getting access to a new analysis for your library soon. Since we all share one library database, there's nothing you need to do in terms of pulling records - we (Jeffcat, that is) have already taken care of it! All you'll need to do is login to your Mackin account to view your analysis. I believe Mackin sends everyone an e-mail when their analysis is ready.

We are currently on a twice-a-year schedule for sending our database for collection analysis - once in January and once over the summer (June/July). 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Modification to Rush Cataloging forms

We've added a Price field to the Rush Cataloging forms. If you put in the price of an item, we'll add it to the item record when we create it. This price is the amount that will be used as the replacement cost in the event the book is lost. If no price is listed in the item record, the lost charge amount will be the default replacement cost for the holdings code assigned to the book.

And while we're on the subject of rush cataloging, a couple of reminders. Please save these method for items that really are rush -- it's a lot easier for us to catalog with the item in hand, so if you don't need to circulate it right away, please send it to us (the Jeffcat website Getting Started page has info on how to do that). Also make sure you've searched the TLC database for the book first to make sure it's not in there -- and remember to un-check Home Location only to see the full district holdings! Just think of how much easier it is to find the record in the database and click the Add New Item button (the little page & pencil icon) than fill out the whole Rush Cataloging form.

We've linked the Rush Cataloging site on the new Jeffcat website -- look in the left-hand column under Quick Links.

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Jeffcat website - FAQ

I've added a Frequently Asked Questions page to the new Jeffcat website. As questions come up, I'll add them to this page. Most on-going issues will be addressed in the other pages of the website, so take a look through those (or use the search box) if you don't see your question in the FAQ.

Here are the first two FAQs:

Why do I see books on my book river that my library doesn't own?

This happens when titles recently added to the system don't have items on them - that is, no one owns the title yet. Occasionally we will be cataloging a book, but for some reason can't add an item record to it right at the moment. We might have added the title for a school and they haven't had a chance to add their item, or some Mackin records came in with duplicate barcodes that haven't been fixed yet. We make an effort in Jeffcat to always add a 'dummy' Jeffcat item to titles that aren't yet held by any school, but sometimes we miss one. If you notice this, please contact us with the offending title, and we'll add a dummy item to the record so you won't see it on your book river anymore.

And FYI, it takes an hour or so for the PAC to update after we've made a change in the Cataloging module, so you won't see any changes we make right away.

Why do new check-outs go to the bottom of the check-out screen?

You may have noticed that, since the December LS2 Circ upgrade, items you check out appear at the bottom of the borrower's check out list. They used to appear at the top. You can re-sort the list by clicking on the Date Due column title, but the re-sort only stays for one check out. This is a glitch that TLC will need to fix. They have it on their list of things to fix for the next upgrade of the system. We don't yet have a timeline for that upgrade from TLC.