Category Archives: Inside Access

New Access Services Training Bulletin: Transit Reports

Alternate Title: Oh, where, oh, where has that little book gone?  Oh, where, oh, where can it be?

By Linda Struble, information resources and services supervisor-manager,
Engineering Library

Once an item has been in transit for over a week, it will appear on CIRC
Transit To and CIRC Transit From reports until it is located or marked
missing. Access Services Training Bulletin #48, Transit Reports, explains
how University Libraries staff responsible for processing these emailed
reports can get on the appropriate listserv and provides tips for searching
for items that have gone astray.

The training bulletin can be found on the Access Services Training Bulletins
intranet page at

Thank you to Kelly Riley, Engineering Library, for putting this helpful
training bulletin together.

Access Services recognizes employees

horizontal group photo portrait of 34 people standing in Pattee Library's Franklin Atrium

Access Services, seen here in the Franklin Atrium, Pattee Library, held its annual award luncheon on May 10.

Access Services held its Annual Service Awards and Luncheon on May 10.

Staff recognized for reaching library service milestones include:
25 years: Barbara Coopey and Verne Neff
20 Years: Shane Burris
5 Years: Katherine Crissy, Alissa Mann, and Tracie WickershamNew staff members Douglas Burchill, Carmen Gass, Rachel White, Ethan Eissenstat, Nicole Schwindenhammer, and Nichole Corrigan were welcomed to Access Services.
Joseph Salem, Associate Dean for Learning, Undergraduate Services and Commonwealth Campuses, was the guest speaker.
– submitted by Barbara Coopey

Inside Access: New text message options in ILLiad

by Shane Burris, Training Liaison & ILL Systems Maintenance Specialist, Interlibrary Loan

A new text message option is now available within ILLiad. This improved method for text messaging ILLiad notifications uses customizations within ILLiad to generate and the Twilio API to deliver the message.

Patrons can choose which of the following messages they wish to receive via text: Pickup notices, e-article delivery notices, and courtesy/overdue notices.screen capture of new text message option window in ILLiad

All messages, including those received by text, will continue to be sent via email as well. The new text notices are shortened, custom messages designed specifically for SMS. The full notice is sent via email.

For example, an SMS pickup notice will read:

“An ILLiad loan you requested is available for checkout at Pattee Commons Services Desk:

Title: Infinite space the architecture of John Lautner /

The email sent for the same item will contain additional information such as the author’s name, due date, renewal info, link to library hours, etc.
screen capture describing new text message service for ILLiad notifications
Current ILLiad users can opt-in by updating their profile in ILLiad. New users will see the option on the ILLiad registration form the first time they log into ILLiad. To promote the new service a notice appears on the main menu of ILLiad alerting users of the new service and how to register.

Guideline updated on fees and fines waivers

by Lisa Moyer, information resources and services supervisor-manager, Behrend College, Penn State Erie

Recently, the Fees and Fines Waivers Subgroup of the Access Services Council updated Guideline UL-ADG08 (Fees and Fines Waivers) in order to remove outdated documentation, provide clarification on fine cancellations for returned lost materials and revise contact information for patron billing queries.

A copy of Guideline UL-ADG08 may be accessed from the University Libraries Policies and Guidelines web site

Revised and new Access Services training bulletins

By Steve Houck, request fulfillment/record maintenance support specialist, Library Annex

What do you do if you are approached by a visitor who lacks a University Libraries account and wishes to obtain material housed at the Library Annex? Although the Annex is not open to the public, its holdings are equally available to visitors of the University Park campus who do not wish to have a library account. The recently revised version of Access Services Training Bulletin #13, “Requesting Annexed Material for Visitors” guides you through the procedure for circulating annexed items for visitors using only Workflows and the recently added AX-VISITOR User ID profile.

Also available is the new Access Services Training Bulletin #47, “Requesting Material via a Department Charge” which guides University Libraries staff through the process of placing holds on material needed for departmental use by using a department User ID. Entering the name of the requesting individual within the comments field of the Place Hold function allows staff to easily identify who in the department is in need of the material.

Access Services Training Bulletins are located on the Intranet at

PALCI ebrary DDA program resumes

By Barbara Coopey, assistant head, Access Services

The PALCI ebrary DDA (demand driven acquisitions) program resumed on February 8. Our users now have access to around 7,000 titles in ebrary, a digital book collection available through ProQuest and discoverable in LionSearch. There are not enough funds to maintain this program during the entire year, so heavy-use times are chosen during Fall and Spring semesters to allow our users access to all of the ebooks (including not owned, potential purchases) when they need them the most.

In this DDA program, an ebook is “triggered” for purchase after it reaches 10 minutes of use, or there is a download or print action. The ebook is collectively purchased and owned by participating PALCI members, and access to purchased ebooks will remain available on LionSearch after the DDA program closes. This “collective collection” of purchased ebrary titles has grown to nearly 1,000 titles since the ebook program began in Spring Semester 2014.

Penn State patrons are heavy users of the PALCI ebrary content. Of the 261 titles purchased during Fall Semester 2015, Penn State patrons used half of them. Many of these titles were used by three or four other universities in addition to Penn State. For example, the ebook “Undoing the Demos” was “triggered” for purchase on November 18, 2015. By the end of January 2016, it was used by Allegheny College, Dickinson College, and The New School, in addition to Penn State. There were 29 user sessions, 337 pages viewed, and 487 pages printed. This title was not “triggered” for purchase by Penn State, but Penn State users took advantage of the online content, especially since both the Penn State print copy, as well as the print copies at seven other E-ZBorrow libraries that own it were checked out.

Common overdue fees

by Fay Youngmark, information resources and services supervisor-manager, Penn State Harrisburg Library

The SirsiDynix Circulation-Reserves Expert Team has created a chart listing the common overdue fees and their associated grace periods fees used throughout University Libraries for recalls, videos, special permission loans, course reserves and circulating equipment loans.

This information is useful for staff at public services desks when patrons ask about the fees on their library accounts. It is also useful for staff who create course reserve records or process equipment.

The chart is available on the Commons Services Intranet under the Bills and Notices section.
A direct link to the chart is

The idea for this chart came from a question we received from “Ask the SirsiDynix Circulation-Reserves Expert Team.” If you have any other questions or ideas for training documentation, please contact us at:

Trends in Faculty/Staff Office Delivery Service

By Carolyn Muse, Interlibrary Loan

Since the service’s full inception in the 2013-2014 academic calendar year, Interlibrary Loan’s Faculty/Staff Office Delivery has seen marked increases in use. Below are some statistics on the service.

Inside Access Feb 8

  • From 2013-2014 to 2014-2015, there has been a 52% patron number increase and a 31% increase in all materials sent (32% increase in “I Want Its” and 22% increase in ILL Borrowing materials).
  • From 2013-2014 to 2015-2016 (currently in progress) there has been a 42% percent increase in number of patrons using the service.
  • From 2014-2015 to 2015-2016 (currently in progress), there has been a 14% percent increase in number of patrons using the service.
  • Looking at the data with the largest numbers of materials checked out (first week of January) there has been an 11% increase in all materials sent (23% increase in “I Want It” requests) from 2013-2014 to 2015-2016 (currently in progress).

The current projections look to increase with continued word-of-mouth among patrons within same buildings/complexes (i.e. Outreach, Old Main, Weaver Bldg.), advertisements on bookmarks/flyers as well as on the Interlibrary Loan Department’s website and overwhelmingly positive feedback about the service.

For more information on the service, see
For monthly stats on the service, see

Recent update of E-ZBorrow links ebooks back to The CAT

By Barbara Coopey, assistant head, Access Services

The recent E-ZBorrow upgrade brought an enhancement to E-ZBorrow searching. Now users have immediate access to Penn State ebooks from E-ZBorrow (and Uborrow as well).

Ebooks are identified in E-ZBorrow by an “e” in the results list.


click image to enlarge

With the new version, when a user selects the ebook record and Penn State is listed as owning the book, a new option appears. There is a link, “View in the PSU Catalog” that takes the user to The CAT record which then has the link to the ebook.

IA-2Before the upgrade, the user would have been presented with a “Request” link to ILLiad. Users will still see the request link if E-ZBorrow does not show that Penn State Libraries has the ebook.
However, not all of Penn State ebooks will be in E-ZBorrow since E-ZBorrow is pulling holdings from The CAT. E-ZBorrow does not interface with LionSearch where many of our ebooks are located.

Both E-ZBorrow and Uborrow are located on the Interlibrary Loan page at

Renewal limit and bill threshold changed for community borrowers

by Peg Tromm, information resources and services supervisor-manager
Robert E. Eiche Library, Penn State Altoona

To better serve our community borrowers, Access Services Council has approved policy changes for our Resident PA users effective October 14, 2015:

  • Resident PA’s renewal limit has increased from 2 to 3.
  • Resident PA’s bill threshold went up from a penny to $24.99.

Increasing the renewal limit from 2 to 3 responds to requests of some of our community borrowers. In addition, increasing the bill threshold allows users more flexibility before accounts are blocked and bills are sent to the collection agency.

For more information on registering Resident PA users check out Access Training Bulletin #6,”Registering and Issuing Resident Borrowers cards for New Library Patrons, Charging/Collecting a Fee for a Replacement Card, Issuing a Replacement Card” available at this link:

Please feel free to send questions to, “Ask the SirsiDynix Circulation-Reserves Expert Team.”

Inside Access: User charge history in WorkFlows and privacy

by Ann Snowman, head, Access Services

The University Libraries Policies and Guidelines web page includes Policies AD08, AD14, and Guideline ADG04. All concern privacy and confidentiality and were recently updated to reflect current practice in light of the implementation of “User Charge History.” You may remember that this new feature in WorkFlows was introduced in January so we are now able to tell users about books and other materials they previously checked out and returned.

We are taking this opportunity to remind everyone who has access to users’ library records that they fall under state and federal law governing privacy, and encourage you to review policies that inform custodians of those records how to enact those laws.

Tips for Circulation Staff

By Peg Tromm, information resources and services supervisor-manager, Robert E. Eiche Library, Penn State Altoona

It’s the Fall 2015 semester, and as Libraries staff we are all working diligently to keep the Libraries running as efficiently as possible.

To assist you in this endeavor, we are offering you some tips that may help you in this process:

Where to go with a problem: Sometimes, staff members encounter a problem they are just not sure how to handle. To help, Access Services has created a resource that allows staff to ask the experts. This link can be found on the University Libraries Intranet “Resources” tab under “Ask the Circ-Reserves Expert Team a Question.”

Placing holds on “on-order” items: University Libraries staff are definitely customer service oriented, and often they go as far as they can to get materials for their users. Where this becomes a problem is when staff, with good intentions, place holds on “on-order” items using their override in Workflows. Holds should not be placed on an item in the “on-order” location. These holds will not be recognized and only delay the processing of the user’s request. Holds can be placed on newly purchased items once they have reached the “in-process” location status.

Reserve materials in “checkedout” location: Occasionally, faculty placing items on course reserve ask library staff to check out these items to them for the entire semester, so they can have the item without fears of it being recalled. However, reserve items with a “checkedout” location are “holdable,” meaning that other patrons could place a hold on the reserve item. In this case, the owner of the hold expects the item to be processed, but it will remain unfilled until the hold expires, the item is taken off course reserve, or a Libraries staff member intervene. This situation can cause unhappy customers, especially for popular items. To prevent this issue, try to work with faculty to find alternative methods rather than checking out a reserve item for the entire semester.

New Access Services training bulletin for claims returned materials

by the Access Services Council Claims Returned Working Group: Stephanie Movahedi-Lankarani, Amy Pfeffer, Barb Lessig

Claims returned issues are one of the most frequent questions that library staff receive at a circulation service desk. The Claims Returned Materials training bulletin guides library staff through the streamlined Claims Returned procedure and includes information on how to determine if a claim should be made, searching for claimed materials, and answering common patron questions related to items they believe they have returned to the library.

The training bulletin includes sections on making a Claims Returned claim, processing claims submitted in person at your service desk, and processing system-generated search requests. It also includes a Claims Returned FAQ section, tips on searching for claims returned materials, email templates for use in communicating with patrons, and a flowchart of the claims returned procedures.

Training Bulletin #46 can be found at:

What is the loan period for an Interlibrary Loan?

by Barb Woods, Interlibrary Loan Manager

A frequent question asked by our Interlibrary Loan users is how long can I keep my ILL book? The answer: It depends on what library or ILL system the book is borrowed from. For instance, a book borrowed through the PALCI E-ZBorrow system will have a 12-week loan period starting from the time the book is actually checked out to the user through WorkFlows. However, E-ZBorrow books are not renewable.

A book borrowed from one of our CIC “Big Ten” consortia partners will also have a 12-week loan period and usually can be renewed for an additional 4 weeks. Some materials (such as DVD, CD, microfilm, special collections, etc.) have a shorter loan period.

Other lending libraries set their own loan period. The average loan period is four weeks with a two week renewal. Restrictions on the use of Interlibrary Loan materials are also placed by the lending library. Some restrictions may include: In Library Use Only, No Copying, No Renewals or Rare Books Room Use Only.

What about Recalls? Interlibrary Loan books are subject to recall if needed by another user or for a course reserve at the owning library. If borrowed through PALCI E-ZBorrow it will only be recalled if needed for a course reserve.

For more information on loan periods and renewals visit our website at

$25 processing fee eliminated from Automated Lost Billing

Announcement by Ann Snowman, head of Access Services

Beginning 08/04/2015, the $25 processing fee will no longer be assessed for materials marked lost through the automated lost billing process (i.e. Assumed Lost report). The standard lost fee of $125 will remain.

Which materials are affected by this?
Only those materials that are marked lost through the automated lost billing process. Staff should continue to assess the $25 processing fee for any materials that are marked lost using the Mark Item Lost wizard, such as recalled materials, overdue course reserves, videos or any other materials that accrue hourly or daily fees or that do not have a default lost price.

Why was this change made?
The Fee Review Committee recommended this change last spring to simplify bills and bill processing. Currently, most $25 fees assessed through the automated billing process are cancelled by library staff when materials are returned. Eliminating this fee eliminates this manual process.

This change also better targets the $25 processing fee toward those materials that genuinely require manual staff processing, such as materials accruing overdue fees or anything not marked lost through the Assumed Lost report.

Are there any other changes to procedure?
Because we’re eliminating the $25 processing fee from Workflows defaults, it will no longer appear in the Processing fee field when marking materials lost using the Mark Item Lost wizard. Staff will need to key $25 into the processing fee field when marking materials lost manually.

If you have any other questions about this change, please use the Ask the SirsiDynix Circulation-Reserves Expert Team form at:

Interlibrary Loan Link in a CAT Record Improved

by Barbara Coopey

Since 2012, a link to Interlibrary Loan has been displayed under “Location” in a CAT record depending upon certain circulation status conditions. For example, if the item is checked out to a non-Penn State library, reported missing, department charged, or the material is at the bindery or being repaired. The link This copy unavailable, submit request via Interlibrary Loan directed users to the ILL main page to request a copy through Interlibrary Loan.


Although this link provided users with an option to request the item via ILL, landing on the main ILL page was confusing. The user needed to restart his/her search in one of the ILL systems or key in the information in an ILLiad request form.
This service has been improved thanks to customized programming by Maryam Kutchemeshgi of I-Tech. The link now takes the user directly to ILLiad where a request form is automatically populated. All the user needs to do is submit the request and ILL staff will obtain the item from another library. If the user is not yet registered in ILLiad, a new registration form will first appear and once the user completes the profile form, the request will be submitted. Since this link went live on March 24, over 250 requests were directed to ILLiad from the CAT.
In addition to the above mentioned link to ILLiad, there are other ILL options in The CAT as well. On the right menu bar in a CAT record, the user can continue his or her original search in the ILL systems WorldCat, E-ZBorrow or Uborrow and place requests.
For more information on changes in The CAT record to encourage users to request from ILL, see

New enhancement with ILLiad Version 8.5

By Shane Burris, ILL Systems Maintenance Specialist

The ILLiad interlibrary loan software used by the University Libraries was recently updated to version 8.5. This version allowed for more customer friendly application of the ILLiad WebCirc module used to check ILL materials out/in at circulation desks.

Material is now placed “In Transit to Pickup Location” by Interlibrary Loan staff. Once the item arrives at the designated pickup location and is received in WebCirc, the user receives an email that the item is available for pickup.

The ILLiad flow and notification schedule resembles that used by Workflows for holds.

1. ILL checks in the material from the lending library
a. ILLiad Status “In Transit to Pickup Location”

2. Material arrives at pickup site – circ desk staff update WebCirc “Mark Received” – this generates the patron notification email*
a. ILLiad Status “Customer Notified via Email”

3. Patron picks up material – Circulation desk staff marks WebCirc “Check Out”
a. ILLiad Status “Checked Out to Customer”

4. Patron returns material – Circulation desk staff “Mark Returned” in Webcirc
a. ILLiad Status “In Transit from Customer”

*Items with Pattee Commons Services Desk as a pickup site are at “Customer Notified via Email” when ILL staff deliver the items to the Commons Desk – they are ready for checkout upon delivery.

ILLTraining Bulletin #18 has been updated to reflect the changes in WebCirc procedure.

Ask the Workflows expert

By Barbara Coopey, assistant head of Access Services

Did you ever have a WorkFlows Circulation or Reserves question and was not sure who the best person would be to contact?

In order to improve communication and assist library staff with their circulation and reserves questions, the SirsiDynix Circulation-Reserves Expert Team created an online form for you to ask questions. The “Ask the Expert Team a Question” is located on the team’s intranet web page It is also linked from the Access Services Intranet web page Questions can be short like, “What is meant by the date in the Last Discharged field?” or more in-depth like asking for assistance or documentation on a particular process. Your question will be referred to the experts and someone from the team will reply to your question.