HomeMigration Knowledge BookQuestions and AnswersQuestions and Answers

3.1. Questions and Answers

Is Offline mode separate from the Standalone Interface? 

They are just two different names for the same “disconnected” functionality of Evergreen.


Can the Offline Patron List be downloaded by any user or does it have to be an admin login?

Doing it from the client is quick and doesn’t require administrative privileges. Simply log in to the client software, go to the Admin menu in the top right, and choose “Download Offline Patron List” You'll see a pop up window that notifies you that the list has been downloaded to your local computer.


If a patron has the max in fines or the max number of items checked out when using offline mode how will these transactions be handled once they are uploaded?

If you’re checking out materials in the client’s offline mode, you’ll receive a warning if you scan the barcode for an account that already has blocks. But, offline mode doesn't know how many items a patron has out, so you won't get a message if the user crosses their max number of items checked out while you’re in offline mode. Later when you're uploading these offline transactions for processing, there will be an exception message shown about the problem and you’ll be able to pull up the patron’s account, check out the item to the patron and override the block (since the patron will already have the book by that point.)


If a patron's barcode is scanned incorrectly how will these transactions be handled once uploaded? 

Generally, the system will accept any barcode scanned as the patron's barcode. It will check the barcode number against the barcodes in the Offline Patron List that you downloaded, and if it finds it and sees that account is blocked, it will pop up an alert. If it doesn't find the barcode, it will not complain and allow you to proceed. If you enter an invalid barcode, you will only find out when you attempt to upload your offline transactions after you go back online.  

If, while uploading your offline transactions, you find out that a barcode was not properly scanned, you generally have to do some detective work to see if you can figure out who the patron might have been. Sometimes you’ll see something like barcodebarcode (with numbers, rather than letters) so you figure out what the barcode should have been and then check the rest of the items in that session out to the correct patron. Other times you can see that a book was being renewed and see who the book was checked out to initially, and make sure the other books in that transaction are properly charged to the correct patron. Other times, if it is a truncated barcode or too short to be meaningful, you have no way of figuring out who checked the material out, so you just have to trust that they’ll return it.


If you use barcodes that have a check digit at the end of them, you can check the “check barcode” check box. This will ensure that the string of numbers looks like a valid barcode. Again, it will check that barcode against the Offline Patron List you downloaded, and if it finds it and sees that account is blocked, it will pop up an alert. 



Do we have the ability to run an exceptions report of transactions that did not upload properly?

All errors that are encountered during the processing of offline transactions will be available after the fact in the Offline Transaction interface. (See for example the errors at the bottom for our recent processing of offline transactions when for a library that joined the consortium.) You can export or print these lists to assist you with processing the errors.


In offline mode what due date is given once the transactions are uploaded? Is the due date from the date the item is checked out or the date the item is uploaded?

If you’re using the offline mode of the staff client, you can set the due date as you’re checking each batch of books, and it will remain “sticky” so that the next batch of books are checked out with the same due date unless you change it.


 

Can we use our self-checkout kiosks during the migration and not staff stations? 

Our general recommendation is to use the offline mode of the client on the staff workstations and not use the self-checkout kiosks. Iredell’s tests with the self-checkout kiosks storing transactions while the ethernet cable is disconnected look promising, but we don’t know how long they will keep the transactions in memory, or how they will treat patrons that have blocks, expired accounts or mis-scanned barcodes. If the transactions are lost, there's no way to retrieve them. If you decide to use your self-checkout kiosks, you must disconnect them from the network so that they do not send transactions through the SIP connection while we're in offline mode. 


If we use our self checkout kiosks during the migration, can we also use our staff workstations in offline mode?

You’re welcome to also use the staff workstations with the reminder that each staff workstation that is used in offline mode will need to have its transactions uploaded independently, so we’re suggesting that in general, people try to reduce the number of machines being used for checkouts while in offline mode.   


Do we need to go into NC Cardinal and list the library as closed from February 26-March 3rd or is that something you have already done? We have noticed that all the checkouts this week have the same due date of March 6th. Are there any plans to stagger the due dates this week, so we don't have over a week of materials all due back the same day? 

We’ve already set it so that each library appears to be closed (for the purpose of assigning due dates) during the week we'll be offline, so that due dates don't fall on days that you're offline. We've done that for all the systems in the consortium. If you’d like to stagger them a bit more, you could go into your closed dates editor and now mark your system closed on the 6th, so that everything starts defaulting to the 7th, and then at some point mark yourself closed on the 7th, so things default to the 8th, etc. That might help avoid a pile up on the 6th.


We use Unique Management for Debt Collection. They usually pull the data from the NC Cardinal servers on a weekly basis. How will the migration affect them?

For Unique Management specifically, we've talked to them and they are going to pause during the week we're offline, so they should be unaffected. 

In general, SIP accounts for PC Reservation software and such will be active over the week we’re offline, but any transactional events that occur during the offline week will not show up in the new system. So, if you leave your self check kiosks plugged in, the SIP connection will still be available, so they'll still work, but the transactions will be lost when we move to the new system. 

If the patron comes to pay a fine while we're offline, you won't be able to enter it into the system until after the week is over, so that payment won't immediately be evident to outside vendors like Unique Management until we're back online and you have a chance to mark the fine paid. (In general, I'd just suggest that you wait to take the fine until we're back online and you can do it in the system.)


What should we do about entering our in house stats for the last few days of February during the period of migration? We use the In-House Use to record our daily door count, computer usage, reference questions, computer assistance, in house use of books and periodicals, etc.

You’ll need to do these manually while we’re offline.


During the week of Feb. 19th- 24th, will we have access to pull local Holds from the list, allowing our patrons access to our items?

During Feb 19th-24th, your pull lists will look about the same as usual (hold policies are not changing for the week), but you will only want to pull items to fill your in-system holds and ignore the resource sharing items. Evergreen will target the appropriate items after we are back up,  so you can begin pulling and sending as usual on March 5th.

During the week of Feb 26th-Mar 4th, patrons won’t be able to place holds while we’re offline and you’re not able to check in items while in offline mode, so you wouldn’t be able to manage local holds through Evergreen while we’re offline.


We use google analytics to get visitor stats for the catalog now. Will this still be available after we migrate? When we moved to Evergreen it was set up by NC Cardinal staff.

Yes, Google Analytics will still be available. You’ll be able to log in as you do now using your same credentials and see continuous statistics from before and after the migration.


Can the information be downloaded on Saturday night?

Download the Offline Patron List can be performed before you go into Offline Mode.


Each workstation that is used for patron transactions, right?

Correct


How about workstations that are used to process holds (but not general transactions) ?

Holds can not be processed during Offline Mode.


What time will we be able to upload transactions. Some people might want to do things early early.

Once Cardinal gives the library system the go ahead on March 5th, then processing the offline transactions can occur.


How do you download the offline patron list?

Go to Admin>Download Offline Patron List.


Are staggered uploads still being considered?

Yes, at this point. Since we are not sure of the system crashing or loss of transactions from your library system.


Does an admin need to log in to download a patron list?

No, this can be performed by all permission groups.


 "Check barcode" is not necessary to check the offline patron barcode list, correct?

Correct.


What time on the 26th should we have the patron list loaded? What's the latest time to do that?

You can do it any time on the 26th, but be sure to download Offline Patron List before you begin your offline status.


Do we need to wait until the go ahead on the 5th of march to check-in items also?

Yes, items should not be checked in until after your system has processed the offline transactions.


For each branch upload, will those exceptions need to be resolved before going on to the next? Or will the exceptions from all the uploads continue to build up?

You can perform uploads for all of your computers at all of your branches before you start to resolve the exceptions. You can then decide how you want to process your exceptions.


What will happen if a patron from another Cardinal system visits us?

The patron barcode of another Cardinal library will work and allow for the patron to check out material.


So, we shouldn't backdate check-ins?

You can backdate check-ins when you check in materials after the migration.


PC Reservation will still work?

Yes, PC Reservation, other public computer management software and authentication to electronic resources should work since the SIP connection will remain active for most of the time during the week we’re migrating.


Where do you go to find a list of patrons?

April will set up a folder for these reports for patrons that can be downloaded into an Excel spreadsheet.


Will RFID readers work during offline mode?

RFID readers at the circulation desk should work during offline mode, but if not, scanning or typing in the barcode will work.


So NC Cardinal is turning off hold targeting?

Cardinal is not turning off hold targeting during the week, but we will be disabling the My Account and Place Hold buttons in the online catalog so that patrons can not place holds online. All Cardinal libraries will be in offline mode, so holds will not be able to be place from the staff side either.


Is it feasible to use self-check terminals only and not use regular workstations in offline mode?

We do not suggest doing so. If you do, you will need to unplug them from the internet. It may be possible to utilize self-check terminals if they store transactions while they’re offline, but if not, then using regular workstations would be preferred.


Should we back up the transactions for each PC that we use for offline mode?

You don’t need to do anything to back them up during the week we’re offline, but you will need to make sure that the offline transactions from each system are uploaded once we go back online. During the week we’re offline, you can shut down Evergreen, restart your machine and log back in and Evergreen will remember your transactions from the days before. Just be sure that after each patron you’re clicking on the Save Transactions button at the bottom of the offline mode screen, next to the print recepit checkbox.


Is it right that printers have to be configured for offline use as well?

Yes, the layout for printers while offline can be configured in the offline mode screen. The receipt printers will not print all information that occurred during the transaction.


For each circ terminal we use, will a separate file of transactions be generated for each day that we're offline? or one big file regardless of how many times we log into offline on a particular PC?

One big file for the whole week will be uploaded and processed.


So we have to keep that window running on our checkout computers the whole week? We can't shut the computers down?

You can shut down workstations each night and start back up in the morning.


Will a Supervisor's login work for the uploading offline transactions?

Any user is able to create a session, upload and process the offline transactions. We’re asking for there to be a point person for each system to coordinate the process and pass on questions and issues that occur.


Do you have to download the offline patron list every morning, or do we just go back to the standalone Tuesday-Sunday?

You only need to download the offline patron list once.


Is there a way to run a report of all blocked patrons at your library? Our self-checks have a tool that allows you to import blocked patrons, which would limit our exceptions.

Yes, April is creating a folder with these types of reports.


Is there an estimate for how long the uploads will take? I know it will depend on the size of the offline session file, but a guess?

It depends on how many branches and patrons your system has currently. For smaller systems, anywhere from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Larger systems may take a full hour to an hour and a half to process all branches and all their transactions.


On Monday 2/26, is there a cutoff time when we can go into the database and download the patron list.

You can download it any time of the day as long as you download it first and then log out and go into offline mode.


On Monday 3/5/18 will we be notified when it is OK to login to Evergreen? What time do you anticipate that will be?

Yes, all systems will be notified that they can start performing their offline transaction processing.


Should we stagger the uploading so the system is not overloaded?

Yes, staggering would ensure that the system does not overload.


What does Tech Service need to do? Will our templates roll over?

You should see your item templates when you log into the dev____.nccardinal.org with your library system short name filling in the blank. Please test as much as possible, including performing comparison searches in the dev environment and cataloging a few items to make sure the process is working as expected. If you find any issues, please put in a help ticket.


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