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Polaris Post: Upgrade Edition: 11/28/2016

Good day!


BCCLS will be upgrading to the latest version of Polaris on Wednesday, December 14, 2016. A reminder will be sent closer to the date for all to leave their computers on as you close Tuesday, so that the client can be upgraded over night on BCCLS computers. The PAC will be down as well as the staff side. Service should be available by 10am Wednesday morning. Below are the relevant features coming out.


Leap: Check In

You can now print check in receipts from Leap.  As with the client, you select the items for which you need a receipt, then select Print.

There are two additional modes available when checking in via Leap:

  • In House

  • Inventory


Leap: Item Workform

The History view of the item workform now provides a direct link to the patron record.  Clicking on the PatronID will open up the relevant patron record.

The Blocks and Notes view bar icon appears in red if blocks or notes are present in the record.

There are new, additional views when opening an item workform.

  • “Statistics” provides information such as circulation stats (year to date, lifetime, etc.).

  • “Notices” provides information on any notices sent related to the item (regardless of the patron library).


"You Saved" Receipt Message

You can now add a “you saved” message to printed and emailed check-out/renewal receipts and the printed Items Out list. The message helps to remind patrons of the value of library service by displaying how much it would cost to purchase the items. It includes the total value of the current receipt transactions, the value of the patron's year-to-date transactions, and the “lifetime” value of all the patron's transactions.

The value for each item is calculated based on the retail price stored in the item record. If the item doesn't have a price, you can opt to use the Replacement Fee default value for that material type. You can also choose to suppress the message if the value is below a specified dollar amount. This feature will be rolled out in 2017.


New TOMs (Types of Materials)

Bibliographic records have several new formats, which will affect the icon evoked in the PAC and the label listed in the Format column of any bib record search results in the client.  These new TOMs affect bibliographic records, not the item records (item records use material types), and should prove useful when cataloging newer material types (and facilitate searching). Some of the new formats are:

  • Audiobook on CD

  • Book + DVD

  • Emagazine

  • Video Game


"Did You Mean" Improvement

“Did You Mean” search term suggestions have been improved in Polaris PowerPAC (keyword, phrase, and exact searches). Suggestions are displayed only if there would be results in the Polaris database when the user clicks a suggestion. Before the upgrade, the suggestions were not always useful to the patron.

Better "Did You Mean" suggestions are returned for many author names when the user misspells the name. In previous versions, author names were included in Search Suggestions only if the author name was used as both an author and a subject. The requirement that an author name also be used as a subject has been removed, allowing many more author names to be included in the Search Suggestions table.


Additional Content Carousel Options

For libraries utilizing content carousels, the Children's Interest bestseller list has been expanded into two separate lists:

  • Early and Middle Grade Readers

  • Young Adult


Bibliographic Record Displays Number of Linked Items

The Bibliographic Record workform now displays the number of linked items in the header.


SimplyReports: Editing Saved Reports

You can now edit all column (aka output) and filter settings for saved Item, Patron, Patron Account, and Holds List and Count reports. To edit a saved report:

  1. Select the My Reports tab, and select the My reports subtab.

  2. Select the type of report you want to edit in the Select one or more report types box. The saved reports of this type are listed.

  3. Select the checkbox next to a report in the list of saved reports.

  4. Click Edit under Actions. A message asks if you are sure you want to edit this report. If you want to continue, click OK.

  5. Change the column and filter selections as desired.

  6. Click Continue. The Report Preview window opens.

  7. Leave the report name unchanged to overwrite the previous version of the report, or type a new name for the edited report.

  8. Click the Save Report parameters icon to save your edited report.

TIP: By following these steps, you can create a new record set of the patrons/items returned by the new, updated report.  After step 6, you can check the box for creating a new record set as well as re-saving the report.


Leap: Holds Changes

Using Leap for your picklist (as opposed to the PRPL list) was available, though no formal training was offered, and the beta period seemed to have a lukewarm reception.  Many of the features commented on have since changed.  A tutorial video will debut in 2017 on the Leap picklist.

You can now view holds queues in Leap. In addition, you can access holds information from the bibliographic and item workforms (previously, you had to look up a patron's record before you could see any type of holds information).

The holds workform has been revamped, placing information in different views of the workform.  When creating a new request, the fields have been reordered to provide greater clarity/ease for entering information (ex. the item barcode field has been moved to the top of the new request workform).


Leap: Merge Patrons

You can now merge patrons when using Leap.


Leap: Past Patron Payment Receipts

You can print a small receipt for a past transactions (fine payments, lost item payments) from a patron's record.  To print past receipts:

  1. Open the Patron record and go to the Account Summary | Transaction Summary view.

  2. Select the transactions for which you want to reprint receipts.

  3. Select Print List.

  4. The receipts are printed.


Leap: Patron's Held Items

You can now see at a glance if the patron has any items on the hold shelf when viewing the patron record in Leap (including the checkout workform).


Patron Registration Expired

You no longer have to manually remove an address check or expiration date block from the Patron Status workform or wait for overnight processing to occur. When you update the address check date and/or expiration date and save the patron record, the address check and/or expiration date blocks are removed immediately.


Leap - Alert When Patron Receives Only eReceipts

If eReceipts are enabled for the branch, the patron is set up to receive only eReceipts, and the workform is set to print receipts only if no eReceipt is sent, an alert message appears in Leap when checking in, checking out, or paying fines for that patron. This informs the staff member that there is no need to wait for a receipt to be printed for that patron.

When paying a fine from the Check In, Check Out, or Patron Status workform, the following message appears if the patron receives only eReceipts: EReceipt submitted for fine payment.

When checking out an item to a patron from the Check Out or Patron Status workform, the following message appears if the patron receives only eReceipts: EReceipt submitted for check out / renewal.


Patron Forgot Password Procedures

Now, if a patron uses the “Forgot Password” link in the PAC, an email will be sent to the email address on the patron's record with the password.  If there is no email address, no email will be sent.

After the upgrade, Polaris will reset the patron's password.  The new, temporary password will be sent to the email address in the patron's account with instructions to change the password upon logging in.  If there is no email address in the patron record, the patron must visit the library in order to reset their password.


Trevor D


Trevor Diamond

Integrated Systems Librarian


Hackensack, NJ


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