A Sneak Peek at Hard Due Dates and Warning Prompts

Happy New Year to the MassLNC community. I hope everyone is enjoying the first few days of 2011. The New Year has brought some exciting news for the MassLNC project. A couple of the development projects in which MassLNC has been involved are coming to an end.

Just before the holidays, network staff had the opportunity to preview the completed development for end-of-semester and hard due dates. Bibliomation (Connecticut) spearheaded this project, which also received funding from MassLNC, Project Conifer (Ontario, Canada), Sage Library System (Oregon), and Kirtland Community College (Michigan.) Equinox Software developed this functionality.

Libraries using a hard due date will have a simple dialog where they can set the ceiling date for materials (see below.) If the library wants to apply this due date at all times (sometimes used for faculty in an academic library), staff checks off the "always use" box. If left unchecked, the ceiling date acts as an end-of-the-semester due date. Materials will check out for a standard circulation period until it gets to the point where it would exceed the ceiling date. At that point, the system will apply the ceiling date as the due date. These hard due dates can then be incorporated into the circulation policies set up for libraries.

Hard due date setup screen

A nice feature of this development is that a library can enter multiple hard due dates if they are planning out their due dates for the year. Staff can set an active date for each of the hard due dates so that the system will automatically roll over to the next hard due date as one acadmic semester ends and the next one begins.

In addition to the hard due date development, MassLNC received news Warning promptthat Equinox had completed development from the project's first development contract. With this work, staff will now receive a warning prompt (right) before closing some screens with unsaved data. These warning prompts will appear in the patron registration editor, the MARC record editor, the copy editor, and offline circulation.

This work also included a quicker route to accessing a patron's bill record when checking in an item that has overdue fines (below). A link appears at the top of the screen with the billing information. Clicking on the link brings you directly to the patron's bill record where staff can handle bill payment.

It's exciting to see this completed development as MassLNC gets ready to move forward with its next contract to develop enhancements for Evergreen.