This provides time saving.
There is already a "work log" that retains the last X (configurable with OU settings) patrons retrieved when enabled.
I have created a screencast on how the Work Log can be used to quickly retrieve patrons or items related to recently logged actions. In my testing, it appears that it will not identify patrons that were simply retrieved. The patron needed to be involved in a checkin, checkout, renewals, or patron registrations/edits to be logged here. The Work Log does not need to be enabled. By default, it logs the last 20 staff actions and the 10 most recent patrons, but this is configurable through a library setting. You can also choose the number of entries you want to display here.
Since the initial request was to retain patrons that were searched, I'm not sure if the work log will satisfy the original request without more information. Tim, could you take a look at the Work Log and let me know if you think it requires further work to satisfy this request?
We definitely would like an easy way to get to the last 5 patrons retrieved, whether or not any transaction was made!
Thanks Benjamin! The idea remains on the list.
Looks like the above information is a little outdated. In the 2.3 release notes, I also see that we now get entries in the Work Log for holds placed and bill payment. But we still aren't logging retrieved patrons here.
Some basic specs for adding retrieved patrons to the Work Log are available at http://masslnc.cwmars.org/node/2748.
Since the Work Log already has library settings that control the number of actions and patrons to display, I did not address how many patrons would display here. It's all configurable.
Comments are welcome.
This project has been put on hold due to the Evergreen web client project. I'm not sure if the Work Log will be introduced during the circulation sprint or during the sprint that covers administrative interfaces. Either way, since this feature depends on the fact that the circulation functions occur in the client, it really should wait until we have a Work Log in the new web client.
One note on the work log. In C/W MARS the work log was not tracking check outs. When we had it changed to track check outs it really slowed down the system and we had to revert back to not tracking check outs.
If we have development to retain last 5 patrons then it should be quick and easy to see the last 5 patrons and to retrieve. Going to the work log takes 3 clicks to get there and then time to find the patron you last checked out to and then more clicks to retrieve.
When we discussed this project, we also discussed the idea of adding a toolbar button to go directly to the Work Log. I'm not sure why it didn't make it into the requirements.
However, if the work log is slowing down checkouts as you described, then I think we would need to rework our requirements a bit to add an improvement on performance. We would also need to rethink how this works when we are on the web client, but I agree that easier/quicker access is important.
Just to clarify, the worklog is not a quick method for locating the last few patrons.
For example, you've checked out items to Mom and as the family leaves they find a DVD they want and return to the desk. Accessing the last x number of patrons with a simple click should be faster than asking the patron for their card again or search for the patron.
I envision a menu option like Retrieve Last Patron extending to the right when resting the mouse on it, listing the last x number of patrons. I think we would need patron names listed. Or potentially hover over name and see patron barcode or vice versa.
I'm moving this idea to planned development as a result of the December 15, 2016 vote on the MassLNC Development Committee. MassLNC will begin writing up requirements for this project so that the project can be issued for quotes from potential developers. Moving this idea to the planned section does not mean we will definitely fund the project. The final decision will be based on the quotes we receive and the funds we have available for projects.
Preliminary requirements are available at http://masslnc.org/node/3308. Please note that these are different than the requirements we used back in 2013. We will not be using the Work Log under the current implementation.
I have one follow-up question. In the requirements, I said an ideal implementation would provide a Retrieve Recent Patrons menu action in the Circulation menu, which would then open a submenu listing the recent x patrons.
However, I'm wondering if people would instead prefer showing two items on the Circulation Menu: Retrieve Last Patron and Retrieve Recent Patrons, with the Retrieve Recent Patrons action opening a dedicated interface where the patrons are listed. The potential benefit to the dedicated interface is that staff could bookmark this interface on their browser toolbar if it's something they use frequently. Let me know what you think.
Why not have both? If we have to choose I would prefer the dedicated interface for the very reason you gave.
I would prefer to reduce redundancy in the client except in cases where the redundancy improves workflow by creating multiple points of access where they are needed. I don' think this particular case meets that threshold since both options will be available from the same menu.
My concern about having a single item under the Circulation menu is that it would increase the number of actions required to retrieve the very last patron.
Right now Circulation -> Retreive Last Patron loads the previous patron's record on the screen in two clicks. I'm not sure how that would be accomplished with the single Retrieve Recent Patrons option.
Also, the library setting for the maximum number of patrons retained should support the choice of zero. Ideally, choosing zero would suppress the display of any menu options to retrieve previous patrons.
I agree with Micele. My only concern is that it be consistant with the way "Retrieve Last Few Patrons" in the items menu works. If one action works differently than the other I feel that would be confusing to users.
I like the idea of having both menu options.
I'm not a big fan of submenus for usability purposes (and there might be accessibility issues as well?) I suggest instead popping out a submenu, that it displays those x number of patrons in the standard patron search results screen. Staff would then have access to more information through the columns than just their names.
I think 2 menu options under Circulation is best with one for Retrieve Last Patron and one for Retrieve Recent Patrons.
Updated requirements with the two menu items and a mock-up are available at http://masslnc.org/node/3308.
The mock-up with the two options looks good. Thanks.
Looks good to me!