Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

38

We need the ability to place multiple title level holds simultaneously on a bib record. The most common use cases are for patrons (or staff, for that matter) needing multiple copies of a title for a book discussion group or for classroom use.

Currently it is possible (with the appropriate permission level) to place multiple holds by doing one after the other, but this is slow, cumbersome, and tedious. There needs to be a way to place, say, ten copies on hold for paging with a single request. The requests, of course, would be subject to all the existing rules that apply to the patron record making the request, and to the availability and holdability of the items being requested.

There are obvious local policy and procedure issues involved here, so presumably this functionality would need to be optional so that consortia or libraries could decide who would have the ability, but I think it should be a possible option for either patrons or staff. It might be appropriate to include an optional upper limit on the number of copies that could be requested at one time.

 

Category

Status: 
Under development

Comments

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

Admin

A new feature in 2.8 will eliminate one step in placing multiple holds on the same title - https://bugs.launchpad.net/evergreen/+bug/1423922. There will now be a link in the staff client that will allow the user to immediately return to the place hold screen to add another barcode.

However, I understand the original and better idea is to provide the number of copies and place the holds in one action. :)

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

Moderator

Kathy - I think I remember seeing that feature go by at some point, but I don't remember the details. I thought it allowed you to place multiple different patrons on the same bib record, but I don't know if it did the reverse - in other words, being able to place multiple title holds on the same bib for a single patron. Either way it's a step in the right direction, but we definitely need the ability to page, say, eight copies of a book for a patron in one step, without manually placing 8 separate holds.

Jeff

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

Admin

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.

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

Admin

Preliminary requirements are available at http://masslnc.org/node/3301. Since this project and the suspend holds at time of placement project both touch the 'place holds' interface, I created a set of mockups that integrate both new features. The mockups show how each will display in various scenarios: a standard single-title hold, a parts hold (displaying both types of parts selections available in Evergreen), a metarecord hold, holds on multiple titles from a list, and staff holds. I find it useful to see how it looks in each of these situations and how much actual clutter a person might see depending on their context.

For this project, my assumption is that the quantity should be placed fairly high up in a visible location. When placing holds from a list, the user should be able to set the quantity for each title on the list. Feel free to let me know if you disagree with these assumptions.

I'm requiring that the entry box for the quantity be an HTML number input type. This gives control to the browser as to how the entry box should look. Some browsers may allow the user to use arrows to increase/decrease the value. Android phones will present a number keypad to users when entering this field. If you want to see how it looks in various browsers, you can try it out at http://www.w3schools.com/html/tryit.asp?filename=tryhtml_input_number.

My main question is who should have the ability to place multiple simultaneous holds. The requirements are currently written so that anyone with the  HOLD_EXISTS.override permission will see this. In some systems, I know this permission is given to patrons (not sure if it's given to all patrons). Does this sound like the correct approach to you? 

Feel free to let me know if you have any other feedback, questions, suggestions for improvement, etc.!

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

Moderator

Hi Kathy - For some reason I can't access the page with the preliminary requirements, so I can't tell if these are addressed. In my own library I think we'd be fine with patrons being allowed to place multiple holds, but I can certainly imagine libraries that might want to limit it to staff, so if that could be a local option, it would be great. I also think it might not be a bad idea to be able to set an upper limit that would have to be overridden by staff. That's partly because you don't want people placing inappropriately large numbers of requests, and also to head off simple typing errors. I can imagine someone accidentally typing 99 when they meant 9.

Jeff

 

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

Admin

Sorry. I fixed the problem with the page. 

Yes, we have the setting in place to impose a limit. I was worred about 1,000 requests being placed for one title.

As far as who can place the multiple holds, I think a lot of it depends on how freely consortia provide that holds exist override permission to users. If it's provided to all users, then we may need to be more cautious about who sees this quantity field. If it tends to only be given to users with a specific patron type, then we might be able to rely on using that permission.

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

Admin

Adding some comments from Elaine Hardy that was added to the requirements page. I'll post my response in a separate commnt

Since PINES policy restricts patrons from placing copy holds, we would definitely want the ability to restrict patron groups from placing multiple quantities. PINES libraries would likely also want to restrict the permission to specific staff or staff group such as Circ1.

For those users with the permission, rather than proceeding with placing the hold, I suggest a dialog box that warns them they are about to place multiple copy holds for one title with options to cancel or proceed with the hold. Cancelling should return them to the holds placement page, with no changes so that they can edit quantities and proceed with the hold. This would enable staff to correct if they inadvertently placed holds for multiple copies.

 

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

Admin

I want to add some clarification on a few points.

- As written now, the quanitity box will not be available for copy-level holds. It will only be available for title, metarecord, part and volume holds. I could be talked out of volume holds, because they probably get limited use anyway, and part holds, because it might create confusion on the part of the user who might think they are placing holds on different parts. Providing a quanitity box for copy holds didn't make much sense to me because the holds couldn't be filled all at the same time.

- As far as who can change the quantity, I want to reiterate that the requirements do provide some level of control over who can see it by looking at the HOLD_EXISTS.override permission. This permission currently is required to place a hold on a title for a patron who already has an existing hold on the title.

I talked to the folks at NOBLE, and they only provide that permission to some circulation staff, so, in their case, it probably is a good reflection of who should be able to see the box. There may be places that give the permission to a broader audience, assuming that most people won't go through the steps of requesting multiple holds on the same title unless they really need multiple copies for a book group or a class. In those cases, they might want an additional setting that needs to be checked before displaying it to the public. I don't have a good handle on how all of you are currently using that permission and whether it fits with the goals of this project.

Alternatively, Michele Morgan at NOBLE noticed that there is an unused permission in Evergreen called CREATE_DUPLICATE_HOLDS. Perhaps we can leverage that permission to be used for placing simultaneous holds and leave the HOLD_EXISTS.override permission for cases when users are placing one hold at a time on a title.

- I didn't include the additional prompt after submitting the hold because we already are getting a prompt to override the HOLD_EXISTS event. However, on further reflection, I think I would like to see if we can do the prompt Elaine described and suppress any messages for the HOLD_EXISTS event since, at that point, we can assume the person really did mean to place all of those holds.

Thanks for the feedback Elaine!

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

Moderator

I am on the fence as to whether the multiple holds option should extend to volume holds and part holds. I'm not sure I can think of use case and I think there's lots of room for confusion when dealing with the volume and part level.

I like the idea of a prompt that the user is about to place multiple holds. I think it's better than an override event, especially since the user wouldn't see the Quantity option if they didn't have permission to place multiples.

Regarding the "Quantity" label, should we explore other options. Would something like "How many?" or "Number of copies" fit better?

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

Admin

My initial preference was 'number of copies.' I changed it to 'quantity' after looking at sites like Amazon and bn.com. I'm not wedded to any of these and can go with majority opinion.

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

Moderator

I like "Number of copies" better than "quantity."  I think it's a little more direct.  "Quantity" makes more sense on commercial sites, because on Amazon you could be ordering multiple copies of a book or DVD, or multiple doorknobs or multiple packages of socks or whatever.

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

Admin

I have updated the requirements and mock-ups:

I added the dialog that Elaine suggested that alerts the user they are placing holds on multiple copies and requires them to confirm or cancel the hold.

I changed the permission to be the unused, CREATE_DUPLICATE_HOLDS permission. This allows Evergreen sites more control over who can place holds on multiple copies simultaneously and who can place holds on a title when a hold already exists.

I updated the mock-ups to say "number of copies." 

I also changed the requirements to only allow multiple copes for title and metarecord holds. For titles with parts, if the user selects a specific part, I specified that the # of copies menu should be disabled. The primary reason for disallowing multiple holds on parts is to prevent confusion where the user may think they are placings holds on multiple parts at one time.

I'm still on the fence with the parts issue and can probably be talked out of this decision if there are strong feelings in the other direction.

We're sending these out to the community for feedback soon. If you have more feedback, please let me know as soon as possible.

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

While I think it would be good to allow users to place holds for multiple parts on one record, I agree with you that it is beyond the scope of this development. I think we would need to look much more closely at how we would want that functionality to work -- perhaps caps (locally set) on the number that could be placed simultaneously, for example.

 

Re: Need Ability to Place Multiple Holds Simultaneously

Admin

Moving this idea to Under development. MassLNC has signed a contract with Sigio to perform this work.