Revision of Support for alternate patron names from Sun, 01/29/2017 - 8:09pm

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This project provides a means to store a patron's former or preferred names, when they differ from their legal name, improving the ability for staff to find patron records when searching by patron name. It will also allow staff to designate a name as a 'preferred' name that could be used for notices, in receipt templates, and/or as the name that displays when patron's log into the catalog.

There are several scenarios where storage of an alternate name will be useful. 

  • Patrons who go by a middle name, such as J. John Smith, but don't think to mention the first initial when asked for their name.
  • Transgender patrons who have not yet changed their legal name, but wish to go by their preferred name.
  • Patrons who have changed their name, but who may revert back to your former name in the future.


  1. The system should provide the ability to store alternate names in the patron record.
    1. Staff should be able to enter a prefix/title, first name, middle name, last name, and suffix name for each alternate name.
    2. If an Evergreen site has designated any of the above fields as required when entering the primary name, the field should also be required for each iteration of the alternate name.
  2. The first entry of a name on the record should be considered the primary name. In many systems, policy dictates that the primary name is the patron's legal name.
  3. A preferred flag should also be available that can be applied to just one name on the patron record.
    1. By default, the preferred flag should apply to the primary name on the record.
  4. Names entered as part of the alternate name fields should be searchable by the corresponding patron search field. See Search Use Cases below for examples of how we expect patron name searching to work.
    1. Searching for names in the alternate name fields should handle diacritics and punctuation in the same way that traditional name searching handles them at the time this work is done.
      1. It is expected that code from will be available in Evergreen master by the time and that the system will continue to handle apostrophes and hyphenation n the same way for alternate names.
    2. Patron search should retrieve matching records without undue delay so as not to negatively impact staff workflow.
  5. When retrieving a patron record, the primary name should continue to display in the upper left corner of the patron record. The preferred name, if it differs from the primary name, should display in smaller font below the primary name. If other alternate names exist on the record, an icon should display. Hovering over that icon should display the alternate names that are also attached to that record.
  6. The primary name and preferred name should be available for use in:
    1. action / trigger notifications so that Evergreen sites can choose whether notices should be sent out with the patron's primary or preferred name.
    2. receipt templates so that Evergreen sites can choose whether holds slips and other circulation receipts should display the primary or preferred name.
      1. The holds alias should continue to override the primary/preferred names for holds slips.
  7. The preferred name should display in the dashboard when patron's log into the public catalog.

Search Example 1

A patron with the primary name of Katherine Ott also have the following two names entered as alternate names:

Katherine Lussier
Nickname is Kathy Ott

This patron's record should be retrieved if any of the following searches are entered:

Search 1:
First Name:
Last Name: Ott

Search 2:
First Name: Kathy
Last Name: Ott

Search 3:
FIrst Name: Katherine
Last Name: Lussier

Search 4:
First Name: Kathy
Last Name: Lussier

Search Example 2

A patron with the primary name of James John Smith also has the following name entered as an alternate, preferred name:

John Smith

The patron's record should be retrieved if any of the following searches are entered:

Search 1:
First Name: James
Last Name:

Search 2:
First Name: John
Last Name: Smith

Search 3:
Middle Name: John
Last Name: Smith



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