Revision of Support for alternate patron names from Wed, 03/29/2017 - 9:41am

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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 patrons 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 a former name in the future.


Several mockups are included with the project requirements. The mockups are provided for illustrative purposes on how we envision the functionality working. The developer is free to deviate from the proposed design within reason, but we still expect the developer to work on layout and design in consultation with MassLNC.


  1. The system should provide the ability to store alternate names for patrons in the database.
    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.
    3. Staff should be able to add an unlimited number of alternate names for a given patron.

  2. Patrons should be able to enter a preferred, alternate name on the patron self-registration form.
  3. 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.
  4. A preferred flag should also be available that is applied to exactly one name for a given patron.
    1. By default, if no other name is designated as a preferred name, the preferred flag should apply to the primary name on the record.
  5. 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 manner that the master version of Evergreen handles them at the timet he work is done.
    2. A search that matches on multiple versions of a patron's name should only retrieve one result for that patron's single record.
    3. Retrieval of search results should continue to sort alphabetically by the patron's primary last name followed by the patron's primary first name.
    4. Patron search should retrieve matching records without undue delay so as not to negatively impact staff workflow.
  6. In the patron management interface, patron names should display as follows:
    1. the primary name should continue to display in the upper left corner of the patron interface.
    2. the preferred name, if it differs from the primary name, should display in smaller font below the primary name.
    3. If other alternate names exist in the record:
      1. a link should display near the primary name. Hovering over that link should display the non-preferred alternate names that are also attached to that record. Clicking the link should bring you to the bottom of the patron sidebar, where the non-preferred alternate patron names display.
      2. The names should display towards the bottom of the patron summary sidebar, making it available for copy/paste if needed.

  7. 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.
    3. Reports
      1. The holds alias should continue to override the primary/preferred names for holds slips.
  8. The primary name, preferred name and non-preferred alternate names should be available as column picker options in any web client grids that currently displays patron name fields.
    1. ​The preferred name fields should be sortable fields in web client grids where the corresponding primary name fields are sortable.
    2. Since there is a possibility that a patron can have multiple alternate names, the alternate name column picker field should display a count of the number of alternate names.

  9. The preferred name should display in the dashboard when patrons log into the public catalog.
  10. The patron record merge process should transfer non-matching alternate names from the non-lead record to the lead record.
  11. The developer should plan for backwards compatability. At this time, the primary name continues to display in various client and catalog interfaces, may be used in local Evergreen reports, and is also used by external tools, like SQL reports and migration tools. Code that relies on the existing way of handling primary names should work with minimal modification on the part of Evergreen administrators.

Search Example 1

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

Katherine Lussier
Alternate name 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 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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