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3.5. Patron Self-Registration

Does your library want to add a link to "Request Library Card" to your library catalog or website?

Evergreen offers a feature that is described in the 3.3 documentation called: Patron Self-Registration.

Patron Self-Registration creates a link, typically labeled “Request Library Card” so that a person can click on a link from your catalog/website and fill in the fields you desire and those you require for library card registration.   

This transfers the patron’s information to the Pending Patrons menu in Circulation-->Pending Patrons, basically putting the work of data entry of new patron information on the patron, instead of on the staff.   

This feature does NOT issue a temporary library card number or allow immediate access to library online resources or ability to place requests at this time.    Libraries determine a local staff initiated process to review/verify the potential patron’s submitted data and can choose to Load the patron information to the patron database and create the library account.

 

To Activate this Feature: (May be different for Migration Process or for existing SPARK Libraries)

The information needed to set this up the Patron Self-Registration through our Evergreen installation is a list of the fields you would like to see displayed on the online form and a list of those fields which you would determine are Required.   It is difficult to have different required fields for online than for in-person (i.e. if you require phone number and email on this form, you must also require phone number and email in Evergreen.) 

Note: Do not request Primary Identification information (such as Driver’s License numbers) in this online form.

Let SPARK Support know the timeline you would like to be active and where you would like the link to appear on your OPAC (bottom links bar is common, though some use top) and what you want the link to be labeled as (Request Library Card is common verbiage.)

Internally, your library should establish a clear procedure/process for how you verify the Self-Registered Patrons and a frequency/accountability to check/process them.

Many will want an OPAC template update to change the text that displays after the patron submits the form to explain local process to get library card after form is submitted.  

 

SPARK Library examples of this form include:  Random examples selected

 

Notes on Using this Feature:  It saves data entry time for your staff, but staff verification remains a necessary step.

 

Note:  There are also SPARK Libraries who choose to create and use their own website forms to collect this data and do manual data entry for patrons who register remotely. 


Understand what it does:

The form allows the patron to enter information so that your staff can use a process to review the information from the Circulation Pending Patrons menu.  It is important to note that the patron does NOT get a library card number issued to them for immediate use.  It does enter their data into SPARK/Evergreen as a Pending Patron.  

Workflow: If the link to Request Library Card is active, Your library will need a local process to check for Pending Patrons (Circulation menu-->Pending Patrons) on a regular schedule.   Your library may choose to contact Pending Patrons and suggest they soon visit the library to verify the application and get a library card. Some libraries may choose to mail the Pending Patrons a card so they can begin to access online resources. 

This link can be useful if a group is visiting so that all of the information is filled out when the group arrives and people can be verified and issued cards quickly.


How SPARK Support staff and our host Activate the Link for Your Location:

First, determine which fields of information you want to collect via this online form. 

Follow the instructions 3.3 documentation using a LibAdmin login. 

Contact SPARK Support to make sure that the link will scope properly to show only the libraries in your "local consortium" can be selected.   (The link does not automatically scope to register a card at your location, but instead, defaults to the list of all SPARK libraries--so at this time, Support contacts Equinox to ensure we do this correctly.) 

Here's Equinox's instructions:  Move the Allow Patron Self-Registration library setting from the location to the Org unit. This results in the "Request Library Card " link. The code automatically looks for that library setting at the System level for your opac.  Equinox then customizes the register.tt2 file in you are to default the org unit to "Library" and only allow that library to be selected in the drop down box.



A Final Step:

Does the text that displays after the patron clicks the Submit Registration form look good to you?  If so, there's no need to change anything.  If not, please request the text you would like to see displayed after the information has been submitted.

Many locations customize the text that appears when the form is submitted.   A common suggestion is:  We have received your Request for a Library Card.  Please visit our library location soon with a form of identification so we can issue you a barcode and password to use the full services of our library.  Others use text like: We have received your Request for a Library Card.  We will process the request within 48 hours and mail you a card if you are a qualified patron.  Contact our library for more information.


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