HomeAdministrationEmergency ClosingSolutions for Last Minute Closures

7.1. Solutions for Last Minute Closures

Solutions : This page is a work in process.

During this unprecedented period of temporary library closing with short notice, please know that PaILS and your fellow SPARK Libraries are here to help.  PaILS is operating as normally as possible and will continue online services.  We are adept at working remotely and have made a plan to keep our regular online meeting room open for support or community gathering/cataloging parties/remote virtual meeting space from 7a.m. to 7p.m.   Information about accessing the room has been sent via our listservs.

We understand that many libraries are temporarily closing or changing their services.  PaILS Staff has worked with our vendor and our knowledge of the Evergreen software and has prepared a solution and implemented parts of it  to help libraries implementing changes due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).  These same plans could apply in any future emergency closings as well.


Q: What to do if a branch/ branches are closing?  

A: Use the Emergency Closing Handler.  This is a great feature of Evergreen software.   

Consider your settings upon closure as well as when preparing for re-opening. 

This solution covers settings and updates for fines, holds, public access catalog and notices.

In this particular COVID-19 situation, PaILS staff took action on your behalf (based on the guidelines shared via Office of Commonwealth Libraries) to implement the Emergency Closing Handler for your location(s) if you hadn't yet used the feature. 

We used what we consider to be best practice settings, closing locations from March 2 to April 6.  This makes items not due, not accrue overdue fines, and changes the date that holds will be held on your existing hold shelf to the new open date. 


Q: How to extend due dates and/or renewal limits?

The Emergency Closing Handler covers these actions.  

Fines are not charged and due dates are extended until your opening dates.

If you want to change the dates of other items or extend your loan periods via policy, reach out.


Q: What about Notifications to your patrons? 

A:  PaILS asked Equinox to disable regular patron notifications.

If you locally change any notification settings, ensure you record the changes so you know what to do when it is time to reverse them.


Q: What about Holds? 

A: Use of the Emergency Closing Handler means that your location will not be getting a regular holds pull list.  Holds don't typically target when you are closed.  There is a library setting that can override this if you want to continue to pull holds to mail or offer no-contact pickup methods. 

If you are in the building and checking in items from the bookdrop, items with holds will still go to the holds shelf, but because notifications are off, your patron won't be notified.  A good practice if you are checking in items is to immediately checkout the item to a Temporary Holds Cart Patron using an override. That way, when you re-open, you can check them in and notifications will be sent to patrons to come to the library to get their holds with a regular period and the patron won't see the hold waiting on their account until you open.

Patrons can still place holds and get in line in the queue for items when you re-open.   



Q: What can our catalog say about the closing?

A: PaILS took the step of requesting from our vendor a standard message on all public access catalogs using the Maintenance Message feature. 

If your location wants to change the wording of this standard message, which was written in a generic tone so that libraries would be able to get a stock message up quickly, put in a support ticket.  There are trained staff of SPARK Libraries who recently took a class about editing the OPAC templates that will be assigned to help/assist in making changes.  Please be patient with us as we work to fill requests to make custom changes.  

PaILS wants to be able to empower more libraries to have access to update their own catalog appearance, though we also see many other consortium who limit opac customization to a smaller set of choices, because these can be complicated by upgrades. 


 Hours of Operations are stored in the Organization Unit settings. 

Q: What are staff options for remote work via the Evergreen web client? 

A: Staff access should first be determined by your local policy and plan.  If you want staff to be able to access the web client from their remote workspace, take steps to ensure security of data.  Having a sign-off form may be a great best practice. 

People with Circ Sup, Tech Services, or Lib Admin permissions are able to register a workstation remotely and use it. 

If you or groups of SPARK Libraries want to use this time to do catalog work or data cleanup projects, reach out via the listservs or jump into the online meeting room to gather and do projects together.  If you need report templates, ask Reports Committee.

This page was: Helpful | Not Helpful