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SPARK Support

SPARK Support general information

1. About

1.1. Understand Who's Who: PaILS, SPARK, Evergreen, Equinox

Understand the Players: Who is Who and What:

  • PaILS is the Pennsylvania Integrated Library System, a non-profit entity established in 2011 with the mission to provide a low cost, fully featured online system to allow libraries to better manage their library items and patrons. PaILS is governed by a volunteer board of directors that meets quarterly.
  • Evergreen is a popular and widely used open source integrated library system (ILS) software product with a large user-supported community.
  • SPARK is a brand name for the PA version of the Evergreen integrated library system managed by PaILS for Pennsylvania libraries.  SPARK is the community of PA Library staff that use our software.
  • Equinox is the vendor that PaILS currently contracts with to provide hosting, implementation, migration, and some training services for SPARK. They provide support to PaILS staff.


Support Portal: or 

PaILS/SPARK website/blog with calendar:

Listservs: The community and workgroups communicate via listserv. Each library location or system must determine who should be accountable to read, act, and reply to messages.  Sign up here:

SPARK User Group Board:

The User Group supports the following active committees: Cataloging, Circulation, Planning, Reports.  An Interlibrary Loan Committee/Task Force is beginning to form.

SPARK Catalog:

Download a printable Welcome Page for easy understanding here.

1.2. PaILS Membership Agreement

Pennsylvania Integrated Library System

Membership Agreement

Approved by PaILS Board of Directors 8/1/18



This Membership Agreement defines the rights, responsibilities, and expectations of PaILS membership. This supersedes any earlier versions.


The Pennsylvania Integrated Library System (PaILS) provides access to information resources by offering a collaborative, high quality, open source integrated library system that is equitable, cost-effective, and promotes resource sharing among libraries statewide.

Membership Benefits

PaILS will:

  1. Provide a stable, richly functional, low-cost open source ILS named SPARK.
  2. Work with member library to migrate data from incumbent ILS to SPARK or to automate if not already automated.
  3. Provide initial and ongoing training on the use of SPARK modules.
  4. Exercise best efforts to provide ongoing Technical Support for the SPARK system. Non-Critical Response Time: 1 Business Day.Critical Response Time: Immediate (depending on initial method of contact).
  1. Communicate with the membership at least bi-monthly using email and other electronic media.
  2. Provide documentation and encourage members to develop and share documentation on SPARK functionality.
  3. Encourage members to become involved in the SPARK User Group.
  4. Support User Group activities as resources permit.
  5. Participate, as resources permit, in the development of Evergreen software.
  6. Export bibliographic records from SPARK to statewide ILL database on a quarterly basis.
  7. Provide access to shared, high-quality cataloging records and work with membership to maintain the integrity of the bibliographic database.
  8. Provide access to expertise that resides in PaILS staff, the SPARK and Evergreen communities, and support vendors.
  9. Provide, as resources permit, access to special programs and opportunities such as technology consulting and continuing education scholarship.
  10. Treat its members with respect.


Membership Expectations

While individual libraries and library systems retain control over their own local operations, participation in PaILS requires collaboration in policy development, decision making, and maintenance of standards. Membership in PaILS carries the expectation of active and ongoing participation by each member library. As a member of PaILS, the signatory library will:

  1. Abide by any articles and sections of the PaILS By-Laws that pertain to membership.
  2. Support the mission of PaILS.
  3. Conform to policies, procedures, and protocols that may be developed and promulgated by the PaILS Board of Directors and / or PaILS administration.
  4. Input, maintain, and share bibliographic holdings on a continual basis, according to the standards developed by PaILS.
  5. Input, maintain, share, and maintain of confidentiality of patron records according to the standards developed by PaILS and dictated by PA laws regarding Confidentiality of Library Records.
  6. If the library is required to surrender confidential patron information that resides in the ILS as a result of a court order or subpoena, the incident must be reported to the PaILS Executive Director immediately.
  7. Restrict the creation of data records and operations of the Library to authorized personnel who have been trained in the confidentiality of library records and other policies and procedures that govern their area of work as it pertains to the ILS.
  8. Ensure library personnel participate in all appropriate training and continuing education programs.
  9. Refrain from internal policy changes that would adversely affect other PaILS member libraries.
  10. Render inactive immediately accounts of staff members who have left the employ of the library.
  11. Designate an individual to serve as SPARK User Group Representative and inform PaILS when the representative can no longer serve in this capacity due to changes of employment or for other reasons. In voting matters, this person will be responsible for communicating the issue to staff at the library or at all libraries (if a multi-library system) and, after gathering a consensus, vote on their behalf.
  12. Designate a representative to serve as the Administrative Contact and inform PaILS when the representative can no longer serve in this capacity due to changes of employment or for other reasons. This person will receive membership bills and be the contact for administrative issues.
  13. Designate a Technical Contact and inform PaILS when the contact can no longer serve in this capacity due to changes of employment or for other reasons. This person will be the first, but not sole, point of contact for technical issues.
  14. Participate in the activities of PaILS by providing staff representation and service to various committees, task forces, and forums sponsored by PaILS or the SPARK User Group.
  15. Ensure that staff members who participate in the SPARK community treat other members of the SPARK community with respect.


The violation of any provision, policy, or requirement that is not corrected within sixty (60) days after written notice of the violation by the Board may constitute default under the terms of this Agreement. If default should occur, the board may proceed with the termination process as outlined in the Bylaws.  


Equipment & Internet Bandwidth

Providing equipment and sufficient Internet bandwidth to operate the SPARK ILS within a library will be the responsibility of the local library and/or system. 


Statement of Authority

This Agreement shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Pennsylvania.


Financial Responsibilities   

All financial responsibilities that will be designated as those to be paid by the member libraries will be proposed and acted upon by the Board. An annual invoice incorporating all financial responsibilities will be mailed to all members in July with an effective date of January 1st the following calendar year.  All costs will be fully determined and disclosed prior to the signing of a Membership Agreement.


Termination of Agreement

This Agreement may be terminated by either following rules established in the PaILS By-Laws. The Bylaws state: “Any member library entity may terminate membership in the Corporation by providing written notice to the Board of Directors at least six (6) months prior to its membership termination.” The library shall incur all costs to remove bibliographic, holdings, circulation, and patron information from SPARK and to, if required, export this information. PaILS is not responsible for any data loss that may occur during the extraction process. In the event of termination, no membership fees will be refunded. In the case of a library leaving PaILS of its own volition, the library will be contacted by a PaILS Board Member for an exit interview.


This Agreement may be amended by mutual written consent of the parties.


Acceptance of Agreement

The Agreement shall remain in effect until terminated in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement.  As legally authorized representatives of the Library and PaILS, we agree by signing this document to abide by all of the terms and conditions stated in this Membership Agreement.


1.3. User Group

Learn all about our User Group on the User Group Board Site.

Download their Welcome Message below.

2. SPARK Support

2.1. Contacting SPARK Support if System is Down or Slow

Contacting SPARK Support if the system is Down or Extremely Slow

These steps should be followed if Evergreen/SPARK is not operational (or is extremely slow) on any workstations in your library and you have verified that the problem is not being caused by a local network or Internet Service Provider problem.

  1. Call or Text Carrie Cleary at 717-884-3805.  
  2. Wait 3-5 minutes.  If you don't get a response...
  3. Call Equinox at 877-673-6457 Option 2.


If you'd rather do the whole communication online via our support web form, mark YES to indicate Urgent. 

That sends a text to PaILS Support.  This will also generate a ticket in our support desk that you are being effected.  We will eventually merge those tickets into one "SPARK incident report" and attempt to use our software to post ticket updates on the problem.  It will allow us to communicate updates and ask for information.   Standby to expect a response via email or phone call. 

What Happens Next:

If the Evergreen system housed on the Sequoia servers hosted by Equinox is down, people will swing into action and assess the situation.

We all want functionality back as soon as possible--people need libraries.

We understand it's crappy to be without software access, but meanwhile...keep calm.  Do what is in the best interests of serving your patrons and your library. 

If your location wants to use Evergreen to record barcode numbers for circulation transactions, use Offline Mode.  (Note: Some locations use other methods to record transactions.)

AFTER the first person has had contact with SPARK Support, we will send a message to SPARK-USERS indicating the incident report, so you know we are doing the work.  We will attempt to keep you informed.  We will let you know when we have full confirmation that the system is back, but sometimes just hitting the refresh button every 5 minutes to check if it is working again is the fastest way to get back in business. 

You may also:

  • Submit a ticket and mark the Urgent button on the form--this sends text messages to PaILS Staff.  This will generate a ticket in our support desk that you are being effected.  Lugene and I will merge those tickets into one "SPARK incident report" and attempt to use our software to post ticket updates on the problem.  It will allow us to communicate updates and ask for information.
  • Send a message to the mailing list.

2.2. Contacting SPARK Support for Routine Questions

Contacting SPARK Support for Routine Questions/Issues

Each SPARK library has a "Technical Contact" who serves as the main liaison between the library and technical support staff employed by PaILS, SPARK Support.

Submit a request by using the link Submit a Request in the upper left of this page.  It allows you to categorize the request. 

Technical Contacts or anyone effected may also submit an issue by sending an email to

  1. Please use the form or the email address because the email will convert to a support ticket in SPARK ILS Evergreen Support Portal .
  2. You will receive a reply via email with the Help Spot ID number. If you reply to this email or any subsequent emails, please do not change the subject, as that will open a new ticket.
  3. In your reply email you will receive a link and access key that you can use to view or update your ticket through our web portal.
  4. It is PaILS Staff and YOUR responsibility to continue to followup on the request you submit.  If we aren't answering quickly enough and you believe your request is more urgent, call or reach out to nudge further attention.  PaILS Staff can be overwhelmed with requests, so a reminder is a good thing for us to draw attention back to your request.

When submitting a support request, please provide as much information as possible.

  • For problems pertaining to patrons, please supply a name and barcode along with a detailed description of the problem or what you would like support to do.
  • For materials questions, please provide the bibliographic record TCN and item barcode along.
  • If you are asking support to solve a problem, a screenshot or capture of what you were doing when the problem occurred is a helpful addition to your request.
  • For policy changes, let us know as much as you can about what is happening now and what you want to happen--including which circ modifiers, shelving locations, and patron types the policy change would apply to.

Another way to submit a request is to use the link Submit a Request in the upper left of this page.  It allows you to fill in the details that help us process your request.

3. SPARK Group Email Lists: Listservs

3.1. SPARK Listservs Overview

One of the methods that SPARK member libraries have for communication is to use group e-mailing lists.

After you sign up, you will typically receive an email to confirm your subscription.  Sometimes that original email gets routed to your junk/spam folder, so please check there. 

Here is information about all of the Listservs that are currently active and who should subscribe to them:

  • SPARK-Users:  General list for all users of SPARK.  Get updates on SPARK happenings, including service interruptions, User Group news, and other information about SPARK.  People with LIBAdmin permissions should definitely subscribe to this list.  The listserv is open to all staff and volunteers of SPARK libraries. 

Sign up for SPARK-USERS here:

  • SPARK-CAT:  List for Catalogers and Tech Services library staff.  Catalogers unite and discuss questions about cataloging, merges, issues with specific records, workflow ideas, Cataloging Committee updates, among other things.  People with Tech Services and Copy Cataloging permissions should definitely subscribe to this list.  

Sign up for SPARK-CAT here:

  • SPARK-REPORTS: List for anyone who creates or uses reports.  Here you can ask other people to share specific reports or for help with customizing a report.  The Reports Committee will share updates here too.

Sign up for SPARK-REPORTS here: 

  • SPARK-TECH: People who are in charge of technology and network connections at your library location should sign up for this list.  PaILS/SPARK staff will share information about upgrades or planned downtime here.  Members can share ideas about browser configuration, network issues, or ideas regarding the technology that make SPARK work. If you want to automate a workflow and this software can help, join in.

Sign up for SPARK-TECH here:





4. Organization Units in SPARK: Short Code Key

4.1. Org Units in SPARK

List of Organizational Unit Names with Organization Unit Policy Code (sometimes called Shortname)

Updated 1.1.2020

Short (Policy) NameOrg Unit NameCity
ACLSAdams County Library SystemGettysburg
ACLS_ADAGettysburg LibraryGettysburg
ACLS_BIGHarbaugh-Thomas Library (Biglerville)Biglerville
ACLS_CARCarroll Valley LibraryCarroll Valley
ACLS_EASTrone Memorial Library (East Berlin)East Berlin
ACLS_LTNLittlestown LibraryLittlestown
ACLS_NEWNew Oxford LibraryNew Oxford
AHMFLAlexander Hamilton Memorial Free LibraryWaynesboro
APLBApollo Memorial LibraryApollo
ASHBAshland Public LibraryAshland
BANGBBangor Public LibraryBangor
BC_ALTAltoona Area Public LibraryAltoona
BC_BELBellwood-Antis Public LibraryBellwood
BC_CLAClaysburg Area Public LibraryClaysburg
BC_HOLHollidaysburg Area Public LibraryHollidaysburg
BC_MARMartinsburg Community LibraryMartinsburg
BC_ROARoaring Spring Community LibraryRoaring Spring
BC_TYRTyrone-Snyder Public LibraryTyrone
BC_WILWilliamsburg Public LibraryWilliamsburg
BCF_BEDBedford County LibraryBedford
BCF_EVEEverett Free LibraryEverett
BCF_HYNHyndman-Londonderry Public LibraryHyndman
BCF_OUTFederated Library System of Bedford County OutreachBedford
BCF_SAXSaxton Community LibrarySaxton
BVRBeaverdale Public LibraryBeaverdale
CACCambria County LibraryJohnstown
CACBCambria County BookmobileJohnstown
CARCarrolltown Public LibraryCarrolltown
CCLSCambria County Library SystemJohnstown
CLEAR_CCPLClearfield County Public LibraryCurwensville
CLEAR_CURWCurwensville Public LibraryCurwensville
CLEAR_DUBDuBois Public LibraryDuBois
CLEAR_SHAWJoseph & Elizabeth Shaw Public LibraryClearfield
CRSCresson Public LibraryCresson
DEGBDegenstein Community LibrarySunbury
EBNEbensburg Public LibraryEbensburg
ECAEllwood City Area Public LibraryEllwood City
FDCFD Campbell Memorial LibraryBessemer
FPLBFrackville Free Public LibraryFrackville
GALGallitzin Public LibraryGallitzin
GFWGreen Free Library (Wellsboro)Wellsboro
HGHHighland Community LibraryJohnstown
HSTHastings Public LibraryHastings
HUNTBHuntingdon County LibraryHuntingdon
IVPLIndian Valley Public LibraryTelford
JUNJuniata CountyMifflintown
JUNBJuniata County LibraryMifflintown
LC_ABAbington Community LibraryClarks Summit
LC_ALAlbright Memorial LibraryScranton
LC_BKLackawanna County Library System BookmobileScranton
LC_CACarbondale Public LibraryCarbondale
LC_CHLackawanna County Children's LibraryScranton
LC_DADalton Community LibraryDalton
LC_LELibrary ExpressScranton 
LC_LWLackawanna County Law LibraryScranton
LC_NKNancy Kay Holmes Branch LibraryScranton
LC_NPNorth Pocono Public LibraryMoscow
LC_TATaylor Community LibraryTaylor
LC_TSLackawanna County Tech ServicesScranton
LC_VAValley Community LibraryPeckville
LCFLSLawrence County Federated Library SystemNew Castle
LEHCAR_CATPublic Library of CatasauquaCatasauqua
LEHCAR_CPLCoplay Public LibraryCoplay
LEHCAR_DMLDimmick Main LibraryJim Thorpe
LEHCAR_EPLEmmaus Public LibraryEmmaus
LEHCAR_LAMLLehighton Area Memorial LibraryLehighton
LEHCAR_LMTLLower Macungie LibraryMacungie
LEHCAR_PALPalmerton Area LibraryPalmerton
LEHCAR_PCLParkland Community LibraryAllentown
LEHCAR_SLATSlatington Public LibrarySlatington
LEHCAR_SLPLSouthern Lehigh Public LibraryCenter Valley
LEHCAR_WTPLWhitehall Township Public LibraryWhitehall
LLWLilly Washington Public LibraryLilly
LVLS_APLAllentown Public LibraryAllentown
LVLS_BAPLBethlehem Main LibraryBethlehem
LVLS_BBKMBethlehem BookmobileBethlehem
LVLS_BCOOLBethlehem Coolidge BranchBethlehem
LVLS_BKSKBethlehem KioskBethlehem
LVLS_BSSBethlehem South Side BranchBethlehem
LVLS_EAPLEaston Main LibraryEaston
LVLS_NCHGSEaston Northampton Co Historical & Genealogical SocietyEaston
LVLS_PALEaston Palmer BranchEaston
MACBMahanoy City Public LibraryMahanoy City
MC_BKMMonroe County BookmobileStroudsburg
MC_CLYClymer LibraryPocono Pines
MC_HISTMonroe County Historical AssociationStroudsburg
MC_HUGHughes LibraryStroudsburg
MC_MCCFMonroe County Correctional FacilityStroudsburg
MC_PMPLPocono Mountain Public LibraryTobyhanna
MC_PTLPocono Township BranchTannersville
MC_SMFSmithfields BranchEast Stroudsburg
MEYMeyersdale Public LibraryMeyersdale
MLTBMilton Public LibraryMilton
MPLMinersville Public LibraryMinersville
NAZBMemorial Library of Nazareth and VicinityNazareth
NCMNorthern Cambria Public LibraryNorthern Cambria
NGLNanty Glo Public LibraryNanty Glo
NWCNew Castle Public LibraryNew Castle
NWLNorth Wales AreaNorth Wales
NWLBNorth Wales LibraryNorth Wales
OAPLOrwigsburg Area Free Public LibraryOrwigsburg
PFPLPottsville Free Public LibraryPottsville
PORPortage Public LibraryPortage
PTLS_BLOSSBlossburg Memorial LibraryBlossburg
PTLS_COUDERCoudersport Public LibraryCoudersport
PTLS_ELKElkland Area Community LibraryElkland
PTLS_GALEGaleton Public LibraryGaleton
PTLS_GENESGenesee Area LibraryGenesee
PTLS_KNOXKnoxville Public LibraryKnoxville
PTLS_MFPLMansfield Free Public LibraryMansfield
PTLS_OSWAOswayo Valley Memorial LibraryShinglehouse
PTLS_PTUPotter-Tioga UnitKnoxville
PTLS_ULYSSUlysses Library AssociationUlysses
PTLS_WESTWestfield Public LibraryWestfield
PTTPatton Public LibraryPatton
RALBRingtown Area LibraryRingtown
RTPLRalpho Township Public LibraryElysburg
SCFLSSomerset County Federated Library SystemSomerset
SCTPLShamokin Coal Twp Public LibraryShamokin
SFKSouth Fork Public LibrarySouth Fork
SHPLSchuylkill Haven Free Public LibrarySchuylkill Haven
SOCSomerset County LibrarySomerset
SOCCConemaugh Township BranchHollsopple
SPLShenandoah Public LibraryShenandoah
SSQSusquehanna County LibraryMontrose
SSQFForest CityForest City
SSQHHallstead - Great BendHallstead
TPLTamaqua Public LibraryTamaqua
TUNKBTunkhannock Public LibraryTunkhannock
WAPI_PDGDingman Township LibraryMilford
WAPI_PMFMilford LibraryMilford
WAPI_WBEBethany Public LibraryBethany
WAPI_WHAHamlin LibraryLake Ariel
WAPI_WHWHawley Public LibraryHawley
WAPI_WNFNewfoundland Area LibraryNewfoundland
WAPI_WNWNorthern Wayne Community LibraryLakewood
WAPI_WPMPleasant Mount LibraryPleasant Mount
WAPI_WWCWayne County Public LibraryHonesdale
WINWindber Public LibraryWindber
WYOBWyomissing Public LibraryReading
YCACAYork Academy Regional Charter School- Lower School York
YCACBYork Academy Regional Charter School- Upper SchoolYork
YCCOLCollinsville Community LibraryBrogue
YCDILDillsburg Area Public LibraryDillsburg
YCDOVDover Area Community LibraryDover
YCGLAGlatfelter Memorial LibrarySpring Grove
YCGUTGuthrie Memorial Library: Hanover's Public LibraryHanover
YCHUFArthur Hufnagel Public LibraryGlen Rock
YCKALKaltreider-Benfer LibraryRed Lion
YCKREKreutz Creek Valley LibraryHallam
YCLITLiteracy CouncilYork
YCLSYork County Library SystemYork
YCMANManchester TownshipYork
YCMARMartin LibraryYork
YCMASMason-Dixon Public LibraryStewartstown
YCPAUPaul Smith Library of Southern York CountyShrewsbury
YCREDRed Land Community LibraryEtters
YCSALSalem Square LibraryYork
YCSPRSpringettsbury TownshipYork
YCVILVillage LibraryJacobus


5. Servers

5.1. Production, Test, and Resource Sharing Server

PaILS has contracted with Equinox to maintain three active Evergreen servers.


1.  Production server is used by SPARK members for daily functions. It is the only "live" and active server that records and processes transactions, patron information, collections, etc.

To access the production server use the url customized for your library:   


2. Test server is used mainly for testing data and policies during migrations.  It is also available for SPARK libraries to use for training or practice.

SPARK discourages policy testing on this server, as it could affect migration policy testing.

Log in with the same user name and password for your account on production.  Register the workstation to your organization.


3. Resource Sharing Test Server  exists so libraries can test policies for the resource sharing and testing of other developments.

Log in with the user name and password for your account on production. Register the workstation to your organization.


Important Notes and Guidelines:

  • PaILS discourages testing in production.  Library staff should NOT test transactions on the production server.  Please use the test servers for any testing at your library. 
  • A best practice is to make the changes on the test server, conduct tests from your location as well as other tiers if you resource share, and then plan a date to implement policy changes "Live" on the Production server.
  • The Test Servers do NOT send notices or emails. 
  • Data on the test servers is NOT up to date; it is merely a capture of the data at a point in time.  You will see items that have been returned still on patron accounts and items accruing fines and fees.  This is expected. 
  • The reporter is typically turned off on the test servers.
  • Both test servers stand alone, in that they are not connected to the production server and anything that is done on them will not be reflected in the live data or in each other.

Not all locations have a test server opac, but many do.  Those that do can be viewed by downloading the attached list.

6. Emails from Evergreen

6.1. Notices via email to your patrons

Patrons who have an email address in their record are enrolled to receive notifications (Welcome, Courtesy, Overdue, etc.) via email because it is the most efficient way for libraries to deliver these common message.

Patrons opt-in and decide what method is best for time sensitive Hold Pickup Notices, they may choose email, text message (SMS via email), or phone.

Working on detailed content. This space to be populated soon with more info.   We've been working on a draft document with partner Equinox for a while now.

Will include info about notice timing.  (Many are currently set to generate and send in the early a.m.--considering having dev project done so notices can generate overnight but send during reasonable hours.)

Will have instructions on how to set up new notices.

Will have instructions on how to run a report of notices generated.  (Have this sample template--still working on better filters for it because it's all library output right now.)

Local Accountability:

  • When you migrate, you tell us the sending email address for notices and it is entered in your Library Settings.  Be aware: If your library controls DNS for your domain, the SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record can be modified to allow the Equinox mail server to send emails from your domain.  If you don't control DNS, let's talk about other options.)   White-list the email address and domain from which the emails are sent. 
  • Have a good process in place for how to handle "bounced" emails.
  • Decide if you want a cc or bcc line so you receive a copy of every message sent to patrons on behalf of your location.  *(adding these can make the messages more likely to be filtered to trash by some services.)
  • Know how to respond when a patron says: "I didn't get the email". 
  • White-list the email address and domain from which the emails are sent. 

6.2. Emails from Reports Server

If you sign up to receive notification when a report is finished running or to let you know a scheduled recurring report has run, emails come from: <>

7. Bugs and Development Work

7.1. Bug and Development Tracker

Recent Bugs to Add Heat to:

Attached and outlined below are bugs and development requests that have been brought to the attention of SPARK support.

If any affect your location staff and patrons, please use Launchpad to add comments and heat to the bug or wish list item.

Bug # (linked to launchpad)

SPARK support ticket #

Bug title

impact on SPARK

date added to SPARK bugs list

status & date updated


15734 & 15601

Unable to update Bib Source in MARC Edit screen

We're having issues with the way e-resource records display in the catalog because of the URI weighting.  Identifying a Bib Source was supposed to help, but it won't save with an edited Bib Source.


Likely fixed during system maintenance window 1/15/20 .

Tested as fixed 1/20/2020



web client: type to select needed in patron stat cat dropdowns

We have VERY long lists of municipalities as patron statistical categories because of the need to track funding sources at many levels in our Commonwealth.  These lists are so long and the scrolling has become unmanageable, particularly for locations with many at the bottom of the list.



Publisher column only looks at 260, not 264

in z.39.50, publisher column populates from MARC 260 but not 264, which is the appropriate RDA field

wishlist 10/31/19



Bring parity to the estimated queue position in OPAC and Record -> View Holds UIs

patrons see an odd position in the holds queue because they are seeing a position that shows all copies in our SPARK Consortium, not just copies available at local libraries.  Some locations have used a customization to their OPAC template opac/parts/hold_status.tt2 in the area of lines 53-59 to use HTML comments that disable the display of the queue information.


Baskets: No local call number in print out or email
Patrons using the catalog expect to be able to use the list, and one use would be to print out the call numbers to find the items on library shelves.



Allow patron to add preferred name

add 'preferred name' functionality to OPAC patron interface


wishlist 10/31/19  



Web Client: No Author in Copy Bucket Edit

cannot display Authors of works in the Item Buckets interface 


wishlist 10/31/19



Email Receipts for fines 

cannot currently email bill receipts to patrons desired functionality similar to email checkout receipts


wishlist. confirmed bug 10/31/19



Basket display problems mobile

Using a mobile device makes display of Advanced Search look bad and obscure use.


Possible AIM bug fix? 10/31/19



pcrud search can fail to retrieve rows that the user has access to Edit

In Acquisitions, everyone can see each others' messages.


confirmed, high importance 10/25/19



Due date box in check out has display issues at wider resolutions Edit

hard to use specific due date on wider screens


fix signed off on 10/22/19



Limit Acquisition Queue visibility by Location

Acq Queues have an individual owner but are not associated with locations


unconfirmed, possible duplicate of 1687805? 10/31/19

1783793, 1782027, 1810851


Web Client: Hold Activation Date Problem Edit

Changing activation date on a hold doesn't prevent it from being captured


medium importance 9/13/19



Web Client: Copy Creator and Editor Missing from Columns in Copy Editor Edit

This information can be found in the columns in Item Status but should be options in the copy editor as well.


undecided importance 10/31/19



Library Settings Editor History Feature Exposes Sensitive Data to Unauthorized Staff Edit

the history feature still has the bugs of not following the permission model used by the org. unit settings and of exposing data for locations outside of the current user's organizational unit ancestor hierarchy


high importance 3/19/19



vandelay: importing items without circulation modifiers always fails 

libraries cannot use the import items via Vandelay feature without significant editing in MarcEdit


unassigned as of 10/31/19



max holds enhancements Edit

wishlist:  restrict holds based on circulation modifier


unassigned as of 10/31/19



Wishlist: Upgrade to Stripe v3 (elements) Edit

Using Stripe for credit cards.


high importance 10/19



Missing links to secondary admin pages Edit

Upgrade to Angular admin pages caused some missing links to secondary admin pages.  There is a work around for now, but it's not intuitive.


new 10/31/19



Wish List: YAOUS for minimum online payment Edit

Set a minimum amount for credit card payment: there is a workaround, and SPARK should consider setting a minimum amount, maybe $1.00?


no action on bug since 2016 since there is a workaround



Patron Self Registration form needs captcha Edit

Patron Self Registration form needs captcha 


undecided importance 10/31/19



webstaff UX: default hold notification preferences for patrons confusingly presented Edit

Causes problems with Hold Preferences


fix in testing as of 10/31/19



Overdue fines not adjusted correctly on backdated lost items

When long lost items are returned, if they are back-dated, it causes problems.



Web Client: Patron Alerts not showing to staff from other libraires
Alerts only appear when logged in at location that created them.  Want alerts to appear at all orgs when a patron is retrieved.


non-title holds can be hidden from View Holds tab when bib changes

Effects volume level holds.  Causes them not to display.

39286 in EQ
Report templates can cause unconstrained fetches of large tables when creating new report
we had a short bit of downtime due to a report template creation that was effected by these bugs

in EQ
reporter template can misinterpret expected input for an aggregate filter
we had a short bit of downtime due to a report template creation that was effected by these bugs

title shows differently in catalog and item status
when printing labels, the different ordering of these fields can cause confusion


Checkin age based hold protected item may not fill fillable holds

Items with more than 100 holds consortiawide aren't filling properly and will send to the shelf, because it only checks the first 100 holds. 
Used our AIM priority for this bug Q4 of 2019.

bugs FIXED with help/input/resources from the SPARK community: 

Bug # (linked to launchpad)
SPARK support ticket #
Bug title
impact on SPARK
date added to SPARK bugs list
15031copy tags are being created with the a library short name in the label Edit
copy tag names repeat and get longer with each use
bugfix being added to SPARK Servers 10/30/19
Sort Priority not honored
Sort Priority in grids Sort Priority in grids
PaILS tested. Will be released with 3.4
177769815358Duplicate Barcode alert at  item creation for new barcodes users are unable to save the item with the new barcode because this duplicate barcode alert appears.
6/28/19fix committed to 3.1 through master 10/21/19
15517Add support for Fine Items (AV) field in Patron Information response message
8/9/2019original bug fixed, more movement would require more development from vendor. 9/16/19
15578 Billing Full Details Shows Blank Grid:

workaround is On the billing details screen, click on the drop down arrow to the right of Page 1. Click on Manage Columns. Click Close on the window that pops up. The data should now display. You have to do this EVERY Time.

fix merged to master back through rel_3_2 10/25/19

8. Organizational History

8.1. Timeline

Timeline of Events in the History of PaILS, SPARK, and Evergreen:

2011: PaILS Organization is born with a mission.

Libraries continue to make PA a better place while the SPARK Community grows and grows.

Pilot Libraries Join in 2011-2012

September 26-27, 2011:  Lawrence County Federated Library System

February 6, 2012: Susquehanna County Free Library Association

February 27, 2012: Green Free Library in Wellsboro

February 27, 2012: North Wales Area Library

February 27, 2012: Wyomissing Public Library

March 12-16, 2012: Cambria County Library System:  Beaverdale, Cambria County (Johnstown), Carrolltown, Cresson, Ebensburg, Gallitzin, Hastings, Highland, Lilly-Washington, Northern Cambria, Patton, Portage, and South Fork

April 9, 2012: Apollo Memorial Library

May 14, 2012: Juniata

May 17, 2012: Somerset County Federated Library System (Meyersdale, Somerset County, and Winber)

June 25-29, 2012: ???  Mahanoy City

2015: York County Libraries, Lackawanna County Library System, Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library, Ringtown Area Library, Frackville Free Public Library, Orwigsburg Area Free Public Library, Ashland Public Library, Tamaqua Public Library, Shamokin and Coal Township Public Library & Schuylkill Haven Free Public Library.

November 2017: Upgrade to Evergreen Version 2.11

March 23, 2017: Bedford County Libraries Go Live

May 18, 2017: Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity Go Live

June 15, 2017: Bangor Public Library Go Live

August 17, 2017: Tunkhannock Public Library Go Live

October 12, 2017: Lehigh Valley Libraries Go Live: Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton Go Live

December 2018: Scott Thomas resigns as Executive Director to move on to lead Lackawanna County.  

March 2019:  Carrie Cleary begins as Executive Director

March 21, 2019: Degenstein Go Live Day! 

April 2019: PaILS hosts the International Evergreen Conference in Valley Forge, PA.

May 23, 2019: Adams County Library System and Jean Barnet Trone Library Go Live on SPARK.   SPARK learned about dupilcate accounts when neighbors had a practice of scanning each other's library cards into the local system. 

June 20, 2019: Indian Valley Public Library Go Live on SPARK.  We learned the bookstore model and Shelving Locations, and patron barcode formats.

August 28,  2019:  Death of XUL for our community.  Upgrade to version 3.3.   Web Client only going forward.

September 12, 2019: Wayne and Pike Local Consortium joins SPARK Community with help from neighbors.

Oct 3, 2019: Ralpho Township Library checks out its last item using the Gaylord Book Charger.  Go Live on SPARK.

Want your library to be famous in the Community?  Ask how you can add your library's Go Live Date to this list or please add yourself if you have permission and see this page.

Contents of these Knowledge Books (Disclaimer)

1. Explanation and Disclaimer

How This Book is Organized.  (Or is it?)

General SPARK Support

3.3 Training: A place for 3.3 version trainings created during the upgrade and testing period.  That book is broken down by General Trainings, and Main Menu Headings.

Cataloging, Circulation, Reports, and ILL all have a Committee to support the contents and organization of these books.

The How-Tos and User Manuals are designed for workflow instructions that might help another library.

Disclaimers:  This documentation was created by non-experts and is intended for use by members of the SPARK Community.  We're happy to share with other Evergreen Community members too.  This documentation can only be used for good.   

Who made the contents here? :  Some were paid staff of PaILS, some were paid staff of our vendors, some were paid staff of member libraries doing volunteer work, some were products of committee work, some were independent projects and discoveries, and some worked under an MOU contract and were paid for their time spent making documentation.

Some submissions are credited, some are not.  We are learning together the rules of what we can post and what we shouldn't. 

If you want to better organize these books, or write for them, please apply--ask the Committee Leads for details.

Always note: The views and opinions expressed here are sometimes in a draft format.  People who create this documentation are held accountable for their actions, make mistakes sometimes, but are aiming to improve.

We also have a behind the scenes Staff Only book.  This is where documentation goes to die when we hide it, move it, or if it may have information we don't want to share publicly.

2. SPARK Staff Only

SPARK aims to empower its users, but there are some things that library staff cannot or should not do on their own because it could impact the whole system. 

Note: Generally, staff permissions should be set so that they are not allowed to do things that SPARK does not advise them to do.

Anytime staff recommends that there is a task that a library can't/shouldn't do on their own, but that SPARK staff can do it or refer Equinox to do it, we should update it on this list here.

This page is a place to capture the complete list of tasks that SPARK staff should do, rather than local library staff. 

An aim is to have a list of things only staff can do and a good reason why libraries can't/shouldn't do it themselves.

SPARK Staff can do this, but Local Libraries Should Not/Can't

  • Changing Policies: A library should not change their own circulation policies because even a small change can effect the whole system.  (maybe someday, our more advanced staff can do this?)
  • Update the Text for Print Notices:  This is a change that is done at the server level.  Currently SPARK staff notify Equinox staff to complete this on behalf of a library request.
  • Update the OPAC (you need server access for this)  SPARK Staff can, but aren't well-versed in it yet, so mostly these changes are referred to our vendor.

Things that SPARK staff can't do that our Vendor/Host must ALWAYS do for us:

  • Refresh the services, restart opensrf or SQL.
  • Change the wording on print notices that generate.
  • Establish SIP2 Connections: set up the server
  • Delete a patron barcode after it has been merged to another account
  • Update the Zip Code files.   In order to add a new ZIP code to automatically populate, Equinox edits the zips.txt file on the server, pushes out the change, and restarts the search service.




1. Add Your Presentation Here

If you did a presentation and want to share it, ask us how.  We can upload it for you.  Ask Support. 

Share more; have more.

2. SPARKing Resource Sharing: PaLA 2019 Shine On in Erie

At PaLA 2019, PaILS presented a workshop with members of the SPARK Community entitled SPARKing Relationships & Resource Sharing. 

Download the slides and reference documents from our presentation at Pennsylvania Library Association below.

Thanks to all of those who volunteered to share in the creation of this content.

You can use this link to sign up to watch the recording of the "dress rehearsal" of the presentation that our group did.  (The actual presentation was better, but this gives you an idea of what our group sounded like.)

3. Networking Game: Pat Wagner

Before you attend a conference or a meeting with colleagues, it's good to brush up on your Networking skills.

You can watch a 60 minute webinar by Pat Wagner to get some tips and tricks to help you be confident and ready to meet and build working relationships with new people.

Sign up at the link to get access to watch the video:

Download the slides here.