Confusing things about Polaris for new members or new staff


Wes Osborn

This article is a good starting point to help demystifying some of Polaris’ more confusing workflows or settings. These are the questions that CLC commonly get asked after performing a Polaris migration.

  • CLC has a series of Overview/Housekeeping documents that are a good starting point for understanding Polaris and CLC’s specific configuration choices
  • Most circulation policies are controlled by the patron code and the item’s material type, fine code and loan period code
    • The item’s collection code does NOT control any circulation policies - although it DOES influence floating behavior
  • When and item has fulfilled a hold request, it is possible to have a different status on the Hold Record than the associated Item record
    • For example, an unclaimed item on the hold shelf (patron did not pick-up) would have a Hold request status of Unclaimed HOWEVER, the item record CIRCULATION status will still show as Held until the item is checked in
  • Excluding patrons from overdues means they won’t get billed and items won’t go to lost
  • Not all members participate in shared patron account access
    • You won’t see their patron records when searching
    • But if you scan the barcode at CKO it WILL work, staff should be trained NOT to accept cards from non-participating locations
  • Circulation rules are governed by the CKO location
    • For example, fines calculated from the original checkout (or latest renewal branch), NOT where the item is returned
    • However, number of allowed renewals is always controlled by owning library
  • If a item is owned by the library and their patron has a request on the item, that request will jump to the top of the queue
  • It is not always possible to FORCE an item status change by only editing the item record
    • For example, you can’t force edit the item status from Out to In, you must FIRST CKI the item record through the normal check-in procedures
  • Why are two different bibs causing a duplicate hold error for a patron?
  • Polaris has a method of controlling editing of records by more than one person at the same time: When I try to access a record in Polaris, I receive the following message: This record is being modified by Username.
  • Members should always post their bills even if they don’t intend to print them. To post a bill, simply access the bill from a Polaris Desktop client and then when prompted if you’d like to post the bills to the database, say yes. Posting the bills helps transition the items to lost and avoids situations where text messages get stuck: Repeated Add'l Text Messages for Fines

#keywords: weird