Sierra Circulation Patron Accounts

Circulation includes functions for staff to create patron records, circulate materials, manage holds, and assessing and reconciling fines. The following circulation training guides are available:

Circulation Procedures

Working with patron accounts and circulation transactions requires following standard procedures. A full circulation manual, quick guides and FAQs are available for reference to important procedures.

Merlin Patron Record Codes

Patron record information is coded for generating reports and unique library rules and preferences:

  • Patron record codes influence reports, loan rules, notice preferences and access to other programs such as BadgerLink, OverDrive and Pharos.
  • OverDrive blocks patrons with money owed over $10, an expiration date that has expired, or any of the following Patron Status (PStat) codes: c (inst/business), g (Library ILL), i (School ILL), l (Bulk Loan), v (Visitor), w (No OverDrive Access).  For non-Wisconsin residents use the PStat code W unless they meet the Wisconsin Department of Transportation residency guidelines which include exceptions for individuals who work in Wisconsin, attend a Wisconsin school, or have and account with a Wisconsin financial institution. 
  • Changes to addresses and home library fields may require editing of Township, County or Patron Type codes.

Municipality Codes:

  • Used in annual reports to determine circulation totals for resident, non-resident and interlibrary loan transactions
  • The jurisdiction of the residence for which taxes are paid determines the municipality, county and address used for the account.
  • Use the American Fact Finder database to determine the municipality of a given address, referred to as the "County Subdivision" in the results table.

Temporary Cards:

  • Online temporary patron accounts are given a Patron Type code of Online (117) which limits service to two requests.
  • To activate full circulation privileges staff will need to give the new account a valid Patron Type, County, Township, and Barcode before checking out items. To delete the "temporary" alert message, right click on the message and select "delete field."

Merlin Standards

The Merlin Consortium has established standard practices that must be followed to protect patron confidentiality, database stability, and resource sharing services.

Record Maintenance

Routine record maintenance will be performed on a regular basis.