Merlin Reporting Tools  

The Innovative software has a few different ways of generating statistics.  Two very powerful tools for running reports include the Sierra Create Lists (Review Files) and Statistics functions, and Web Management Reports (WMR).  The lesser-known Cataloging Session Statistics provides some basic reporting.

  • Cataloging Session Statistics - records created / modified / deleted per session or by user defined dates.  Staff can access these statistics by clicking on Session Stats on the Millennium Cataloging toolbar. 
  • Web Management Reports - Reports on fixed codes or call number that can be limited by library collection, physical location, and time period.
  • Sierra Create Lists - Used to run subsets of the database based on record codes and date ranges.
  • Sierra Statistics - useful for gathering current data on authority, bibliographic, item, and patron records (cannot pull data from deleted records).

Reports Provided Monthly for All Libraries

NWLS provides the following monthly reports for member libraries:

  • Annual report statistics broken down by circulation for adult and children, nonresident users, and interlibrary loans.
  • Media statistics on circulation of fiction, nonfiction, audio, movies, etc.  (Media statistics include the bulk loans and interlibrary loans to other library systems that are checked out from the library.)
  • Electronic Resources Reports - NWLS provides reports on usage of shared library databases including LearningExpress, Ancestry Library Edition, WorldCat,  OverDrive, EBSCO, and Heritage Quest:  

Custom Reports Available by Request

Listed below are some of the common reports run by NWLS on behalf of the libraries:

  • Collection weeding reports
  • Collection insurance reports
  • Inventory reports
  • Collection reports for items based on any given status code
  • Patron Reports (by county, township, patron type) 

NWLS staff prefers to run statistical reports on behalf of libraries whenever possible for several reasons: 

  • There are a limited number of available Review Files.
  • The nature of the reports can be cumbersome to navigate and Web Management Report search criteria can be confusing for those who are unfamiliar with the program or the record codes .
  • There are  two different WMR programs. One uses an outdated plugin, making it a challenge to access with current versions of Java.
  • When Merlin codes change, the results from previous years are affected.
  • While libraries feel they lose some control or autonomy from not running their own reports, Merlin members also gain from being provided data that is tested and accurate.