Sierra Circulation Holds FAQ

Title Holds

What is a Title Hold?

A Title hold is a request placed on the copy returned soonest when there is a record with many copies attached belonging to Merlin libraries. All of the copies are checked out and the first item checked in will be able to fill the request.

How does Automatic Title Holds work?

A priority table is used to fill requests placed online and in Sierra. If there are copies available, the table will determine which library will be notified to fill the hold. When the library checks in the item, the the Title hold is transferred to an Item hold and the patron is notified.

How do I place a title hold?

Select "copy returned soonest" to place a hold on the bib (title) record and choose "Page for title" to notify the library.

What causes a hold to be blocked?
The following conditions can block a hold:
  • The account has reached the maximum of twenty holds
  • The account has been billed for an overdue item
  • The account has a reached the maximum amount owed in fines. 
How do I fill a title hold?

Check in each item on the title paging list. When prompted, choose “Fulfill hold”. Be sure to check in books after they're cataloged and processed before shelving them. They may have holds.

What if my library cannot fill a request?

If the requested item's status changes to checked out or missing, the request will move on to another library. If an item is lost, change the item status (missing, in repair, etc.) If you are the only location, please notify the pickup location library. A page remains at a library for 90 hours until one of the following scenarios occurs:

  • The paged library fills the hold.
  • Another library fills the hold.
  • The hold is modified so that it is limited to one location.
  • The hold no longer exists.
  • The status is modified (checked out, missing, etc.)
Why do duplicate titles display on my list when I own only one copy?

Multiple patrons (in a book club for example) may request the title on the same day. The holds are not dispersed to different libraries, but once your copy is scanned in, the requests will move to another library.

Will my patrons still have preference for my items?

Yes. When your items are checked in, the system checks the bib hold list for your patrons before filling the first hold in the hold queue.

Is there a way to limit a hold to locally owned items?

Yes. If a patron prefers to wait for one of your copies to become available, you can place a "copy returned soonest" hold and limit the location to your library (beneath the pickup location) to prevent other libraries from filling the hold.

What are some of the features of automatic title holds?

• A priority table gives the pickup location highest priority.
• Requests automatically move to other owning libraries.
• The automated procedures for placing holds saves staff time.
• A priority table can be set up for efficiently filling holds and to skip libraries temporarily closed for remodeling.
• Holds placed on the OPAC for titles with series, volumes, or parts automatically prompt patrons to choose the item they need.

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Managing Holds

When do I place item holds?

Always place bib holds to make sure your patron received the copy returned soonest.

How do I check on an old request?

Contact a library with an item available and ask if they would fill the hold.

What if my library cannot fill a request?

If the title on the paging list is no longer available at your library, the request is automatically moved to the next library on the priority list. If status changes to checked out or missing, the request will move on to another library in three days. To move the request quicker, check in the barcode and select “check in, do not fulfill hold” and change the item status to "missing".)

How can I rush a particular request?

Place a "copy returned soonest" hold and choose not to page for the title. The library that agrees to fill the hold should scan the item a.s.a.p.

Is there a way to place a title hold that guarantees my patron receives only my copies?

Place a “copy returned soonest” hold and limit the location to your library (beneath the pickup location) to prevent other libraries from filling the hold.

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Paging Lists

What are the procedures for printing paging lists?

Both Item and Title paging lists will need to be printed every day from the web notices folder.

Can a hold be on both the Item list and the Title list?

Item requests will show up on an Item paging list. Title requests will show up on a Title paging list. Note: Placing both an item and a title hold for the same patron may cause damage to the records.

Why do checkins trigger holds that didn't display my paging list?

Your item was the first one scanned. Any items attached to a bib record can fill a bib hold. The copy returned (or checked in) soonest will fill the hold.

Which fields print on the title paging list?
  • Location
  • Call Number (for the item in your library)
  • Bib record number
  • Author
  • Title*
  • Publisher
  • Publication Date
  • Number
  • Part
  • Media

Example:
Washburn 635.9 DUN b14875573
Planting green roofs and living walls / Nigel Dunnett and Noël Kingsbury.
Portland, Or. : Timber Press, 2004.

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