Notices, generating and sending

Last Updated On November 08, 2019
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General Notes

To prepare, send, or otherwise work with notices,

  1. Open Sierra
  2. Select the Notices function from the upper-right dropdown. You may need to scroll down to see it.

Whenever you print notices, make sure the appropriate printer is selected as the Form printer.  To do this, Click File, Select Printer, Form Printer.  Click on local printer, find the printer in the list you want to use and select it.  You may NOT use a receipt printer.

Saving Notice Jobs

In the Notices function, you will create and save notice jobs.  When it is time to run notices you will select the job (notice type) to run, prepare notices and send notices.  Saving jobs will save time as you will only need to input all your notice parameters once.

To start a Notice job, in the Notices mode, click on New at the top of the screen.

The New Job screen will open.

Choose the Notice type for the job you are preparing.

Make sure the Location is your library.

Select the Options for the notice type you are creating.

Select an Email subject if appropriate.

When all options are set, click the Save icon at the top of the screen.

You will be asked to name the job.  Use names you are familiar with: Title paging list, Item paging slips, Overdue 1, Overdue 2, Overdue 3, Bills, Hold Pickups, Hold Cancellations, Statement of Charges.

Click Prepare, which is in the top right of the screen.

The notices will generate; send email notices, TNS notices and print notices as they come up. After each sending type you will be given the choice to Resend or Finish Printing.

For email and TNS notices, click Finish Printing. If you click Resend, you will send a duplicate set of notices. For print notices, wait to confirm the notices were printed, then click Finish Printing. If something happened between the workstation and the printer and the notices did not print, identify and fix the problem, then click Resend. This will send the current group of notices to the printer again. When printing is successful, click Finish Printing.

When the notices are done, click Close in the upper right corner

NOTE: After the upgrade to Sierra 4.0 in July 2018, the first time you run any notice and click Close you will see a screen telling you data has changed and ask if you want to save. Click YES even though you didn’t change anything. This is a one-time step-through of settings for this notice type and once it is done this pop-up won’t appear again. You will need to do this for every notice job you have saved. If you click No this message will continue to pop-up until you say yes.

You will be prompted to save your printer selection, email address if applicable, and the name of the job – the current one will be in the name box, so all you need to do is Save.

You will be back at the main notices screen, which will now have the job you just saved.

Sending Saved Notices

The next time you need to run that notice job, click on that line to highlight it, then click Prepare.  The notice will run with no further work needed.  The last column in the line lists the last date and time that notice was sent, so you can keep track of what needs to be done.

Once you have all your notice jobs saved you will find this a real time saver.

Each login has its own list of saved notice jobs; you won’t see any belonging to another library.

Tips:  If you get unexpected results, check your notice type.  If you named the job Item paging slips but the Notice Type is Bib paging list, you will get your list and not your slips.  You can correct this by clicking on the line with the notice job and clicking Edit.  Make the correction to the Notice type and click Save.  If you Click Save as, you will have created a new notice job.

If there are no notices to send, the Last time sent will not be updated; this records the last time that notices were actually sent.

Once all notices have been sent, you can see detailed information by clicking on one of the tabs on the side.

Items Not Sent lists any notice that could not be sent. If you have anything listed here, open an IFLS Helpdesk ticket and list the information in this tab. This means that there is an error either in the loan rule assigned to that item or in the patron record the notice is attempting to go to.

Emails lists the notices that were sent by email. Each entry includes the patron name and title; other information depends on the type of notice.

Summary lists the number and type of notice sent; for bills it includes the type of charge and total amount included in all bills sent. See specific notice types below for examples.

Paging Lists and Slips

Title Paging

Every library must print BOTH a Title Paging List and Item Paging Slips every time they print pages.  An Item paging list may be printed instead of item paging slips if preferred, but both titles and items must be printed at least once a day.

NOTE: Print your Title Paging List as close to the time you will retrieve the items as possible, as holds will be filled on checkin anywhere else in the system.  If more than 2 hours elapses before going to the shelves, discard the list and print a new one.

  1. Select your saved Paging Lists notice job
  2. Click “Prepare”
  3. If you do Not want the list to clear once you send notices, check the box in front of Do Not Clear (the list will remain on the screen; since a title paging list can be reprinted at any time, a good reason for doing this is unknown).
  4. Click “Send Notices”
  5. In the pop-up window asking to Reprint or Finish Printing, click Finish Printing once the printout is complete.  Unlike Item pages, a Title list can be re-printed at any time.
  6. Title Paging printing is now finished.  Click Close.

Item Paging

Item pages are only attached to those records that have volume fields, or if someone requested a particular copy. The IFLS ILL office places item level holds on materials so they can maintain their rotation of libraries when making requests. Those appear with a pickup location of “Checkout to ILL.”

You can choose whether to print item paging slips or an item paging list.

  • We recommend using item paging slips instead of the list to make it easier to fill ILL holds (pickup location = Checkout to ILL). These ILL holds will likely make up the majority of your item-level holds. All the information you need to check the item out to the appropriate library will be on the slip. To print item paging slips:
    1. NOTE:  Please make sure you change your Form Printer to Local Printer, then choose your printer, so the slips go to a printer and not email.
    2. For notice type, click Item Paging Slips.
    3. Including the telephone number is the default.  Leave the box checked.
    4. Click “Prepare”
    5. When they are listed, click “Send Notices”
    6. In the pop-up window asking to Reprint or Finish Printing, click Finish Printing once the printout is complete, after confirming that all paging slips have printed.  If the slips did not print correctly, click Resend to try again. Once Finish Printing is clicked, you will not be able to retrieve them, so use caution.
    7. Paging slips printing is now finished.  Click Close.
  • The item paging list will have the hold note with request number on it, but it does not list the name of the person or library requesting the item; you would have to look this up for each item that has Checkout to ILL as a pickup location. To print an item paging list, follow the above instructions for title paging lists, choosing “Item Paging List” from the drop-down menu.  The rest of the steps are the same.

Hold Cancellations

Hold Cancellation Notices are sent by the system as auto-notices each evening. They are automatically queued for printing when items are cleared off the holdshelf.  There may also be notices for cancelled holds if a staff member clicked “Print hold cancellation notice” when cancelling a hold through Sierra.  This will happen when a library with the last remaining copy of an item can no longer provide that item and must cancel the hold, per the MORE procedure for holds that cannot be filled.

Patrons with an email address as their Notice Preference type will receive individual cancellation notices by email. All other notices will be sent to the library email address on file. If you wish to change this email address or add another one, open a Helpdesk ticket with the address to be changed/added. Someone at each library needs to be responsible for viewing these notices and taking note of the message, which will indicate why the hold was cancelled.  You can then follow up with your patron as your local practice dictates.

In your list of notice jobs, see that the Hold Cancellation notice has Auto set to Yes. Do Not edit or delete this notice job. The login being used is your library two letter code followed by super. This is the login used by the system when running auto-notices. The information in Last Time Sent is the same as any other notice; it will display the last time there were cancellations notices sent for you library.

Hold Pick-Ups

Select your saved hold pick-up notice job.

Leave the default setting for location.  Click “Prepare.”

Email notices will come up first.  Click Send.

In the pop-up window asking to Resend or Finish Printing, click Finish Printing.

Now the notices to be sent to TNS will be listed.  If you use TNS, click Send.  In the pop-up window, click Finish Printing.

If you do not use TNS, click Move to Print Queue.  You will be asked if you are sure you want to move the telephone notices to print.  Click Yes.

Now all the notices to be sent to print are listed.

PLEASE NOTE:  If you send your print hold pickups to your library email, you must CLOSE here and select the email printer.

  • To do this, Click Close.
  • From the file menu, click on Select Printer.
  • Click on Standard Printer.

  • From the next window, click on E-mail Printer.

  • In the next window type in the email address you want the notices to go to.

  • Click OK.

Click on Prepare Notices again.  Only the print queue is left, and that is what will show.

Click Send.

In the pop-up window click Finish Printing.

Hold Pickup Notices are now done.  Click Close to go to another notice type or to go to another function.

NOTE:  If you are going to print another notice type that needs to go to a real printer, you must change the printer back to your system or local printer.

  • From File, click Select Printer.
  • Click Standard Printer.
  • Click on your System or Local Printer.
  • Click OK.

Overdues

Level 1

Select your saved Overdue 1 notice job.

Click “Prepare”

Wait while the notices are prepared.

When they are done, you will see this screen.  The notices to be emailed will be first on the screen.  You can see how many patrons will be receiving notices and how many items each patron has overdue.  Click Send Notices.

NOTE:  If you don’t want to email, click Move to Print Queue before Send.

A pop-up window will ask if you want to Resend or Finish Printing. Click Finish Printing.

To see the emailed notices, click on the Emails tab.

To print this list, click Print on the top right of the screen.

You will now see the number of notices that can be sent by TNS (Telephone Notification System).  If you are using TNS, click Send.  If you are not using TNS, click Move to Print Queue.

In the pop-up window asking to Resend or Finish Printing, click Finish Printing.

You will then see all the notices to be sent to print.  Click Send.

In the pop-up window to Resend or Finish Pringing, confirm that they printed and then click Finish Printing. If something went wrong and you need to print again, click Resend, then when done, click Finish Printing.

If you click on the summary tab, this is an example of the type of information you will see:

Level 1 Overdue notices are now finished.  Click Close.

Level 2

Select your saved level 2 overdue notice job.  Follow the same steps, only this time send all email and TNS notices to the Print Queue and print them out.  In other words, do not send 2nd overdue notices via email or phone, only mail.  This is because patrons should have a tangible notification that they will be billed for the item if it is not returned. Check shelves to make sure the items have not been returned, and check the item price for accuracy before you send the notices out.  This way should the item go to billed status all information is accurate.

Level 3

This step is necessary to generate a bill, but is performed automatically by the system on a daily basis. No need for staff to take any action.

Bills

Select your saved bills notice job.

This will generate bills for any patrons that have not returned items owned by your library once they have reached the circulating library’s maximum days overdue.

To have all notices for one patron together, sort notices by patron name.

If you wish to include the total amount owed, check that box.

Click “Prepare”

NOTE:  It is MORE policy that all bills are printed and mailed.  If you should have notices come up for email, move them to print.  Bills are not sent by TNS.

When the notices are listed, click Send Notices.

In the pop-up window asking to Resend or Finish Printing, confirm printing was successful and click Finish Printing. If something went wrong and you need to print again, click Resend, then when done, click Finish Printing.

In the summary tab, here is an example of the type of information you will see regarding this notice job:

Bills are now finished.  Click Close.

NOTE:  Once the bill is printed, the system will not automatically print out another notice for these items.

Courtesy Notices

Implemented in January 2017 following a MORE Directors Council vote in November 2016, these notices are meant to inform patrons that their checked-out items are nearly due. They are automatically sent via email at 9pm each evening to all patrons with eligible items .

Notes:

  • Notices are sent 2 full days before the due date of 7-day loans, and 3 full days before the due date of 14- and 21-day loans. Items with shorter loan periods, including Lucky Day DVDs, do not generate courtesy notices
  • The source email address for these notices is the owning library of the first item appearing on the notice
  • Patrons cannot opt out or unsubscribe from receiving these notices, but they can filter or set an email rule for these messages. For more information on filtering email messages, you can direct patrons to the Help documentation from the online catalog: http://www.more.lib.wi.us/screens/help_pages.html#courtesy
  • The system will attempt to send to any patron with an email address in their record, regardless of their notice preference
  • A maximum of 3 items appear on a courtesy notice. One or more separate notices will be sent if more than 3 items warrant courtesy notices.

Statements of Charges

Statements of Charges are bills for any outstanding charges on a patron’s record, including fines, lost and replacements bills and any manual charges.  Some libraries print these quarterly, some twice a year.

From the Notices screen, select your saved Statement of Charges notice job.

Click “Prepare” or “Edit” to change the previously-specified notice parameters.  If editing:

  • The default location will be your library; leave it there.  This means you will be sending a statement to any patron that owes money on your library’s materials.
  • Under Options, you can use the default range of all patron records, or change Range to Review if you have created a list of specific patrons you want to send statements to.

  • You can limit by P Type if you have a reason to; if you want to send statements only to ILL patrons, for example, or just the ptypes you regularly use.
  • You can limit statements to charges incurred either before or after a certain date; fill those in if you want to.
  • You can specify an amount owed; most libraries use $10.00 as that is the point at which patrons are blocked.  NOTE:  statements are generated for every patron that owes any money on your materials; this could be a very long list, even at $10.00, so you may want to choose a higher amount to lower the number of notices printed.
  • If you want the telephone number to print on the notice, check that box.
  • If you want to include the total amount owed, not just those charges from your library’s materials, check that box.
  • You can choose an email subject line if you are going to send notices by email.
  • Highlight the subject you’d like to use (4) and click OK.
  • If you wish to sort the notices, click Sort by and enter your fields.

Once all your options have been selected, or after selecting your saved notice job, click Prepare notices.

The notices to be emailed will show first; click Send Notices.  Click Finish Printing when that screen pops up.  If you wish to look at or print the list of emailed notices, click the Emails tab to see the list.  Click the Print icon on the top of the screen if you wish to print it, but note that the total amount owed will not appear in the email you receive, even if you check the box so that it appears on the patrons’ notices.

The notices to print will now be listed.  You can scroll down to the end of the list to see how many there are before sending them to print.

Click Send Notices; when they are done, click Finish Printing in the pop-up box.  Unlike other circulation notices, statements of charges do not disappear once you have cleared them.  They are always there as long there are charges on patron records, and you can print them whenever you want to.

Unsuccessful TNS Notices

At 9 p.m. each Sunday through Thursday, two emails will be delivered to MORE’s TNS email list from “catalog [at] iflsweb.org” with the subject line “[Tns] FTS MAIL.”  Typically, one email will contain overdue notices and the other will contain hold pickup notices, though sometimes there are none of one type or the other to send. If there are no notices to send, no email is delivered.

MORE’s automated calling system (TNS or Teleforms) attempted to deliver these notices to patrons, but was unsuccessful after 3 attempts.

Your library should:

  1. View the emails, usually one with overdue notices and the other with hold pickup notices.  On some days, there may be no unsuccessfully-delivered notices.
  2. These are notices coming from your library to notify patrons that they have your items overdue or holds to pick up at your library.
    • If your email client supports it, use the “Find” function to search for your library’s name as it appears on your notices’ return address. For example, when viewing a message in Gmail, use Ctrl+f to open a “find” function above and to the right of the message. Type in the beginning of your library’s name to pick out the notices for your patrons or those with your library’s items overdue:
    • Otherwise, scroll through the batch for notices with your library’s name and address at the top.
  3. Attempt to contact those patrons who should have receved a notice from your library, either by phone or by printing and mailing the notices(s).
  4. To prevent further unsuccessful TNS notices, you may need to correct the phone number listed in a patron’s record. You might also remind patrons of other notice delivery options: email and text

Other Notices

You can also print out Manual Charges, just Fines, or just Adjustments (fines or bills that have been changed) at any time.