Placing Holds

Last Updated On October 03, 2019
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Holds, or requests, can be placed either through the MORE Online Catalog or through Sierra.  In general, we recommend using the MORE Online Catalog to place holds for patrons. With the addition of required pins in October 2019 it may be more practical to use Sierra.

Holds are filled in a combination of ways. If the pickup location of the patron placing a hold owns a copy of the title requested, the patron goes into a shorter list of of patrons with that same home library, and they are filled in the order they were placed. If the patron’s pickup location does not own the title, holds are listed in the order they were placed, and filled when a copy becomes available, meaning a library owning the title has filled all their patrons’ holds. The holds queue stays in the same order unless it is manually adjusted by library or MORE staff members. This is rare, and done when a hold is accidentally cancelled or a damaged item is involved.

Sierra has two different hold types: bib-level holds (also called “bibliographic,” “title,” or “copy returned soonest” holds) when any copy attached to that record can fill the hold, and item-level holds when a specific copy is requested (this is most often necessary when volume fields are in use).

Placing Holds in Sierra Webinar, October 2019 (submit a help desk ticket for password)


Bib-level holds

Most holds are placed at the bib- (biblographic) or title-level.  These holds are associated with bib records: the catalog entries that represent a work or title.  Item records are the catalog entries that represent copies of a work.  Item records are attached to bib records in Sierra.  Bib-level holds can be fulfilled by any copy or item attached to the associated bib record.

Placing bib-level holds in the MORE Online Catalog

This is the most fool-proof way of placing holds when patrons would like to receive the next available copy of a title. For those libraries that place holds on behalf of their patrons, staff will need to get permission from those patons to have a record of their pin number so placing the hold can be accomplished.

Request actions

  • Use the “Request Now” button to request individual titles from the list of search results

  • Use the “Request” button to request individual titles from the full record display or from My Lists

  • Use the “Request from Cart” button to request one or more titles from a cart

Authentication actions

  • If you’re not logged in, you’ll be prompted to enter the requesting patron’s barcode number and pin, along with a library pick-up location.  This works as one-time authentication to place the hold, but the patron is not logged into My Account.

  • If you are logged in, you will only be prompted to change the default pickup location if necessary.  The default pickup location is the “Home Library” value in the patron record.
  • If the patron does not want the item after a certain date, check the box in front of “I have a deadline for this material.” Then fill in the date after which the patron would no longer want the item. This changes the “not needed after” date in the hold, and the hold will cancel on that date.

Viewing and modifying holds via My Account

Once logged in, patrons can view and make some changes to their holds from My Account.

The pick-up location can be changed from the patron’s holds list after the hold is placed and before it is in transit to fill the patron’s hold.

Patrons will also see a “CANCEL IF NOT FILLED BY” date for each hold.  If the hold is not filled before that date, it is automatically cancelled.  Staff can change this date by accessing the hold in Sierra, selecing “Modify hold” and changing the “Not after” date.

Patrons can freeze selected holds from their holds list.  They can also cancel and view the catalog record from here.

Holds table

Placing bib-level holds in Sierra

Starting from a title or bib. record

Look up a title using the Search/Holds or Catalog function.

From the Summary tab, choose “Hold” from the View dropdown and select “Hold Copy Returned Soonest”

or from the Bib-Level Holds tab, choose “Add Patron”

 

Search for the patron for whom to place the hold

Make the proper selections on the “Place a Title-level Hold” screen

  • Verify that the Patron is correct
  • Choose the proper Pickup Location if it’s not selected by default
  • Do not make any Limit to Location selection
  • Enter a Not Wanted Before date if the patron does not want their hold to be filled before a certain date.  Note that this is similar to freezing a hold, but the hold will be “un-frozen” on a date you specify.  Currently, patrons are not able to select a “not wanted before” date when placing holds in the Online Catalog.
  • Leave the Not Wanted After date as-is, unless you are re-placing a cancelled hold
  • It is usually not necessary to add a Hold Note, but do so if you want staff checking in the item that will fill this hold to see a message.  Include your initials, library code, and today’s date.
  • Select ‘OK’

If the item being requested has a restricted pickup location (meaning it is something that must be picked up and returned to the owning library) you will see a note stating that the home pickup restricted locations are indicated with an asterick. The library concerned will be in the pickup location box (see Eau Claire below as an example), but Sierra will let you change that. Do NOT change a restricted pickup location! Select OK to continue.

Restricted pickup

If there is an available item you will be asked if you want to Page for Title. You must click Page for title. If you do not, the owning library will not see this on their paging list and will not know anyone has requested it (the result of clicking Do NOT page). If you click Cancel, the hold will be cancelled.

Page for Title

 

You will see the patron’s hold as a line on the Bib-Level Holds tab.

Starting from a patron record

Access a patron record from the Check Out (Circulation Desk) function.  From the Holds tab, select Add Holds

Search and find the appropriate title.  Fron the title’s Summary tab, select “Hold Copy Returned Soonest”

Make the proper selections on the “Place a Title-level Hold” screen

  • Verify that the Patron is correct
  • Choose the proper Pickup Location if it’s not selected by default
  • Do not make any Limit to Location selection
  • Enter a Not Wanted Before date if the patron does not want their hold to be filled before a certain date.  Note that this is similar to freezing a hold, but the hold will be “un-frozen” on a date you specify.  Currently, patrons are not able to select a “not wanted before” date when placing holds in the Online Catalog.
  • Leave the Not Wanted After date as-is, unless you are re-placing a cancelled hold
  • It is usually not necessary to add a Hold Note, but do so if you want staff checking in the item that will fill this hold to see a message.  Include your initials, library code, and today’s date.
  • Select ‘OK’

If there is an available item you will be asked if you want to Page for Title. You must click Page for title. If you do not, the owning library will not see this on their paging list and will not know anyone has requested it (the result of clicking Do NOT page). If you click Cancel, the hold will be cancelled.

Page for Title

You will see the patron’s hold as a line on their Holds tab.


Item-Level Holds

A patron’s bib-level hold becomes an item-level hold once the patron reaches the top of the holds queue and a library checks in a copy of the paged title, either from its title paging list, or as a return from another patron.

You will then see the patron’s hold on the “Item-Level Holds” tab within a record in Sierra rather than on the “Bib-Level Holds” tab.  At that point, only that particular copy of the title requested by the patron can fill the patron’s hold.

When checked in at the patron’s designated pick-up library, the item takes a status of “on holdshelf,” and the patron has 7 days (this is the general amount of time allowed, but some libraries have shorter holdshelf times on certain items) on which the library is open to retrieve the hold and have it checked out to his or her library account.

If the patron does not pick up the hold within the designated time, the item will appear on the pick-up library’s clear holdshelf report, which cancels the patron’s item-level hold.  The pick-up library needs to check in the item and route it appropriately.  If the item is not checked in, the item-level hold is cancelled, but the item’s status remains “on holdshelf.”  The system has no location information on such items, so they end up on the monthly system-wide search list.

It is appropriate to place holds at the item level if you want a specific copy of a title to fill a hold.  For example, place an item-level hold:

  • to get your library’s checked-out copy of an item back to change a call number
  • to get multiple copies of one title for a book club
  • to get a particular item from a serial record: the July issue of National Geographic or Fodor’s Los Angeles 2008

Item-level holds do not take precidence over bib-level holds.  All holds–either item- or bib-level holds–are filled in the order they were placed, unless the holds queue is manually adjusted by a library or MORE staff member.

Placing item-level holds in the MORE Online Catalog

For any item with information in the “Volume” field–serials like magazines or travel guides published in different years–it is most appropriate to place item-level holds.  In the Online Catalog, the system requires you to do this by prompting users to select a particular copy on which to place their hold.

Besides that step, placing item-level holds in the Online Catalog works much like placing bib-level holds.

Placing item-level holds in Sierra

Starting from a title or bib. record

Look up a title using the Search/Holds or Catalog function.  From the Summary tab, find and select the item you wish to request, then:

  • select “Hold Selected Item”

  • or, from the Item-Level Holds tab, choose “Add Patron”

Search for the patron for whom to place the hold

If the item is available, select “Place Hold; print paging slip” from the “Place Hold for an Available Item” dialog box. That means the owning library will get paged for the item. It doesn’t mean that anything will be printed at your library:

Make the proper selections on the “Place an Item-level Hold” screen

  • Verify that the Patron is correct
  • Choose the proper Pickup Location if it’s not selected by default
  • Enter a Not Wanted Before date if the patron does not want their hold to be filled before a certain date.  Note that this is similar to freezing a hold, but the hold will be “un-frozen” on a date you specify.  Currently, patrons are not able to select a “not wanted before” date when placing holds in the Online Catalog.
  • Leave the Not Wanted After date as-is, unless you are re-placing a cancelled hold
  • It is usually not necessary to add a Hold Note, but do so if you want staff checking in the item that will fill this hold to see a message.  Include your initials, library code, and today’s date.
  • Select ‘OK’

If the item is checked out and overdue, select “Place hold without recall.” (A recall is a message that can be sent by Sierra to the patron with the item checked out and overdue when an item-level hold is placed on that item. We don’t recommend this option as it tends to be more confusing than helpful.)

You will see the patron’s hold as a line on the Item-Level Holds tab.

Starting from a patron record

Access a patron record from the Check Out (Circulation Desk) function. From the Holds tab, select Add Holds

Search and find the appropriate title.  From the title’s Summary tab, find and select the item you want to request, then select “Hold Selected Item.”

Please be mindful when selecting an item to place a hold on. Look carefully at the Due Date column and select an item that is Available. Anything else in that field will mean the patron will wait longer than necessary for the item. Do not always select libraries at the top of the alphabet; give them a break and scroll down a bit.

If the item is available, select “Place Hold; print paging slip” from the “Place Hold for an Available Item” dialog box. That means the owning library will get paged for the item. It doesn’t mean that anything will be printed at your library:

Make the proper selections on the “Place an Item-level Hold” screen

  • Verify that the Patron is correct
  • Choose the proper Pickup Location if it’s not selected by default
  • Enter a Not Wanted Before date if the patron does not want their hold to be filled before a certain date.  Note that this is similar to freezing a hold, but the hold will be “un-frozen” on a date you specify.  Currently, patrons are not able to select a “not wanted before” date when placing holds in the Online Catalog.
  • Leave the Not Wanted After date as-is, unless you are re-placing a cancelled hold
  • It is usually not necessary to add a Hold Note, but do so if you want staff checking in the item that will fill this hold to see a message.  Include your initials, library code, and today’s date.
  • Select ‘OK’

If the item is checked out and overdue, select “Place hold without recall.” (A recall is a message that can be sent by Sierra to the patron with the item checked out and overdue when an item-level hold is placed on that item. We don’t recommend this option as it tends to be more confusing than helpful.)

You will see the patron’s hold as a line on their Holds tab.

Holds for book clubs

Because of the way Sierra pages libraries to fill holds, the best way to get multiple copies of a title to arrive at about the same time for a group of patrons is to place an item-level hold on an available item for each member of the group.

Search for the title in the Search/Holds or Catalog function.

From the Summary tab, choose “Hold” from the View dropdown.

Find and select an item with AVAILABLE in the Due Date column and select “Hold Selected Item.” Be mindful of the advice above about making sure the item is available, and start at the middle or end of the list instead of the top.

Search for the patron for whom to place the hold

Select “Place Hold” from the “Place Hold for an Available Item” dialog box

Make the proper selections on the “Place an Item-level Hold” screen

  • Verify that the Patron is correct
  • Choose the proper Pickup Location if it’s not selected by default
  • Enter a Not Wanted Before date if the patron does not want their hold to be filled before a certain date.  Note that this is similar to freezing a hold, but the hold will be “un-frozen” on a date you specify.  Currently, patrons are not able to select a “not wanted before” date when placing holds in the Online Catalog.
  • Leave the Not Wanted After date as-is, unless you are re-placing a cancelled hold
  • It is usually not necessary to add a Hold Note, but do so if you want staff checking in the item that will fill this hold to see a message.  Include your initials, library code, and today’s date.
  • Select ‘OK’

You will see the patron’s hold as a line on the Item-Level Holds tab.

Return to the Summary tab, select another available item, and repeat the process to place item-level holds for the remaining group members.