Skip to Main Content

Circulation Positions

Information for circulation related roles

Role of OPAL Circulation

What's Unique in a Consortium Setting

OPAL members share a library catalog that includes all participating members' patron and  material records. Circulation practices, such as patron types and loan rules, are generally determined on a local level, however, some decisions (such as wording on notices) must be determined on the consortial level.  Because of OPAL’s membership in OhioLINK, it is important to be familiar with OhioLINK PCIRC policies and procedures.  When accessing patron records, it is vitally important to verify you have the correct patron for your institution.  Additionally, when searching for materials in Sierra ILS, unless you limit the search by location, you will retrieve holdings from all member institutions since the catalog is shared.  We have a built-in group of peers to troubleshoot with and learn from!

Key Practices and Things to Know

  • We follow established agreed upon OPAL and OhioLINK practices.
  • Our procedures are outlined in the Circulation Manual.
  • INN-Reach Reports (Sierra) should be run on a regular basis (weekly or monthly depending on the report type).
  • Create Lists (Sierra) can be very helpful to assist with patron records; the Barcode Widget can be used to import patron or item records into Create Lists. 
  • Some OPAL member libraries use Dewey Decimal Classification while others use The Library of Congress Classification System.  
  • The placement of barcodes on items was not standardized across institutions.
  • The OPAL Catalog (OPAC and ILS versions) can be limited to show just your institution’s holdings or expanded to show all of OPAL’s combined holdings. 
  • The Circulation COI is a great resource, as is the opalcirc listserv.  The COI meets twice annually; meetings are open to anyone.
  • OhioNet is able to assist with automating some tasks such as uploading patron records
  • The manual for Sierra ILS can be found online (requires login-check with your Lead Implementor for the password)
  • Attention to detail when processing OPAL, OhioLINK, and Pickup Anywhere Paging slips is a must!

OPAL, OhioLINK and Pickup Anywhere Paging Slips 

OPAL paging slips are processed as if the patron is YOUR patron because of the shared catalog (simply choose “Check in” from the Function menu in Sierra).  

OhioLINK paging slips use “INN-Reach – Check-out to Remote Site”.  Think of it as checking out the item to a “remote” far away location.  

Pickup Anywhere Paging Slips are also processed using “INN-Reach – Check-out to Remote Site”.  Again, picture sending the item to a different location.   Pickup Anywhere items should be banded with neon green or have PUA on the sticker and paging slip to assist with processing at the receiving location.  

The types of paging slips can be distinguished primarily by the words identifying which type of paging slip it is (on the top left of the slip).  It is important to look at the “pickup location” on all paging slips to ensure the item is sent to the correct location.