Skip to Main Content

Circulation Manual

The official circulation manual for OPAL

Creating Patron Records

Local policy will dictate how new patron records are input, with two exceptions:

All UNIV ID fields must end with two-letter code for the home institution, e.g., Muskingum patrons' UNIV ID fields must all end with "MU."  This is necessary to prevent inadvertent overlays during batch loading, as the UNIV ID field is the match point for overlays.

Each patron must have something in the ADDRESS field that makes clear which institution the patron is affiliated with.  This can be a campus mail box or the institution name, library name or address, etc.

The staff at OPAL can set up templates for each patron type for manual input of patrons. Many schools load patron records from student databases. That procedure will be determined by local processes and in concert with OhioNet staff.

Patrons On-the-Fly

Institutions have varied ways of handling new patron records. Some allow the creation of On-the-Fly records to create a temporary record that can be updated by staff at a later time.

If scanning a patron’s ID card or typing in the patron’s name does not load a current patron record, the patron is not in the system. An on-the-fly patron record may be created if this process is in agreement with local rules. If this function is limited to supervisory staff a pop up may appear requesting an authorized login.

  • Click on the New icon and select Patron on the Fly from the drop-down list provided.
  • Click on Next after entering each item.

Note: the EXP DATE fills in the first two digits of the year automatically. The option to cancel the creation of this new record is provided at each step. When the on-the-fly patron record is complete and all required fields are completed, click on the Save icon at the top of the window or <CONTROL S> The new patron record will now allow checkouts to the patron.

This on-the-fly procedure will leave a message of f On-the-fly in the PMessage field of the patron record. When the record is completed with all information needed for a complete record, the F can be deleted by highlighting it and hitting the space bar.

Complete Patron Records

To create a complete patron record, follow the steps below:

  • Select the Check Out (Circulation Desk) function, click the New icon.
  • Choose the appropriate template and click Select. OPAL staff can set up these templates.
  • Fill in the information needed for each pop-up box and click on the Next after each addition.

Note: Be sure to place the school name in the address field to enable other libraries to identify the patron’s school. This information can be added to the templates created by OPAL staff.

Each pop-up box will give the option to cancel creation of the record. When all information is completed, click on Save to finish the new patron record. The patron record can be edited by clicking on Edit, making needed changes, and saving the record.

Adding Additional Lines to Address Field

If more lines are needed in the address field, right-click at the end of the line where the new line is needed and select Insert Line or use the keystrokes Shift/Enter. To add a line at the beginning of the address, place the cursor before the first word on the top line and key Shift/$.

Remember that changes should never be made to another library’s patron. At times there are students who will transfer from one college to another. This will leave their record expired at the first college. Do not use the expired record as a quick way to create the record needed. Create an entirely new record using their current information. There may be times that patrons will have more than one active record (for instance, if they are a student at more than one school).