Hello, we are running into the fact that many of our patrons that want to make 
use of a reading history, don't find out about it until long after they sign up 
for an account. Many of these patrons are also non computer/online catalog 
users, so there is no chance that they would ever find the option to enable it 
themselves, and even if they knew about it, they wouldn't be able to set it 
themselves.  So they find out about it after talking with staff, and then get 
mad when they find out that it will only have their history starting at the 
point they sign up.  Since they don't use computers, they need staff to walk 
them through (do it for them) logging into their account and finding the 
option, so it would be handy if staff could just do it for them.

We could set the library setting to default the checkout history to being 
enabled, but we really don't want to make that decision for everyone, and then 
put the onus on them to figure out how to use the catalog to turn it off.

So we are considering adding an opt in checkbox to the patron application, 
along with a user setting that staff can check, to allow staff to enable the 
circ history at patron registration time.  The user setting being checked or 
unchecked would trigger a nightly process that would enable/disable the reading 
history for that account.

In theory, this could result in a customer saying that they never signed up for 
the feature, saying that staff did it on their own.  But since it is already 
trivially easy for staff to log into the catalog as a customer, it seems like 
that would already be a problem.  (staff know what the default pin numbers are 
based on, or could just change the pin, a customer that never uses the catalog 
would never know that the pin was changed)

Has anyone else done this or something like this?  Is this a horrible idea?

I think staff would also like to be able to access the patrons history from 
their staff stations, which would make readers advisory easier.  "Which Louis 
L'Amour titles haven't I read yet".

We have had problems in the past with patrons physically marking books that 
they have read before, to make it easier for them to find the ones they haven't 
read.

Josh

Lake Agassiz Regional Library - Moorhead MN larl.org
Josh Stompro     | Office 218.233.3757 EXT-139
LARL IT Director | Cell 218.790.2110

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