What is a Material Type?
A material type defines the physical item. Material types are also key elements in determining loan periods, lending limits, hold policies, and in generating statistics. They are similar to Item Category 3 and Item Type in Sirsi. View a list of Polaris material types.
Material Type Mapping
Material Type Mapping involved taking libraries’ existing items and assigning the following Polaris policies:
Loan period code
Visibility in the OPAC
Circulating vs. non-circulating
Polaris grouped the entire collection into unique combinations of Item Category 3, Item Type, and Assigned Branch (owning branch).This resulted in over 2,700 groups of items to examine and map.
Item Cat 3
For each combination, items had to be referenced in Symphony to properly determine which Polaris material type and associated rules should be assigned. Mapping decisions were made using multiple sources, including:
Profiling surveys submitted by library staff
Policies outlined on libraries’ websites
Symphony Circ Map
If there were discrepancies in policy, the policies outlined in the surveys and library websites took precedence over the Symphony Circ Map. Material types were assigned by looking at the Symphony loan period, fine rate, and the items’ home locations, and matching the items to the most appropriate Polaris material type.
Loan period codes and fine codes were assigned using the comparative Polaris code to the existing Symphony policy. In the below example, McHenry’s BLURAYDVD items check out for 7 days and have a fine of $1/day in Symphony while their BLURAYLONG items check out for 14 days with a $1/day fine. The BLURAYDVD items were assigned the Polaris loan period code of 5, which correlates to the Video Default loan period of 7 days and the BLURAYLONG items assigned the loan period code of 6 (14 days). Both item groups were given the Polaris fine code of 6 (BluRay).
Item Cat 3
Polaris Material Type
Loan Period Code
Video Default (5)
Video Long (6)
Renewal limits and default prices were taken from profiling survey responses. (As a reminder, governing board voted at their July 26th meeting that all material that circulates on intra-CCS loan will renew at least twice.) Information about shadowed items was retrieved from Workflows. Circulating vs non-circulating status and hold policies were taken from both the profiling surveys and the Symphony circ map.
There were item groupings that, after examination in Workflows, contained items that encompassed multiple material types, loan codes, fine codes, etc. The grouping was mapped according to the policies that represented the majority of the items in the group. These groups were bookmarked to be examined and refined during the testing phase.