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How To Prepare: Profiling Survey #3

From July 6-7, Polaris was onsite at CCS to help us review our profiling work to-date and talk about the questions raised by advisory groups and library staff. After much discussion, we're ready with another profiling edition of How to Prepare! This week, we dive into the item side of the database, reviewing material types and additional methods Polaris uses for categorization, material and hold limits, and fine codes.

Just as with the previous weeks, libraries will fill out a survey to submit profiling answers, request changes, or approve settings. Please have appropriate supervisors and staff, in conjunction with Library Leads, review this blog post and complete Profiling Survey #3 by July 21st. If you are part of a multi-branch library and have different policies per branch, please have each branch complete a survey. CCS will follow up with your library for any requests for changes. Please read through the entire blog post before filling out the survey. Preview and download the survey in PDF format.

Part 1: Materials

Material Types

The material type broadly defines the physical item. Material types are key elements in determining loan periods, lending limits, hold policies, and in generating statistics. They are similar to “Item Category 3” in Sirsi. Material types are meant to be general and applicable to all libraries; they are set at the system-level and cannot be scoped to a specific library. Staff and patrons are able to filter searches by material types in the staff client, Leap, and in PowerPAC.

CCS has drafted the following list of material types, based on current material designations in Item Category 3:

  • Art

  • Bag

  • Blu-ray

  • Book

  • Cassette

  • Cassette Audiobook

  • CD

  • CD Audiobook

  • CD-ROM

  • Device

  • DVD


  • eAudiobook

  • eBook

  • Equipment

  • eReader

  • eVideo

  • Game (inc puzzle)

  • ILL AV

  • ILL Material

  • Kit

  • Laptop

  • Large Print

  • Launchpad

  • Magazine

  • Map

  • Microform

  • Mobile Hotspot

  • MP3 Audiobook

  • Newspaper

  • Online Resource

  • Other

  • Pamphlet

  • Playaway

  • Playaway View

  • Record

  • Sheet Music

  • Toy (inc puppet)

  • VHS

  • Videogame

Things to know:

  • Material types combine with patron codes to determine check-out and request limits.

  • Example: Residents are allowed to have 5 Blu-rays checked out and Reciprocal cardholders are allowed to have 1 Blu-ray checked out.

  • Even if your library does not carry a particular material type, all libraries need to provide information for all material types in case an item with that particular item type is sent to your library as a hold.

  • Example: Your patron requests a video game to be sent to your library. Your library does not carry video games, but can assign an appropriate loan period to the item. (Standard loan periods will be reviewed at a later date.)

What if my library carries multiple types of equipment with different loan rules?

If your library carries multiple types of items that fall under the category, “equipment,” (or toy, device, etc.) but they don’t fall under the same loan period, you are able to edit the loan period at the item level, either individually or at the bibliographic level using the Bulk Change Process, which will be covered during the training phase of the migration. New and hot items will also be handled separately. Libraries do need to list renewal limits even where you don't own that type of material.Loan rules will be discussed in full next week.

To Do: Using the attached spreadsheet, review the list of material types, along with your library’s renewal limit for each type. On the survey, indicate if the information is correct as-is, or if any changes are needed. CCS will review requested changes.


Collections are broad, all-encompassing categories for materials. Collections display for patrons in the PAC:

They are searchable in both the staff client and in PAC searches. Collections are not tied to specific circulation rules, but are important for reporting, since libraries have the ability to run circulation reports by collection.

Collections are shared across all CCS libraries. We have identified the following collection areas for CCS:

  1. Adult Periodicals (Newspapers and Magazines)

  2. Adult Fiction (Books and Audiobooks)

  3. Adult Nonfiction (Books and Audiobooks)

  4. Adult Audiovisual (Music CDs, DVDs, etc.)

  5. Adult Digital (econtent, including ebooks and eaudiobooks)

  6. Adult (all remaining non-print and non-av materials; includes equipment, devices, and all other material types not reflected above)

  7. Teen Magazines

  8. Teen Fiction

  9. Teen Nonfiction

  10. Teen Audiovisual

  11. Teen Digital

  12. Teen

  13. Children's Fiction

  14. Children's Nonfiction

  15. Children's Audiovisual

  16. Children's Magazines

  17. Children's Digital

  18. Children's

Why did we choose these specific collections?

We chose broad categories that will allow libraries to run comparative reports on a library-to-library basis, since all libraries collect materials for kids, teens, and adults. These collections fall in line with current state-wide reporting needs, and will help libraries easily run statistics for their yearly IPLAR reports. Collections will work in conjunction with Item Stat Codes and Material Types to allow more granular reporting.

Shelf Locations

Shelf Locations define different physical locations of the collection within a branch. Shelf locations are shown along with call number and collection in the item display in the PAC.

Staff can search for items by shelf location in the staff client, but patrons are not able to search by shelf location in the PAC. Unlike collections, shelf locations can be specific/customized to an individual library. Libraries are welcome to modify their shelf locations to reflect local signage. This will make it easier for patrons to find materials.

To Do:

Shelf locations are most closely tied to our current use of home location in Sirsi. Attached is a spreadsheet of all home locations currently in use in Symphony, along with the number of items found in each location. There is a separate tab for each library and branch in the spreadsheet. Select your library’s tab to review the locations currently in use. Consider the following:

  • Do your current home locations provide information that helps patrons locate the book in your physical building? If not, what information could be added to help patrons find the items that they are looking for?

  • Do your home locations replicate information found in the call number or collection? If so, should they be modified?

Shelf location examples:

  • 2nd Floor - Kids & Teens

  • Lobby - Adult

  • New Adult Fiction

  • 1st Floor - New Books

  • Children's Library

All libraries are responsible for submitting a list of shelf locations to be used in Polaris. Please format your shelf locations as you would like them to display to patrons. Shelf locations should be uploaded in excel format by July 21. Libraries who would like to continue using their current home locations descriptions as shelf locations in Polaris must upload a revised copy that removes all unused locations. CCS will work with libraries who would like to change their shelf locations to ensure they will be mapped properly.

Item Statistical Codes

Item statistical codes are item descriptions used to enhance reports. All codes are assigned to all branches, and use of item statistical codes will be required for all libraries. Stat codes will work in conjunction with material types and collection to provide granular reporting options. We have created our collections, material types and stat codes with careful consideration, so that they do not unnecessarily replicate information. Preview the proposed list of Item Statistical Codes here.

How will these pieces work together?

Example: Statistics for your adult Xbox collection:

Example: Statistics for your Easy Reader collection:

Example: Statistics for your Cookbook collection:

Are we missing any key elements in either category? Please share in Profiling Survey #3.

Part 2: Fines

Fine amounts are set based on the patron code of the person being charged and the fine code assigned to the item.

Fine Codes Fine codes are set at the system-level and are shared by all libraries. A code is assigned to each combination of fine amount, maximum fines, and grace periods. Libraries use the codes to determine standard fine rates for material types. They are also used in conjunction with patron codes to establish any fine exceptions.

  • The fine amount is the amount charged per loan period, which is either set by day or by hour. (The loan period unit of time will be covered next week.)

  • A maximum fine is also assigned to each fine code. This is the maximum amount that can be fined for items associated with this fine description.

  • A grace period is assigned to each code where applicable. If an item is checked in during the grace period, fines will not be applied to the patron’s account. If an item is checked in after a grace period, the fine is calculated from the day or hour after the item due time.

To establish which combinations of fine amounts, maximum fines, and grace periods will be active in Polaris, please select the values from drop down menus for each material type on the survey. If the majority of your fine amounts, maximum fines, and grace periods are the same per material type, fill out the default line at the top of the table, and then simply complete any exceptions to that default rule. We will fill in any values left blank with the default rule. The values in the drop-down menus for fine amounts, maximum fines, and grace periods were taken from the CCS Circ Map.

If my library does not carry one of the material types, do I still need to assign values to each element on the survey?

Yes, even if your library does not carry a material type, you still need to assign a standard fine code. This will ensure that an item will charge an appropriate fine in the case it is sent to your library for a hold.

You can access Prolfiling Survey #3 here. Please complete the survey by July 21st. Upload your library's revised list of shelf locations on the Dates & Deadlines page.

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