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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:26 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:36 pm
Posts: 20
We are using SIP2 in conjunction with GPAS to provide students with an e-payments services, allowing them to top up their printing account online and then transfer money from it into their library account to pay off fines.

Although payment of fines is being registered correctly when paid in this way, any Borrower Block message on the account relating to the fine is not automatically being removed. It seems the unblock is only triggered when we next call up the student's record on Alto.

As students are generally making e-payments into their library account so they can remove a block and renew their books when the helpdesk is closed, the system is not working!

What are we missing to trigger the removal of the block message? Is anyone else using SIP2 in a similar way successfully?

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Cathy Murr
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Kingston University Library


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:43 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:09 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Talis
Dear Cathy,

Bridge (Lite or Pro) ignores this block alltogether: it will neither prevent issue/renewal when the block's underlying condition is true nor will it un-block the user when the condition is not true.

You say that users with this block are prevented from issuing/renewing – can you please provide the user's barcode & date of occurrence so that I can invesigate Bridge's logs?

For your information: please have a look at Bridge Lite documentation, Appendix H, sections Checkout User Messages (page 35) & Renew User Messages (page 39) where all the exceptions for issue & renew are listed - there is none associated with the block that you mention.

Regards,

Zak

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Zak Koufakis
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Talis


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:11 am 

Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:36 pm
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I think it is covered by this in Renew User Messages:

[7] Borrower_message
You have a message on your borrower record [7]
Borrower has at least one message whose IGNORE_LEVEL >=
TAL_SELF_MESSAGE_LEVEL

and a similar variable is set for Prism My Account which is where many people perform their self renew.

According to the Borrower Blocking rules we have set up in Alto Config, the borrower should become automatically unblocked (ie the message automatically removed) when the conditions of the block are no longer true eg when they have paid their outstanding fine. This is what happens when a fine is physically paid at the counter, and this is what we need to happen when a fine is paid electronically.

I have been in touch with Jane O'Neill at Queen's Belfast where they are using Keystone for e-payment of fines, and apparently they encountered the same problem. They are having to run a script to obtain borrower numbers of people who have paid their fines electronically, and then manually remove the borrower block.

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Cathy Murr
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:09 pm
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Location: Talis
Dear Cathy,

Apologies - I got my facts wrong. Bridge should unblock the borrower but the unblocking will take place when the borrower attempts to issue or renew. In fact, all Talis applications should do the same thing as long as the "auto-unblock" option is in force.

Are you saying that you have an incident whereby a borrower paid their fines electronically using GPAS and then tried to issue or renew through Bridge but were prevented of doing so due to this block? If so, can you please send me details?

You say: "Although payment of fines is being registered correctly when paid in this way, any Borrower Block message on the account relating to the fine is not automatically being removed.."

How do you know this?

Regards,

Zak

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:02 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:36 pm
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I don't know whether they tried to renew using Bridge - I suspect it was more likely to have been Prism My Account - but I think the principle is the same.

I know that the message was not removed because I ran a couple of queries on the borrower number to see fine history and messages history (showing create and removed dates).

This is an example borrower number 09518568, but this is not an isolated incident; it is happening to everyone who is blocked who pays their fine electronically.

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Kingston University Library


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:46 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:09 pm
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Location: Talis
Dear Cathy,

The principle for this block is as follows: the actual block (message) is removed not at the time the underlying condition becomes false, say, immediately after a payment, but the next time the block is evaluated, for example, when the borrower attempts to issue or renew an item, when Alto retrieves the borrower's details, when a borrower attempts to renew items through Prism or TalisMessage, etc.

You should have this principle in mind when you look directly into the LMS database tables.

>This is an example borrower number 09518568, but this is not an isolated incident; it is happening to everyone who is blocked who pays their fine electronically.

I looked at the Bridge logs for GPAS and I can see borrower 09518568 paid 25 pence on 2010/01/20 17:22 to bring her balance back to £0.00 - the block's thresold is £15.00 - I can see no other interaction with Bridge, so I am not able to investigate this any further.

If this happens again then please report it as soon as possible so we can investigate it.

Regards,

Zak

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2004 11:56 am
Posts: 192
Location: University of Greenwich
Hello
We now have self payment machines and are having to rethink the way we block borrowers.
Up until now we have been using various scripts to attach message to borrower accounts which restrict access to self service (either Prism or the self service machines). The students have therefore had to come to the library counter to pay their fine and at the same time the library staff have removed the blocking messages.
Now we expect the students will start using the self payment machines to pay their fines, with less and less interaction with the counter staff. Therefore we need a mechanism where the message is automatically removed when the fine is paid, which is why we are now revisiting the Talis Borrower Blocking facility.
My question is do the students have to pay the full amount before the message is removed, or do they just have to pay enough to get them under the limit specified? Ideally we want students to pay off the whole amount before removing the blocking message.


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 Post subject: Borrower block rules
PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:36 pm
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There are various blocking rules you can set in the parameters, but if you set an amount in "Fines Outstanding Limit" a borrower can part-pay a fine so they are under that amount and the block will be removed. They will only have to pay the full amount if all of the fine has been outstanding longer than the number of days you set in "Days outstanding limit". If the total fine is from a mix of dates, the earliest ones would be paid off first in any part-payment.

Our experiemce is that self-service works better when borrowers are not blocked immediately. We have a fine limit of £15 and a days outstanding limit of 32 days. So provided they do not owe more than £15 a borrower always has 32 days to pay up before they are blocked. We send underdues and overdues by email to try to prevent fines accumulating.

We have set unblock to automatic to minimise staff intervention; however we did have a problem when we introduced e-payments initially because the block is not automatically removed by Prism My Account in the way that it is by Alto or Bridge. We have now had our Bridge installation customised so that the unblock takes place at the point of payment, rather than when the next transaction takes place. (We use GPAS in conjunction with SIP2 to provide our e-payment solution).

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