[minervacirc] not needed before and freezing holds - please discuss!

Alisia Revitt alisia.revitt at maineinfonet.org
Fri Dec 4 15:02:48 EST 2009

Hi, All.

A while ago now, at my first circ meeting there was some discussion about
patrons using Not Needed Before (NNB) and/or freezing their holds.  There
was some debate about how these differed and on their effects.  I've done
some investigating and here are the results and a point for discussion.
Please use minervacirc to discuss and share your opinions as we might in a
circ meeting.


1. Using Not Needed Before is a Bad Thing because it causes headaches for
libraries when printing out pull slips.  If a NNB hold is on an available
item, it will keep paging pull slips for the item, but when the puller goes
to check them in to put into transit, there is no hold to fill, because
it's  not needed yet.  Multiply by however many days till the NNB deadline
and you get much frustration.  (Additionally, I am concerned that there may
be some effects with holds "expiring", although I'm not sure.  I'm just
always concerned about this happening after this summer!)

2. Freezing holds is essentially the same as Not-Needed-Before-today+255.  I
have looked into the guts of how freezing works, and what it's doing is
setting a not needed before date of 255 days in the future.  (Why 255?
Search me!)  I have also seen a case of the repeating paging slip from a
frozen hold.

3. Unfortunately both NNB and freezing are by the patrons themselves through
their online patron records, so there isn't much that circ staff can do to
prevent these, even though I know that many of you have tried.


4. I would suggest that we turn off and hide the ability to change Not
Needed Before and Freeze holds in the patron view.  I CAN do this (after
some research), but I did not want to make the decision unilaterally.

Also, if someone you work with should be on this list and is not, please
forward this and encourage her/him to sign up to the minervacirc-l list at

Thank you!

Alisia Revitt
Systems Training and Support Librarian
Maine InfoNet
alisia.revitt at maineinfonet.org
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