[minervacirc] Bounce Emails

Lynn Uhlman lynn.uhlman at maineinfonet.org
Mon Jul 9 10:40:45 EDT 2018


Good Morning,

After the last Circulation Round Table meeting, I have been reviewing
documentation, looking over email logs, and verifying library setups. I
believe we have some possible solutions based on the facts found. Please
see the details below:

In 2017, email server SPF entries were added to the three library systems
Maine InfoNet manages. These entries were suggested by III to better notify
email service providers (ESP) of the validity of the maineinfonet.org
domain as a valid sender (aka source) for email notices.

Facts Found…

MINERVA

   -

   17 libraries are currently using email source set to
   minerva.noreply at maineinfonet.org.
   -

   An average of 8 bounces occurs daily with an occasional dip and surge
   over the course of two months (Sundays tend to be 0-2 consistently). The
   ones I reviewed appeared to be valid inaccurate emails, however, I didn’t
   review each and every one only a sampling from each day.
   -

   Based on a couple tickets some complaints of bounced emails are actually
   notifications of a delay in sending the messages out. Most likely this is
   due to the # of notices and the libraries are set to using their own
   library email as the reply source.

MILS

   -

   13 libraries are solely using email source set to
   mils.noreply at maineinfonet.org.
   -

   Over the course of two months, there were 2 email bounces for an email
   address that was incorrectly entered in the patron account.

Acceptable Percentage of Error

There will always be valid email bounces, such as:

   -

   patrons who no longer use the email address (haven’t accessed their
   email account for months/years depending on ESP, actively closed the
   account, etc.)
   -

   incorrectly entered (typos, spelling, spaces, etc.)

What’s really happening?

Notices are delivered to patrons with a ‘reply from’ and ‘reply to email
address that is derived from the Branch Addresses table. The ‘reply from’
is actually an email alias as the system is actually sending the notices
not each individual library.

Since the notices are actually coming from the server not the library, most
ESPs look at the notice as SPAM as that is how the majority of spammers
send their junk mail. The only way to differentiate the legitimate from the
non-legitimate email currently is to validate the source and this is done
through SPF entries.

Two suggestions:

   1.

   Change the email source in the Branch Addresses table to
   minerva.noreply at maineinfonet.org. However, this will mean that libraries
   won’t be able to directly receive email bounces when patron email addresses
   are incorrect. We are working on a solution to create a report to avoid
   this pain point, but do not have an ETA as of yet. (Highly recommended)

   2.

   Individual libraries choosing to continue with their own library address
   as the email source will need to add an SPF entry validating their domain
   as a valid sender. An online tool that can help with the SPF entry is
   http://www.kitterman.com/spf/validate.html. The SPF entry should look
   similar to the following example as suggested from III, but replacing your
   library information with library.iii.com.

   III’s example:
   v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com include:library.iii.com ~all

   Maine InfoNet’s SPF for maineinfonet.org
   v=spf1 ip4:130.111.32.0/24 ip6:2610:48:100:820::/64 ip4:34.205.245.67
   ip4:34.194.249.119 ip4:34.231.8.56 ?all


What this will not help…

   -

   Patrons who do not open their emails, but only look at the subjects to
   know that they need to bring their materials back or renew their materials.
   -

   Patrons who actively mark notices as SPAM when they do not wish to
   receive a number of due soon, hold pickup, overdue or bill notices.

Based on the above information, we recommend that libraries allow Maine
InfoNet to update the reply source field in the Branch Addresses table to
minverva.noreply at maineinfonet.org. If this is the option you choose, please
submit a ticket at http://support.maineinfonet.org to have set this up for
your library rather than replying to this email.

Any library choosing to keep their reply source, will need to create their
own SPF entry to better ensure delivery of notices to their patrons.
Libraries will need to work with their local IT to configure this as Maine
InfoNet does not have the access to or knowledge of your domain setup.

Best Regards,
Lynn
______________________________________________
*Lynn A. Uhlman* | Systems Training and Support Librarian

*Maine InfoNet*T (207)581-3088   F (207)581-3095
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