Placing Holds

Last Updated On June 28, 2019
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Holds, or requests, can be placed either through the MORE Online Catalog or through Sierra.  In general, use the MORE Online Catalog to place holds for patrons.

All holds are filled in the order they were placed, unless the holds queue is manually adjusted by library or MORE staff members.

Sierra has two different hold types: bib-level holds (also called “bibliographic,” “title,” or “copy returned soonest” holds) and item-level holds.


Bib-level holds

Most holds are placed at the bib- (biblographic-) or title-level.  These holds are associated with bib. records: the catalog entries that represent a work or title.  Item records are the catalog entries that represent copies of a work.  Item records are attached to bib records in Sierra.  Bib-level holds can be fulfilled by any copy or item attached to the associated bib. record.

Placing bib-level holds in the MORE Online Catalog

This is the most fool-proof way of placing holds when patrons would like to receive the next available copy of a title.

Request actions

  • Use the “Request Now” button to request individual titles from the list of search results

  • Use the “Request” button to request individual titles from the full record display or from My Lists

  • Use the “Request from Cart” button to request one or more titles from a cart

 

Authentication actions

  • If you’re not logged in, you’ll be prompted to enter the requesting patron’s name and barcode number, along with a library pick-up location.  This works as one-time authentication to place the hold, but the patron is not logged into My Account.

  • If you are logged in, you will only be prompted to change the default pickup location if necessary.  The default pickup location is the “Home Library” value in the patron record.

Viewing and modifying holds via My Account

Once logged in, patrons can view and make some changes to their holds from My Account.

Patrons will see their place in the holds queue from the “# requests (Holds)” display in their patron record.

The pick-up location can be changed from the patron’s holds list after the hold is placed and before it is in transit to fill the patron’s hold.

Patrons will also see a “CANCEL IF NOT FILLED BY” date for each hold.  If the hold is not filled before that date, it is automatically cancelled.  Staff can change this date by accessing the hold in Sierra, selecing “Modify hold” and changing the “Not after” date.

Patrons can freeze selected holds from their holds list.  They can also cancel, view the catalog record, and rate titles or items on hold from here.

Placing bib-level holds in Sierra

Starting from a title or bib. record

Look up a title using the Search/Holds or Catalog function.

From the Summary tab, choose “Hold” from the View dropdown and select “Hold Copy Returned Soonest”

or from the Bib-Level Holds tab, choose “Add Patron”

Bib. hold from the bib. hold tab

Search for the patron for whom to place the hold

Make the proper selections on the “Place a Title-level Hold” screen

  • Verify that the Patron is correct
  • Choose the proper Pickup Location if it’s not selected by default
  • Do not make any Limit to Location selection
  • Enter a Not Wanted Before date if the patron does not want their hold to be filled before a certain date.  Note that this is similar to freezing a hold, but the hold will be “un-frozen” on a date you specify.  Currently, patrons are not able to select a “not wanted before” date when placing holds in the Online Catalog.
  • Leave the Not Wanted After date as-is, unless you are re-placing a cancelled hold
  • It is usually not necessary to add a Hold Note, but do so if you want staff checking in the item that will fill this hold to see a message.  Include your initials, library code, and today’s date.
  • Select ‘OK’

You will see the patron’s hold as a line on the Bib-Level Holds tab.

Starting from a patron record

Access a patron record from the Check Out (Circulation Desk) function.  From the Holds tab, select Add Holds

Search and find the appropriate title.  Fron the title’s Summary tab, select “Hold Copy Returned Soonest”

Make the proper selections on the “Place a Title-level Hold” screen

  • Verify that the Patron is correct
  • Choose the proper Pickup Location if it’s not selected by default
  • Do not make any Limit to Location selection
  • Enter a Not Wanted Before date if the patron does not want their hold to be filled before a certain date.  Note that this is similar to freezing a hold, but the hold will be “un-frozen” on a date you specify.  Currently, patrons are not able to select a “not wanted before” date when placing holds in the Online Catalog.
  • Leave the Not Wanted After date as-is, unless you are re-placing a cancelled hold
  • It is usually not necessary to add a Hold Note, but do so if you want staff checking in the item that will fill this hold to see a message.  Include your initials, library code, and today’s date.
  • Select ‘OK’

You will see the patron’s hold as a line on their Holds tab.


Item-Level Holds

A patron’s bib-level hold becomes an item-level hold once the patron reaches the top of the holds queue and a library checks in a copy of the paged title, either from its title paging list, or as a return from another patron.

You will then see the patron’s hold on the “Item-Level Holds” tab within a record in Sierra rather than on the “Bib-Level Holds” tab.  At that point, only that particular copy of the title requested by the patron can fill the patron’s hold.

When checked in at the patron’s designated pick-up library, the item takes a status of “on holdshelf,” and the patron has 7 days on which the library is open to retrieve the hold and have it checked out to his or her library account.

If the patron does not pick up the hold within the designated time, the item will appear on the pick-up library’s clear holdshelf report, which cancels the patron’s item-level hold.  The pick-up library needs to check in the item and route it appropriately.  If the item is not checked in, the item-level hold is cancelled, but the item’s status remains “on holdshelf.”  The system has no location information on such items, so they end up on the monthly system-wide search list.

It is appropriate to place holds at the item level if you want a specific copy of a title to fill a hold.  For example, place an item-level hold:

Item-level holds do not take precidence over bib-level holds.  All holds–either item- or bib-level holds–are filled in the order they were placed, unless the holds queue is manually adjusted by a library or MORE staff member.

Placing item-level holds in the MORE Online Catalog

For any item with information in the “Volume” field–serials like magazines or travel guides published in different years–it is most appropriate to place item-level holds.  In the Online Catalog, the system requires you to do this by prompting users to select a particular copy on which to place their hold.

Besides that step, placing item-level holds in the Online Catalog works much like placing bib-level holds.

Placing item-level holds in Sierra

Starting from a title or bib. record

Look up a title using the Search/Holds or Catalog function.  From the Summary tab, find and select the item you wish to request, then:

  • select “Hold Selected Item”

  • or, from the Item-Level Holds tab, choose “Add Patron”

Search for the patron for whom to place the hold

If the item is available, select “Place Hold; print paging slip” from the “Place Hold for an Available Item” dialog box. That means the owning library will get paged for the item. It doesn’t mean that anything will be printed at your library:

Make the proper selections on the “Place an Item-level Hold” screen

  • Verify that the Patron is correct
  • Choose the proper Pickup Location if it’s not selected by default
  • Enter a Not Wanted Before date if the patron does not want their hold to be filled before a certain date.  Note that this is similar to freezing a hold, but the hold will be “un-frozen” on a date you specify.  Currently, patrons are not able to select a “not wanted before” date when placing holds in the Online Catalog.
  • Leave the Not Wanted After date as-is, unless you are re-placing a cancelled hold
  • It is usually not necessary to add a Hold Note, but do so if you want staff checking in the item that will fill this hold to see a message.  Include your initials, library code, and today’s date.
  • Select ‘OK’

If the item is checked out and overdue, select “Place hold without recall.” (A recall is a message that can be sent by Sierra to the patron with the item checked out and overdue when an item-level hold is placed on that item. We don’t recommend this option as it tends to be more confusing than helpful.)

You will see the patron’s hold as a line on the Item-Level Holds tab.

Starting from a patron record

Access a patron record from the Check Out (Circulation Desk) function. From the Holds tab, select Add Holds

Search and find the appropriate title.  From the title’s Summary tab, find and select the item you want to request, then select “Hold Selected Item.”

If the item is available, select “Place Hold; print paging slip” from the “Place Hold for an Available Item” dialog box. That means the owning library will get paged for the item. It doesn’t mean that anything will be printed at your library:

Make the proper selections on the “Place an Item-level Hold” screen

  • Verify that the Patron is correct
  • Choose the proper Pickup Location if it’s not selected by default
  • Enter a Not Wanted Before date if the patron does not want their hold to be filled before a certain date.  Note that this is similar to freezing a hold, but the hold will be “un-frozen” on a date you specify.  Currently, patrons are not able to select a “not wanted before” date when placing holds in the Online Catalog.
  • Leave the Not Wanted After date as-is, unless you are re-placing a cancelled hold
  • It is usually not necessary to add a Hold Note, but do so if you want staff checking in the item that will fill this hold to see a message.  Include your initials, library code, and today’s date.
  • Select ‘OK’

If the item is checked out and overdue, select “Place hold without recall.” (A recall is a message that can be sent by Sierra to the patron with the item checked out and overdue when an item-level hold is placed on that item. We don’t recommend this option as it tends to be more confusing than helpful.)

You will see the patron’s hold as a line on their Holds tab.

Holds for book clubs

Because of the way Sierra pages libraries to fill holds, the best way to get multiple copies of a title to arrive at about the same time for a group of patrons is to place an item-level hold on an available item for each member of the group.

Search for the title in the Search/Holds or Catalog function.

From the Summary tab, choose “Hold” from the View dropdown.

Find and select an item with AVAILABLE in the Due Date column and select “Hold Selected Item.”

Search for the patron for whom to place the hold

Select “Place Hold” from the “Place Hold for an Available Item” dialog box

Make the proper selections on the “Place an Item-level Hold” screen

  • Verify that the Patron is correct
  • Choose the proper Pickup Location if it’s not selected by default
  • Enter a Not Wanted Before date if the patron does not want their hold to be filled before a certain date.  Note that this is similar to freezing a hold, but the hold will be “un-frozen” on a date you specify.  Currently, patrons are not able to select a “not wanted before” date when placing holds in the Online Catalog.
  • Leave the Not Wanted After date as-is, unless you are re-placing a cancelled hold
  • It is usually not necessary to add a Hold Note, but do so if you want staff checking in the item that will fill this hold to see a message.  Include your initials, library code, and today’s date.
  • Select ‘OK’

You will see the patron’s hold as a line on the Item-Level Holds tab.

Return to the Summary tab, select another available item, and repeat the process to place item-level holds for the remaining group members.