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Offline Circulation
KBA-01396-H1H4
Question
How do I use offline circulation?
Answer

Offline circulation is used when the connection to the Aleph server is unavailable. Occasions for using offline circulation include periods when libraries experience network problems, during FLVC-scheduled maintenance periods, and in the event that Aleph experiences unexpected downtime.

The server connection indicator in the lower left portion of the screen is generally represented as a green diamond image002.jpg (25×21), indicating that the client is connected to the Aleph server. If the connection to the server becomes unavailable, the indicator changes to a blue and yellow disconnect symbol image004.jpg (28×21).

 

Offline circulation will:

 

·           Loan and return items.

·           Charge an overdue fine and lost fees.

·           Shorten the loan period according to the expiry date and library policy.

·           Generate an Offline Circulation Check Report that will include any errors that may have caused a loan or return to fail (such as an incorrect barcode).

Offline circulation will not:

 

·           Check for hold requests when loaning an item.

·           Check for patron blocks or delinquencies when loaning an item.

·           Change an item’s status to In Transit when it is returned to a sublibrary other than its owning sublibrary.

When the connection is restored, the offline transaction file should be sent to the server, where the transactions will be entered automatically. The offline transaction file is saved to an individual workstation; therefore, each workstation’s file should be sent to the server.

Using Offline Circulation

To access offline circulation

1.      Open the Circulation module. When prompted to log in, do not enter a user name or password. Instead, click Cancel.

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2.      When prompted to start Aleph without logging in, click Yes.

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3.      An error message indicating that the client has failed to make a connection to the host (the Aleph server) may appear. Click OK. Other error messages, such as “Failed to Read Reply” may appear. Click OK.

4.      The Circulation module will open. On the Circulation menu, click Offline Circulation. The Offline Circulation window will appear.

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To loan items using offline circulation

1.      Open the Offline Circulation window. In the Choose Transaction box, select Loan.

2.      Enter the patron barcode in the Patron ID / Barcode field.

3.      Enter the item barcode in the Item Barcode field. If the barcode scanner does not automatically process the “enter” command, press Enter on the keyboard or click Loan.

4.      When the transactions for the patron are complete, delete the patron barcode to prepare for the next patron.

5.      To loan items to the next patron, enter the patron and item barcodes in the same manner and loan the items.

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To return items using offline circulation

1.      Open the Offline Circulation window. In the Choose Transaction box, select Return.

2.      Enter the item barcode in the Item Barcode field. If the barcode scanner does not automatically process the “enter” command, press Enter on the keyboard, or click Return.

If possible, do not return items to the library shelf until the offline transaction file has been sent to the server and the Offline Circulation Check Report has been obtained and resolved.

To send an offline circulation file to the server

1.      Contact the FLVC Help Desk before sending the file to ensure that the connection is reestablished and the server is available to receive the file.

2.      Log in to the Circulation module. On the Circulation menu, click Offline Circulation.

3.      An offline transactions file message will appear. Click OK.

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4.      If the server connection is reestablished, click Send. (If the connection is still unavailable, continue to process transactions in offline circulation. The transactions will be added to the current file.)

5.      After sending the file to the server, click the 2. Offline Circulation - Check Report tab to view a list of errors and other conditions related to the transactions.

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6.      Click Print to print the Check Report and follow up on error messages. Because error messages indicate an unsuccessful transaction, library staff should carefully review each failed transaction to determine whether further action is necessary. Possible error messages include:

§   Item not found.

§   Item not on loan.

§   User not found.

§   Return – Late Return.

§   Loan period was shortened according to expiry date.

§   Item has active holds.

§   Lost or Claimed Return item has been returned.

7.      Review and resolve the errors listed in the Check Report. When finished, click Delete File to delete the report. If Delete File is not clicked, the Check Report will be saved and appended to the new report the next time offline circulation is used.

Copying and Viewing the Offline Circulation Transaction File (Optional)

A backup copy of the offline circulation transaction file can be created on a daily basis or before the file is sent to the server. The offline circulation file can also be viewed and printed.

To create a copy of the offline circulation transaction file

1.      On the Windows desktop, right-click Start and then click Explore.

2.      Go to C:\LINCC_19.1.r1_XXX\circ\files\XXX50\offcirc.dat where XXX is the three-letter institution code.

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3.      Right-click the file offcirc.dat. In the menu that appears, click Copy.

4.      Right-click anywhere on the Windows desktop and click Paste. The offcirc.dat file will be copied to the desktop. The file is now copied to another directory and will not be automatically deleted when the transaction file is sent to the server.

5.      To copy the file on a daily basis, repeat the previous steps. The next time you attempt to paste the file to the desktop, a confirmation prompt will appear. Click Yes to copy the new file over the old file.

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To view or print the offline circulation transaction file

1.      Use the instructions in the previous step to copy the offline transaction file to the Windows desktop.

2.      On the Windows desktop, right-click the file offcirc.dat. A menu will appear. Point to Open With, and then click Notepad if it appears in the list. The offline circulation file will appear and can be printed.

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3.      If Notepad is not available, click Choose Program. A prompt will appear; click Open With.

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4.      A second prompt will appear. Choose Select the program from a list and click OK.

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5.      Select Notepad. Click OK.

6.      The offline circulation transaction file will appear and can be printed.

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Additional Documentation

None

Environment