The Patron Message Center provides a way for libraries to communicate with patrons through messages that can be accessed through the patron’s OPAC account. Library staff can create messages manually by adding an OPAC visible Patron Note to an account. Messages can also be automatically generated through an Action Trigger event. Patrons can access and manage messages within their OPAC account.
Creating a Patron Message in the Patron Account
1. Retrieve a patron account in the staff client
2. Within the account, go to Other > Notes.
3. In the Notes interface, click on Add New Note. A new window will pop up that allows you to create a note on the patron account.
4. Check the box next to Patron Visible? This will make the message appear in the patron’s OPAC account.
5. Enter a subject for the message in the Title
6. Enter the body of the message in the Note
7. Enter Initials if staff are required to add initials to notes.
8. Click, Add Note. The note will now appear as a Patron Visible note in the staff client and as a Message in the patron’s OPAC Account.
9. The patron visible note will also create a message in the patron account in the staff client in Other > Message Center. See Managing Patron Messages in the Staff Client below.
Creating a Patron Message using Action Triggers
Messages can be automatically added to a patron’s OPAC account by an Action Trigger event. For example, when a hold is cancelled by a library staff member, a message can be added to the patron’s OPAC account to inform them of the cancellation.
Action Trigger Messages are set up in Admin > Local Administration > Notifications/Action Triggers. There are several new fields in the Trigger Event Definition that allow the configuration of Patron Messages:
Note: If you want to send patrons a notification email and an OPAC message when their hold is cancelled, use two separate Action Triggers: one for the email notification and one for the message.
Managing Patron Messages in the Staff Client
Patron messages can be viewed and managed in the staff client within the patron account.
1. Retrieve a patron account in the staff client.
2. Within the account, go to Other > Message Center.
3. Double click on a message to view the full title and content as well as the date and time the message was created and the date and time that the message was read. Staff can also see if a patron has deleted the message from their OPAC account (Deleted?) and can manually delete a message by marking it as Deleted.
Note: When a message is marked deleted, the message will remain in Other > Message Center as a record that the patron received it.
Notes: Deleting a patron visible note in Other > Notes will not delete the patron message from the Other > Message Center.
Viewing Patron Messages in the OPAC
Patrons will see a new tab for Messages in their OPAC account, as well as a notification of Unread Messages in the account summary.
Patrons will see a list of the messages from the library by clicking on the Messages tab.
Patrons can click on a message Subject to view the message. After viewing the message, it will automatically be marked as read. Patrons have the options to mark the message as unread and to delete the message.
Note: Patron deleted messages will still appear in the patron’s account in the staff client under Other > Message Center.
Author: Angela Kilsdonk, Equinox Software