Text Message Notifications for Available Holds

Evergreen 2.2


"Hold(s) ready for pickup" notifications can be sent to patrons via text message. Text notifications are variously referred to as text or SMS (short message service).

ALERT! Because of possible carrier charges and duplication of notifications, patrons must enable this service themselves via their online accounts. Staff should only enable it at the specific request of the account holder.

If a text mesage cannot be delivered because the number is invalid or other problem with the recipient's service, a bounceback email will be delivered to the library's generic account.

Sample text message

From: Wood Library Association - Canandaigua
Subject: 1 hold(s) ready
Robert:Civil War battlefields @ Wood Library Association - Canandaigua
Please pickup within 7 days

Set or View Hold Notification Defaults

Default text message ready-for-pickup hold notification can be set by the patron via their OPAC account, or by staff using Patron Edit in the Staff Client.

OPAC > My Account > Account Preferences > Notification Preferences

When default hold notification preferences are entered and saved, these values will autofill when the patron places holds online, and when staff place holds for the patron in the staff client.

  1. Login to the online catalog
  2. Click Account Preferences
  3. Click Notification Preferences
  4. Check Notify by Text...
    • Phone and/or email options can also be checked; this will result in duplicate notifications
  5. Select Default Mobile Carrier
  6. Enter Default Mobile Number
  7. Click Save

Staff Client > Patron Record > Edit > User Settings

Changes made to notification preferences will appear in the patron's record in the Staff Client.

  1. Retrieve the Patron Record
  2. Click Edit
  3. Scroll down to User Settings

ALERT! Note: staff should only enter or change text notification settings at the request of the patron.

Place Hold Forms

The option to enable text notifications also appears in the Place Hold form for patrons in the OPAC and for staff in the Staff Client, when placing holds from Patron Record > Holds. The patrons other notification defaults and contact data, email and phone, will also display.

Any of the notification options can be selected (or de-selected) at the point of placing the hold. If the patron does not have text defaults set, the data can be entered at the point of placing the hold.

Patron Place Hold via OPAC


Staff Place Hold via Patron Record > Holds


Staff Place Hold via Search the Catalog

When Place Hold is initially clicked from Search the Catalog, the Place Hold form displays the LIBTech or LIBCIRC user defaults - typically, pickup library = the working library, both email and phone notifications are selected, and no email address or phone number displays.

When the patron barcode is scanned into the "Place hold for patron by barcode" box the hold will be automatically submitted. The pickup library and notification default will update with any saved defaults.

To first verify what defaults, if any, the patron has, type the barcode into the box then click in a empty area of the Place Hold form. The form will refresh to display the patrons email address, daytime or default phone number, and mobile carrier/number if saved. Notification selections can then be made or changed.

View Hold Notifications Applied to an Existing Hold Record

Staff can view and verify which notification methods have been applied to a specific hold by adding columns to the PatronHolds display list.

  1. Retrieve the patron record
  2. Click Holds
  3. Using the ColumnPicker, select and add notification columns:
    • Email Notify - yes / no
    • Phone Notify - specified phone number
    • Text Notify - specified mobile number

Edit Text Notifications for an Existing Hold Record

Text Notification can be applied to, or removed from, existing holds using options in the ActionsForSelectedHolds menus available in PatronHolds, BrowseHoldsShelf, ViewHolds, and PullListForHoldRequests22. Patrons cannot edit notification methods for existing holds themselves via their online accounts.

  1. Retrieve the patron record
  2. Click Holds
  3. Highlight the hold(s) to edit, right click and select Edit Mobile/Text Carrier
  4. In the popup, select the carrier
  5. Click OK
  6. Highlight the hold(s) to edit, right click and select Edit Mobile/Text Number
  7. In the popup, enter the mobile number, using NO spaces, hypens, etc.
  8. Click OK

Handle Bounce Messages

If there is a problem with the text number - typically it is not formatted correctly, a bounce back message will appear in the library email account. You need to identify the patron, remove the bad text number, contact them for the hold available and to get a correct text number.

Identify the patron and retrieve the patron account

  1. Start from the bounced message sent to the library's email
  2. At the end of the bounced message subject line, the patron's database ID appears in parentheses
     Subject: 1 hold(s) ready (123456) 
    • you will use this number to search for the patron in the staff client
  3. In the Staff Client, open a new tab
  4. Go to the Search menu at the top of the screen
  5. Select Retrieve Patron via Database ID
  6. Enter the number from the subject line, click OK
  7. The patron account opens

Example Bounce Messages

From: "post master" <post_master@vtext.com>
To: woodlibrary@owwl.org
Sent: Friday, December 28, 2012 10:22:18 AM
Subject: Re:1 hold(s) ready (123456)

Error: Invalid user address

Error message below:
550 - Requested action not taken: no such user here

Message details:
  Subject: 1 hold(s) ready (123456)
  Sent date: Fri Dec 28 15:22:18 GMT 2012
  MAIL FROM: woodlibrary@owwl.org
  RCPT TO: 585-123-1234@vtext.com
  From: Wood Library Association - Canandaigua <woodlibrary@owwl.org>
  To: 585-123-1234@vtext.com
  Size (in bytes): 97

ALERT! Sometimes you need to look at the raw message to see the original subject line

In Zimbra:

  1. Right Click on the bounce message in the inbox list
  2. Select "Show Original"
  3. Somewhere near the bottom you should see the original subject line.

Example Hold Slip and Receipt

The HoldSlip popup when a patron has opted to be notified by text message only will look like this:

The print hold receipt will look like this (depending on local customizations to the hold_slip receipt template):


This item needs to be routed to:

Barcode: 3211110090536 Title: Acoustics for libraries

Notify by email:
Notify by phone:
Notify by text: 5855556666
Day Phone: 111-111-1111
Evening Phone: 222-222-2222
Other Phone: 333-333-3333

Request Date: 2012-11-29
Slip Date: 2012-12-14 15:04
Printed at PLSHQ

Patron Bookmark

Click the link to download a PDF file of informational bookmarks to print and distribute to patrons explaining how to set text notifications as a default option.

Bookmark example:
Topic Subject Holds, Notices, OPAC, Patrons
Service Evergreen
Documentation type Informational

Includes RT Form? No

Topic revision: r11 - 28 Aug 2015 - 09:22:52 - LindsayStratton

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