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Technote 89: My Favorites and Tell Me When in WYLDCAT

General Information

One of the features in WYLDCAT is the MY FAVORITES (authors and subjects) option. There are actually two parts of the MY FAVORITES feature, items that patrons elect to have tracked and notified when new materials are added to their library, and items that are automatically tracked based on what the patron has checked out over a period of time.

Although both of these features appear listed together in the MY FAVORITES area of the HOME screen when a patron logs in, the system handles them differently. TELL ME WHEN provides for libraries to generate notices to patrons to let them know when new items are added to the database in the patron's area of interests. MY FAVORITES appear to only be for informational purposes. There is no differentiation in the My Favorites area between those items which have been added by the patron as TELL ME WHEN or those that the system is automatically tracking based on checkout history.

Patrons can manage their favorites by removing one, several, or all of their authors or subjects marked as favorites.

My Favorites on the Search/Home screen

After the user clicks on 'modify' in the MY FAVORITE area, they will see something like the following example.

Patrons are notified ONLY about those items they electively choose to enable TELL ME WHEN for. To do this, they click on the Tell Me When links when viewing full records in the database and select to be notified when new subjects in certain areas or new author's works are added to their library's holdings. The TELL ME WHEN links will not appear if the patron has already selected to be notified about this particular author or all the subjects in the record. However, if the author or subject is being tracked automatically because of checkout history, the TELL ME WHEN links will still appear. If the user selects TELL ME WHEN for an item that is already being automatically tracked, they will then see duplicate links in their 'My Favorite...' on the Search/Home screen.

An example of the TELL ME WHEN feature for an author or subject:

After clicking on the TELL ME WHEN link, the following message displays:

Patrons are notified through the system by means of a notice report, much like overdue notices. Each report can be customized to only notify patrons about items added from their individual library, or group of libraries (such as public libraries with branches) rather than when the items are added anywhere in the system. Patrons who have email addresses in their library record will receive a notice. Contact the WYLD Office for assistance if you have any questions regarding the report which runs to generate these email notices.

Other Information

Although the options for being notified about TELL ME WHEN items appear to allow for the patron to select how often they want to be notified, they really will only be notified as frequently as the reports are run to generate the notices. Remember, they will NOT be notified about other MY FAVORITES, only those items they have asked to be notified about as TELL ME WHEN authors or subjects.

Example of the screen where a patron selects to be notified of new items at a certain frequency and whether to track authors and subjects for items they check out.

Automatic tracking is currently turned on for all users to add all authors and subjects they charge to their 'My Favorites' list. We have asked Sirsi to change that option, so that a patron must log in, go to the My Profile page and select to have authors and subjects added to their MY FAVORITES when they charge items. We will periodically run a report that will purge the list of MY FAVORITES so that items are not tracked in the database forever and potentially cause an overload on the system. When the purge report is run it does NOT remove TELL ME WHEN authors or subjects. Only those authors and subjects which had been automatically tracked because of checkout activity will be removed. MY FAVORITES will only be saved for six months and then will be purged by the system. It is important to remember that removing the MY FAVORITES does not remove the TELL ME WHEN authors and subjects.