Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Got Questions? Get Answers with Follett workshop trainings

I attended my first Follett training a year ago when we hosted Larry, "the Destiny Doctor", and two other Follett reps at our school in Budapest. I found the sessions so helpful, I attended again this past spring - this time at the International School of Prague.

Let's face it. Cataloging intricacies are low on my list of priorities during the busy days at school. When new books arrive, I dig into the cataloging aspect of the job and really enjoy it, but most of the time I barely think about it.

That's why these yearly trainings have been great for me. During the year, I keep track of little nagging questions or "enhancements" I'd like to see added to the program, and when it's time for the training, I get a chance to get everything answered and aired with the people who can actually DO something about them. It's exciting!

I was lucky to be in a two-day workshop with other librarians who were very experienced in Follett's Destiny program. We skipped through some basics really quickly and got right into the nitty-gritty details that can make our resources uber-accessible to our patrons and make us look ultra-professional with statistics and such.

So - long story short: I learned a lot. Here are four tips and tricks I picked up that may be useful to YOU!

1)   Problem
Patrons hold books that are "IN".
In my elementary library, we are WAY too busy to pull books that kids put on hold that are already IN. We tell the kids, "If it's IN, go get it! :)" But they still sometimes do it, and then wonder why they never get the book. 

Solution: In Access Levels > Patrons > Patrons Tab > Self Empowered > UNCHECK "place holds on available copies.
This takes the "hold" button away if a copy is available. YAY.

2)   Problem
Linking to items in a resource list doesn't work from outside the program.
For example, if a teacher grabs the link to a resource list and posts it on his or her class web page, it doesn't work.

Locate the suffix number of your particular catalog. You can find it from your library's Destiny home page. It will probably be something like "100" or "101". 

Grab the URL of the resource list you want linked

Paste it in the address bar and add "&site=" and the suffix number.
In my school it's "
&site=100" in the elementary and "
&site=101" in the middle/high.

This new link will be a permalink to the Resource list. When you add titles to the will show the latest changes. Oooh!

Note: If you use Remote Hosting, there is a different process which we did not get to.

3)   Problem: I want to print a list of 
books with the summary notes, too.

Create a list of books
Choose "Bibliography" and "Include Notes"

4)   Problem: When placing a large Follett order, I'd like to see a breakdown of exactly what I'm getting.
For example (and this did happen to me recently) do I have a crazy percentage of early readers on my "to-buy" list?

Ask your sales rep to turn on the "Analyze" feature in Titlewave. This is not the same as the collection analysis that you probably already use (to see the date of your collection, and overall statistics), and it's not the same feature that tells you if you already own something on your list. 

This tells you a percentage breakdown of what you are about to order.
Handy if you have to submit reports or other justification with your purchase orders!

Hope you found this helpful. 
See you at Destiny!


  1. Thank you! I've always been frustrated by not being able to link to resource lists, and now I know how! And I also have the same issue with student holds. I'll be making that change today. Have you ever learned how to print overdue slips that you don't need a magnifying glass to read? No matter how many per page, the font size is always so tiny. That's another nagging question I have. Thanks again for the very helpful post!