Common Problems and Solutions in Sierra

PROBLEM: Item in hand no longer has a virtual item, and attempts to reprocess with owning library are not allowed

You have an item in hand and with slip from another library, but it has disappeared from the patron’s record and any attempts to reprocess it creates a message about it “violating circulation policy.”


The item is on hold from a patron at the owning library, and somehow slipped by the INNReach checking process. Make informal arrangements with your patron to get the item used and back to you quickly so that you can return it to the owning library.

PROBLEM: Your patron no longer wants the item placed on hold through INNReach


If it has not yet been fulfilled / reads as ‘Requested’: 

  1. Go to the patron’s account
  2. Cancel the hold from Holds tab.
  3. Go to the INNReach tab and cancel the virtual record.

If it has been fulfilled / reads as ‘In-Transit’:

  1. Manually ‘check-in’ the item (since the barcode should now be attached to the record in the INNReach tab).
  2. Manually check it in again using the ‘Return Unwanted Item’ function.
  3. When the item physically comes in, it will register that it is not on hold for anyone and will be sent back to the owning location.

PROBLEM: Item has arrived with owning library as the pickup location


This is a known issue with INN-Reach Re-Requests 

III can fix it if given the the item number and lending library, and the patron number and home library, in order to do so. Please open calls directly with III that include this information and III will attempt to fix the problem.

PROBLEM: “Patron data is incomplete” message

TO FIX: If a library has agency mapping as part of their system, they must make sure that any new branch locations that they add there are replicated in the INN-Reach Agency mapping table, or their patron requests from those locations will end in a message to the effect that the patron data is incomplete. Only III can adjust this table, in most cases.

PROBLEM: “Bad item request”


III would like us each to open “bad item request” tickets ourselves, instead of through SO Central administration.

This status is associated with paged too long or requested too long items. The glitch that causes this problem is largely patched across our system, but if it does come up it is easier for III to fix if the ticket comes to them–identifying the item and the owning library, of course–under the member code of the requesting library.

Contact the III Ticket System here.

PROBLEM: Broken holds

Here are some examples:

  • An INNReach paging slips prints for Patron 1. The book is pulled and checked in but the hold shows for Patron 2. Innovative has to repair the hold. One possible additional fix for this problem. Check item out for Patron 2. Check item in. Item may now allow you to check it out to Patron 1. (Suggestion from OSU – also worked at Westerville.)
  • A local patron requests an INNReach item. We attempt to check the item out but it will not stay on the patron’s record–it disappears when the patron record is closed. However, the checkout shows as normal at the owning library. Innovative has to repair the checkout so that it shows on our patron’s record. (Westerville has seen a few. III repaired.)
  • A local patron returns an INNReach item. It is properly checked in and shows as available at the owning site; however, it’s still on the patron’s record and can’t be checked in. This is often noticed by staff when another patron wants to check the item out. The Off-Site status will not clear. Innovative, or a person at the library with editing capabilities has to clear the item from the patron’s record.
  • This fix pertains to broken holds and removing messages:
    • If you have the item in hand or know the barcode:
  1. Enter the barcode in Search/Holds
  2. Click on the 2nd tab or record number
  3. A person will need editing abilities to perform this next step. Click on Edit Double-click on the status field and change the status to ‘off-site’ or ‘off-campus’.
  4. If there is a message about the item related to another location at the bottom of the record (in the white portion), delete it now.
  5. Click the Save icon at the top of the screen.
  6. Check the item in.

PROBLEM: Item from Polaris system (CLC, Salem) shows available but request refused “Sorry, circulation policy does not allow your request.”

TO FIX: Get in touch with the owning library PCIRC. If this is a Polaris library, the item will need to be resubmitted to Central, a process that might take a day or so.

If the item is from a Sierra library, the problem is likely to be an title-level hold on the item (or a problem with the loan rules–for instance, the item should have been suppressed and should not be showing at all).

PROBLEM: Items from member X are coming in with a due date of 1969

TO FIX: One of the members, borrower or receiver, has not added the location code of the other to their location code tables. Can be fixed by the libraries or by III.

PROBLEM: Stuff is coming in due immediately, or before it arrives.

TO FIX: The lending institution has changed its loan rules and the correct rule for INNReach is no longer being applied. Loan rules must be reviewed and repaired.

PROBLEM: Can lost paging slips be reprinted?

TO FIX: Print the “paged too long” report and select those with that day’s date. With this list you can pull them, but you will have no paging slips to send with them. (Posted to the SearchOhio listserv by Judy Torrence on 12/10/08.)

Instructions for Sierra and Polaris.


PROBLEM: A patron requests an item through SearchOhio that is available at their library.

Sometimes our patrons try SearchOhio of OhioLink first before checking their local catalog. This can create an INNReach paging slip that has an destination location for your own library.

TO FIX: Here is the quickest way to generate a hold slip for your local item/local patron:

On Sierra:
1. Function Keys: Click on INN-Reach: Check-Out to Remote Site
2. Scan the item and acknowledge the pop-up.
3. Click on F2 (or the Check-in function) and scan the item. The slip will print for the local hold.