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During this unprecedented period, we want to assure you that Innovative is here to help. Innovative is operating normally and prepared to continue delivering our services. Our customer support and professional services teams are adept at working remotely and have video or teleconference tools we can use to meet with you.


We understand that many libraries are temporarily closing or changing their services. Innovative Customer Support has prepared a solution in order to help libraries answer questions around preparing for closures due natural disasters, Coronavirus (COVID-19) or other unplanned events.


Please contact Innovative if you need to postpone any scheduled upgrades, projects or service commitments.


We hosted a webinar on March 24, 2020 to walk through the information in this guide. Here is a copy of the webinar presentation: Sierra & Millenium Resources to Close Physical Locations - Webinar Slides

You can also access the recordings of these webinars using the links below:

North America & EMEA -



Access to Sierra systems for staff working remotely:


System Settings to consider when temporarily closing:

  • This document has a good overview of functions to consider when closing and reopening a library: Temporary Location Close and Reopen found under Sierra: System Administration in the ITLC




  • Please contact Innovative Customer Support to suppress participation as a supplier.



  • The Temporary Locations Close functionality does not work on ILL items, consider activating the Automatic Renewal feature mentioned in the circulation section below. Often the due date will be close to the date the item must be returned to the supplier however.
  • If placing a message about the closure on your ILL requesting page is not adequate, contact Innovative Customer Support to block ILL requesting.



Central System Coordinators

  • To suppress a library from the requesting library selection or just some pickup locations, please contact Innovative Customer Support.
  • Stop all INN-Reach requesting by removing the request web option for the central catalog.
  • Block lending by adding the library to the bottom of the Loan Rule Determiner Table as non-circulating.


Local Circulation

  • The Temporary Locations Close functionality does not work on INN-Reach items, consider activating the Automatic Renewal mentioned in the circulation section below.



  • WebPAC has customizable pages to notify patrons of current library conditions.  The mainmenu.html is a good front page option, as well as toplogo.html which is present at the top of the page for each WebPAC page.
  •  In addition, if the library has a scope for ebook/electronic materials, you can promote that in Admin Corner ( A > N) and set the ebook scope to the lowest number among the other scopes. 
  • You can also remove scopes from public display by setting them to 0.
  • AirPAC: If you need to disable requests, or make changes to AirPAC pages, please open a ticket with Innovative.



  • Changes made to Sierra/Millennium request rules will not immediately sync over to Encore as the changes are pushed to Encore overnight.  If the changes need to be synced over sooner, please contact Innovative Customer Support.
  • If you require requesting turned off completely in Encore, please contact Innovative Customer Support.
  • A custom message for patrons explaining changes to normal library operating hours/procedures could be added to each Encore page via the custom header feature in Encore.  For instructions on adding a custom header, see in the Encore Staff Guide on CSDirect.



  • Consider activating the Automatic Renewal feature. This feature can automatically renew materials when there are no holds on the title.
  • Consider activating the Batch Due Date Extension feature. (may need to be activated by Innovative Support) This feature uses Rapid Update to change the due date of a review file of items to a set date. 
  • If you are still operating and want newly checked out items to be assigned a set due date, you can create a new loan rule with the (A)bsolute code and use the Julian date.  This loan rule should likely also be set to disallow holds.  Then use the last line of the loan rule determiner table to assign all locations (?????), patron types (9999) and item types (9999) to the new loan rule.  This will include all patron/item conditions including non-circulating items.  Some libraries may want to craft that line more carefully if they only want to circulate select items.
  • When service is restored, staff should consider backdating checked in items if fines should be forgiven on "late" items. Another option is to use Globally Purge Charges.  
  • If you are considering temporarily disabling collection agency submissions, you can follow the steps outlined in the solution How to disable Automatic Collection Agency Reports.



  • If you wish to disable all requesting for patrons, comment out the REQUEST wwwoption and restart Automatic Request Processing and WebPAC processes.
  • Hold management generally cannot be done in batch (including functions such as pickup location, Not Wanted Before date, and Pick Up By date for items on holdshelf)
  • For holds already on the holdshelf, starting March 23, 2020, a new script is available to batch update the pickup dates to a date when your library will likely reopen. For more details, visit the Supportal solution Batch Update on Hold Pickup Dates. The Innovative support team can run the script at your request for all versions of Sierra and Millennium.  If you would like this implemented on your system, please open a ticket and indicate the number of days you would like your holds moved.
  • As of April 3, 2020 a new script is available for Sierra to ensure that holds are not deleted due to their Not Needed After (NNA) date passing while the library is unavailable for service. For more information, see the solution Extending Not Needed After (NNA) Dates.
  • To prevent held items from expiring, consider waiting to run the Clear Holdshelf program. You may wish to avoid clearing defunct holds for some time after the library reopens to allow patrons extra time to pick items up from the holdshelf. Holds remain on the holdshelf until that program is executed. 
  • For hold requests expiring during the closure (Not Wanted After date), use Create List to find bibs/items that have holds with a Not Wanted After date within the closure date range and update those individual holds as needed. 


Link Maintenance

  • If your organization uses the Daily Record Link Maintenance option, it is likely you will need to continue doing so even if your library is closed,since the system logs records for Link Maintenance even when the record edit was an online renewal, for example.
  • Support can make the logfile bigger so you do not have to run Daily Link Maintenance as often; we can also enable Overnight Link Maintenance for you.  Overnight Link Maintenance is strongly recommended if your library will be closed for several weeks or more.


When you are ready to reopen see the solution Considerations for Opening Physical Locations Closed Due to COVID-19.


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