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We understand that many libraries are preparing to re-open or begin offering limited services due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Click here for Resources to Close Physical Locations.

Innovative Customer Support has prepared a solution in order to help libraries preparing for the next step in their services.  We know that each library is unique and serves a unique community.  Please use this solution to help build the right plan for your library. 

We hosted a webinar to walk through the information in this guide. You can access the recording of this webinar here:   

Access to Sierra systems for staff working remotely:

  • If your system is hosted by Innovative, and we added remote access to enable your staff to work from home, please request that any access that is no longer needed be removed.   You may use the Service Commitment: Add/ Remove IP to Hosted Firewall for Remote Access to submit requests for IP/IP range removal.
  • If your system is locally hosted, please work with your local IT to remove remote access that is no longer needed.

System Settings to consider when temporarily closing:


  • If your library was temporarily configured as an ArticleReach non-supplier, contact Innovative Customer Support to re-enable your supplier status.


  • If you temporarily blocked ILL requesting, contact Innovative Customer Support to re-enable ILL requesting.


  • If a custom message was used to update the public display, decide when to remove or modify the message.
  • If you promoted a scope for ebook/electronic materials, you may want to revert the ebook scope to its previous position in Admin Corner (A > N >).
  •  If you removed a scope from public display, decide when to re-enable public display for that scope.
  • AirPAC: If you need to re-enable 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 the Request button in your Encore was previously disabled at your request by Innovative Customer Support, please contact us again to enable it when you are ready to do so.


  • Edit your Days Closed and Hours Open tables to reflect current library hours and days closed.
  • Change the name associated with the location code(s) of the closed branches to remove any indication the locations are closed. This step is unnecessary if you did not change the name of the location code(s) when the branch closed.
  • 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.  
  • Review your Loan Rules Table and Loan Rule Determiner table for any necessary changes to loan periods, hold pickup periods, fine amounts, etc.
  • If additional time is needed to quarantine/sanitize items after check-in, you may wish to consider using the Time to Reshelve table to let patrons know in WebPAC that these items are currently unavailable for a period of time.
  • If automatic Collection Agency reports were disabled, revert the changes made following the solution: How to disable Automatic Collection Agency Reports
  • You may wish to update your Text of Circulation Notices with any COVID-19 related library information patrons may need to know. For example, if patrons should allow 72 hours after receiving a hold pickup notice to pick up materials, you may wish to note that information in your hold pickup notice text.


  • If your library uses Title Priority Paging, reset priorities for your branches to the appropriate values. If your library does not use Title Priority Paging and has the Library Priority table set up, change the table to allow title-level holds for these locations. This step is unnecessary if you did not change the priority for the closed locations to '0' (zero).
  • If you removed or modified hold pickup locations, modify the Hold Pickup Location table in Circulation Parameters. This step is unnecessary if you did not make changes to this table.
  • Some libraries have asked Support to disable transferring of pages.  If your library has requested this and you are now ready for paging to resume normally, please open a ticket with Support to re-enable the daily cron job. You may wish to wait several days before requesting the daily job to be re-enabled to allow staff to retrieve queued pages from the shelves as the next day the job is enabled, expired pages will move on to the next location in a batch transfer.
  • If the daily cron job to transfer pages has been running, but staff have not been fulfilling pages, it is likely some title pages have expired. Staff can use Create Lists to search for bibs with holds and attached available items which can be used to locate items which may fulfill title holds.
  • If you disabled the REQUEST wwwoption to stop requesting, re-enable the REQUEST wwwoption, and restart Automatic Request Processing and WebPAC processes.
  • Let Support know by opening a ticket if Request Rules changes are needed to remove rules that were added to block requests.
  • Consider waiting a few days after reopening 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 or items are checked in from the holdshelf. 
  • Reset the "holdable" element in loan rules that were updated to "no" back to "yes". This step is unnecessary if you did not change the "holdable" element in loan rules.
  • The Time to Holdshelf table can be used to display a custom message for a given time period in WebPAC and Express Lane when patrons view their held items. This can allow staff the opportunity to let patrons know there will be a delay in their holds being "Ready for Pickup" if additional processing time is needed.
  • If your library uses an AMH (Automated Material Handling) machine and you would like to allow for additional time before checking in items which have holds, you may wish to consider requesting disabling of the SIP2 Checkin of Items with Special Conditions feature. This will prevent checkin of items meeting any of the special conditions listed on the linked page and the AMH should sort materials to the exceptions bin for manual staff handling. Staff can then quarantine items for a given time period and check in when ready to fulfill holds or set items in transit as needed. Please check with your AMH machine vendor for confirmation on sorting behavior of items which cannot be checked in.

Link Maintenance:

  • If you asked Support at Innovative to make any changes to the Link Maintenance utility in your system, review and decide whether to leave as-is or change back.

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

You can also access the recording of this webinar here:

Also, review the "Tips for Reopening the Library" blog post from Alison Pruntel, Manager, Technology & Materials at Fauquier County Public Library.

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.


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