Live Shelf Status Activation Guide

Live Shelf Status is a check of the circulation Availability (In Library, On Hold, Checked Out etc) of an item at the time a Request is submitted to a Lender. OutLook OnLine connects directly to the Lender library's Z39.50 server for information about the Holdings (Location & Status) of that item including an up-to-date check that the library actually still owns that exact item. Check the FAQ What is Live Shelf Status? for more information on Live Shelf Status including the benefits and any currently known issues.

Live Shelf Status is activated on a "by-request-case-by-case" basis for each library. Check-out the FAQ Why is there a Check Shelf Status link only beside some libraries? to see examples. We will work together with you to ensure that your Z39.50 server is returning reliable Search and Holdings information to OutLook OnLine so live availability checks can occur. Contact us to request Live Shelf Status be activated!

System Administrators/Librarians: What are my first steps?

  1. Check to see if Live Shelf Status has been activated for your Library already! The FAQ I can see location and status information for my library. Have you activated Live Shelf Status for us? will help you check or contact us for more information.
  2. We will confirm your Z39.50 server details including Connection, Search, ILS Locations (eg. Branch Names), ILS Statuses (eg. Checked Out, In Library), and your Z39.50 Holdings information.
  3. Your Z39.50 server needs to be configured to Search and pull Holdings (Location, Status & Availability) information from your ILS and deliver it to OutLook OnLine via your Z39.50 server and a MARC tag (eg. 852 or 926). You may need to contact your ILS vendor for assistance configuring your Z39.50 server to deliver Holdings statements or resolve any Search issues. Want to try some searches against your Z39.50 server? Use our ELNN2 OutLook OnLine Test Site here or contact us to add it as a search target for your Staff.
  4. Once your Z39.50 server is configured correctly to return search results and holdings to OutLook OnLine, we can browse a variety of records for obvious remaining issues before activating live shelf status. Please contact us for information on our test site available.
  5. When you're ready to turn-on and test Live Shelf Status please let us know and we will activate it for your library! During this time some requests may not always go through correctly as we work out any remaining issues.

For ILL Staff: What can I expect when Live Shelf Status is activated for my Library?

  • The OutLook OnLine system, working together with your library's live availability information from your ILS, will not forward you requests for items that are currently unavailable because they're Checked Out or On Hold etc. This means you should no longer have to spend considerable time looking up the availability of an item before manually rejecting the request in your Pending. The system automatically takes over the "Will not Supply" part of your workflow due to "In use, on loan" or any other reason such as the item is not owned.
  • When you are skipped as a Lender because your item is unavailable, other libraries will see the message "Item not available - lender XXXX skipped, retry later" and may contact you concerned that this is an error. If your item is unavailable (eg. Checked Out) then this is working correctly! Please check first if the item is available to loan - and contact us with the Request Number or Item Title if it is available and still being skipped. For more information check-out the FAQ Why is the system rejecting my request with the message "Item not available - lender XXXX skipped, retry later"? or contact us.
  • Sometimes you will be skipped as a Lender because the details in the Request (Title, Author, Publication Date etc) don't match what's available in the catalogue record from your ILS. The system tries to match-up the request with your catalogue record to ensure that the correct item is delivered/requested! For more information check-out the FAQ Why is the system rejecting my request with the message "Lender title or author does not match requested title or author - lender XXXX skipped"? or contact us for assistance.
  • When Live Shelf Status is activated you should see fewer requests show-up in your Pending action items found under Staff Menu > ILL Admin > Requesting Manager > Manage Lender Requests > Pending.
  • If you receive questions from other libraries about live shelf status, skipped requests or request mis-matches - please feel free to forward them along to us to troubleshoot!

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