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Link to brief history of Automated Item Blocks

For the MVP there are 6 types of Item Blocks available:

  1. Maximum number of items borrowed for loan type (e.g. course reserve)
  2. Maximum number of items borrowed for material type (e.g. DVD)
  3. Maximum number of items borrowed for loan type (e.g. course reserve) and material type (e.g. DVD)
  4. Maximum number of items borrowed for patron group and loan type (e.g. course reserve)
  5. Maximum number of items borrowed for patron group and material type (e.g. DVD)
  6. Maximum number of items borrowed for patron group, loan type (e.g. course reserve) and material type (e.g. DVD)

(Note:  An Automated Patron Block is used to set a maximum number of items borrowed for patron group)

The Item limit is set in the Loans section of the Loan Policy as shown below:


After creating a Loan Policy with an Item limit, use the Loan Policy in a Circulation Rule as described below:

Automated Item Block ExamplesCirc Rule FormatDescription

Maximum number of items borrowed for one loan type (e.g. course reserves, reading room)

t course-reserves : l three-hours r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policy

Loan Policy three-hours will contain the Loan limit for loan type course reserves.

Maximum number of items borrowed for one material type (e.g. DVD, book)

m dvd : l three-days r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policy

Loan Policy three-days will contain the Loan limit for material type dvd.

Maximum number of items borrowed for one loan type (e.g. course reserves, reading room) and one material type (e.g. DVD, book)

t course-reserves + m dvd : l two-days r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policy

Loan Policy two-days will contain the Loan limit for course reserves items that are dvds.

Maximum number of items borrowed for one patron group and one loan type (e.g. course reserves, reading room)

g undergrad + t course-reserves : l ug-three-hours r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policy

Loan Policy ug-three-hours will contain the Loan limit for undergrads checking out course reserves items.

Maximum number of items borrowed for one patron group andone material type (e.g. DVD, book)

g undergrad + m dvd : l ug-three-days r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policy

Loan Policy ug-three-days will contain the Loan limit for undergrads checking out dvds.

Maximum number of items borrowed for one patron group,one loan type (e.g. course reserves, reading room) and one material type (e.g. DVD, book)

g undergrad + t course-reserves + m dvd : l ug-two-days r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policy

Loan Policy ug-two-days will contain the Loan limit for undergrads checking out course reserves items that are dvds.

Maximum number of items borrowed for more than one patron group andone loan type (e.g. course reserves, reading room)

g undergrad graduate + t course-reserves : l s-three-days r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policy

Loan Policy s-three-days will contain the Loan limit for undergradsand graduates checking out course-reserves items.
Maximum number of items borrowed for more than one patron group and one material type (e.g. DVD, book)g undergrad graduate visitor + m dvd : l m-three-days r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policyLoan Policy m-three-days will contain the Loan limit for undergrads, graduates and visitors checking out dvds.
Maximum number of items borrowed for patron group only will be handled via Automated Patron Blocksg undergrad : l ug-6-weeks r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policyIf ug-six-weeks contains a Loan limit, it will be ignored.  Loan limits for Patron Groups only are handled by Automated Patron Blocks, not Automated Item Blocks.
Maximum number of items borrowed for more than one loan type (e.g. course reserves, reading room)t course-reserves reading-room : l cr-three-hours r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policyLoan Policy cr-three-hours will contain the Loan limit for loan types course-reserves and reading-room For example, if the Loan Policy Loan Limit is 3, the patron will be allowed to check out 3 course-reserves items and 3 reading-room items.   This is the MVP version (simple version) of Automated Item Blocks; it is slow if the patron has a high number of open loans (CIRC-558). RA SIG will determine what improvements are needed (e.g. UXPROD-2149 or UXPROD-2250 with the possibility for a bucket with a limit of 3 and the bucket combines both loan types).
Maximum number of items borrowed for more than one material type (e.g. DVD, book)m dvd cd : l media-three-days r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policyLoan Policy media-three-days will contain the Loan limit for material types dvds and cdsFor example, if the Loan Policy Loan Limitis 3, the patron will be allowed to check out 3 dvds and3 cdsThis is the MVP version (simple version) of Automated Item Blocks; it is slow if the patron has a high number of open loans (CIRC-558). RA SIG will determine what improvements are needed (e.g. UXPROD-2149 or UXPROD-2250 with the possibility for a bucket with a limit of 3 and the bucket combines both material types).
Maximum number of items borrowed for more than one loan type (e.g. course reserves, reading room) and one material type (e.g. DVD, book)t course-reserves reading-room new-books + m book : l b-four-days r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policyLoan Policy b-four-days will contain the Loan limit for course reserves that are books, reading-room items that are books and new-books that are booksFor example, if the Loan Policy Loan Limit is 3, the patron will be allowed to check out 3 course-reserves books and 3 reading-room books and 3 new-books books.
This is the MVP version (simple version) of Automated Item Blocks; it is slow if the patron has a high number of open loans (CIRC-558). RA SIG will determine what improvements are needed (e.g. UXPROD-2149 or UXPROD-2250 with the possibility for a bucket with a limit of 3 and the bucket combines all three loan types).
Maximum number of items borrowed for more than one material type (e.g. DVD, book) and one loan type (e.g. course reserves, reading room) t course-reserves + m dvd cd : l media-cr r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policyLoan Policy media-cr will contain the Loan limit for course reserves that are dvds or are cdsFor example, if the Loan Policy Loan Limit is 3, the patron will be allowed to check out 3 course-reserves dvds and 3 course-reserves cds.
This is the MVP version (simple version) of Automated Item Blocks; it is slow if the patron has a high number of open loans (CIRC-558). RA SIG will determine what improvements are needed (e.g. UXPROD-2149 or UXPROD-2250 with the possibility for a bucket with a limit of 3 and the bucket combines both material types).



Back to Implementing Automated Item Blocks

Brief History of Automated Item Blocks (aka How did item blocks get this way?)

Per the spreadsheet located at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ePWOFp6wNe4GchNsFMIhvZ46RsNvMSq8FmUbrqLRd4c/edit?usp=sharing, the Resource Access SIG identified 5 types of Item Blocks:

  1. Maximum number of items borrowed for patron group and loan type (e.g. course reserve)
  2. Maximum number of items borrowed for patron group and material type (e.g. DVD)
  3. Maximum number of items borrowed for loan type (e.g. course reserve)
  4. Maximum number of items borrowed for material type (e.g. DVD)
  5. Maximum number of items borrowed for patron group and location
(Note:  #5 was added after the initial requirements were gathered.)

The original design was to create a new policy called a Loan Limit Policy that would contain just a number that represented the maximum number of items that could be checked out.  The page would look like this…

The new Loan Limit Policy would be used in a Circ Rule like this…

t course-reserves: l three-hour r hold-only n send-notices o overdue-fine-policy i lost-item-policy x loan-limit-3


When it was time for development, Loan Limit was thin-threaded to be added to the Loan Policy as Item Limit shown below…


The sites implementing in 2020 were polled and were o.k. with this change.  We agreed to revisit this approach later. 


During the development of Automated Item Blocks (CIRC-558) there was confusion about the relationship of the Loan Policy and Item Limit (there isn’t really any) and concern about the processing time at checkout (which was being increased).  There are over 80 comments on the JIRA issue that you should feel free to read if you are interested. 


CIRC-558 was developed by someone on the Vega team, but at some point Julian Ladish became involved.  Probably as a Core Platform developer looking at reducing processing time.  He was able to define a process using Loan Limit Groups that would reduce processing time and has documented this approach in UXPROD-2250.   This will be considered for Phase II of item blocks.  Holly has also come up with a Phase II approach that removes the setting of item blocks from Circ Rules (which won’t be much help if the processing is still slow).  We need to see how Phase I works out before we decide on a Phase II approach.  This will be discussed with the Resource Access SIG before any further action is taken.

Back to Implementing Automated Item Blocks


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