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Polaris Training Links


staff blog on Polaris, Communico and beyond

Communico Updates - August 2019

Cancel, don't delete patron registrations

When patrons cancel their event registration, please remember to always mark those as Cancelled and never delete the actual registration. 


This will help programming staff to more accurately track the number and time of signups and cancellations.


Communico Updates - January 2019

New Tags Galore and Outreach is now 'Partnerships'

STEM tag has been added to Communico Events for the sake of better being able to track one of the strategic goals.

Other new tags include: Ages 21-39, Partnership Activity, DPPL Only, and Be A Maker. 

"Outreach" and "Millennial" are tags that have been removed. 

Also, you can now hide the tracking of partnership activities from the public by using the reporting field (a dropdown menu) when creating/editing an event. This tool makes it less cluttered for the public when viewing public partnership events. Managers should be mindful to also track this reporting category.



Reschedule, publish and unpublish 9/4/18

If you make events in Communico, remember to title the event beyond just TBA as soon as you can. Also, publish your pending events early so that your colleagues can see what is holding the room. You can publish and keep the event PRIVATE to hide it from the public.

Rescheduling an event

On the events listing page, find the event and from the more button, select reschedule event.

Choose a new time and/or date for the event.

(Note rescheduling an event will cancel the venue associated with it. Even though the rescheduled event may be taking place at the same venue, you will need to select a venue too).

You can add a reason for rescheduling which will appear in the event listing. If it’s a registered event, you can choose to move any registrants over to the new event. They will be notified automatically if they provided an email address when registering.

Tony: if it's early enough, I suggest marking the checkbox so that it doesn't mark the event as rescheduled. That way you won't have to deal with an old entry in the calendar that might be misleading to some.

Unpublishing an event

On the events listing page, find the event and from the more button, select unpublish event.

Confirm you want to unpublish the event (If it’s a series event the entire series will be unpublished)

Unpublishing removes the event from any public listings.

Deleting an event

On the events listing page, find the event and from the more button, select delete event. ( An event can only be deleted when it's status is draft).



Communico Updates - Program Reminder Emails 7/6/18

If you're running a program that has a full RSVP list, remember that patrons who entered their emails into Communico when registering will receive reminders. In most cases, they will get an email 2 days before a program is scheduled.

If no email is entered, consider calling your participants 2 or 3 days before the program to ensure they are still interested in attending. 

Adult Class: 2 days  
Adult Program: 3 days 
Board Meeting: 2 days 
Community Group: 2 days 
Library Staff: 2 days 
Special Event: 2 days
Teen Program: 2 days 
Youth Program: 2 days



Communico Updates - Sticky filters 6/27/18

Please note that Communico is about to enable a new feature called “sticky filters” in the Attend (Events module) of the staff side. It might mean that your searches on shared computers end up staying after the session ends and your browser is closed. Details below. This could be live as soon as this evening.

 If you are having trouble finding an event, make sure you look at the top of the search and ensure there’s no filter (marked in green) already set.

 This should be a time saver in the long run, but please let me know if you have any feedback.

Sticky filters - Control Panel

The Control Panel can now remember your filtering options for Attend and Reserve and will no longer resets these whenever you navigate away from the page. For example, you may have selected a specific set of filters to see all room bookings at a particular branch in Reserve, whether you close your browser or navigate away from Control Panel, when you return to Reserve those filters will still be applied to your view. 

This feature covers all filters and date fields across Attend & Reserve.

The highlighted area in the image below is an example of the filters that will be remembered whenever you return to the Reserve or Attend screens.


CCS updates - eContent is here 6/4/18

CCS continues to work with Innovative and third-party vendors to load integrated and non-integrated econtent. For an overview of econtent in Polaris, visit the migration portal.

  • Additional Overdrive records continue to be synced daily with Polaris.
  • Patrons are able to check out and place holds on fully integrated econtent directly from PowerPAC CloudLibrary and Axis360 records have been added or updated in Polaris for all participating libraries
  • Hoopla records will start importing in the next week

There may still be out-of-date links present in econtent records. CCS will work to remove these urls once econtent loading has been completed. 


Polaris Points - 5/10/18

When holds are trapped in the sorter, notifications may be going out before we actually have a chance to wrap the hold and get it out on the floor.  Notifications are automatically sent out at 8 am, 12 pm and 4 pm.  If something gets trapped at 11:55, the patron will be notified at 12:00pm and theoretically could show up at 12:05 but we haven’t finished the process yet.  (This has happened a few times already.)  Laurie is working on workflow to help reduce this issue and we might ask CCS not to run all 3 notifications…I will keep you posted.


CCS updates - 5/4/18

Have you logged out today?

You have probably encountered a locked record in Polaris. Records are locked to avoid two people editing the record at the same time. Even if you aren't editing it, you could be blocking another staff member from doing so.


Polaris Points - 5/3/18


If a patron checks out an item at the shelf-check that was not checked in, the self-check will automatically check the item in, remove any holds from the previous user’s account and then check the item out to the patron.  If you ever see a receipt that says “forced check out” this is what has happened. (Editors note: this is a good thing.)


Heads Up Updates - 4/27/18

1)     Mobile App Testing, get your input in now. iPads were brought to the service desks by IT with the app installed. If you’re interested to see what we’re going to replace the Boopsie app with, it is an app called Des Plaines Library (to be renamed to DPPL Mobile.) Give it a try and let me know if you have feedback! The changes we are asking Communico to make can be found here: -- I’d love to hear your suggestions.

2)      Problems with the Boopsie app are fixed. Once Communico is up and running, details will be posted about how we're sunsetting Boopsie and letting patrons know. 

3)      Still waiting on eContent . Several eBooks are missing from the PowerPAC catalog AND many eBook/eAudiobook titles from other library Overdrive subscriptions continue to display in the public Catalog. It might be frustrating for patrons to get to this Overdrive screen but then be unable to check something out with their DPPL card. CCS is working on fixing this though we don't have an ETA on it.  (Updated in late May 2018) 
Up to date info is also found on the eBooks & More page. 



Polaris Points - 4/25/2018

1)      BLOCKS  You may notice notes popping up on your screen while in Leap (when placing a hold for a patron, when checking a patron’s materials out, etc.).  These notes are called BLOCKS.  They are not used in the way we used Blocks in Sirsi.  A Block can be as simple as alerting you that a patron has a hold waiting for them.  It might tell you that the patron has fines.  It also may tell you that this patron is Barred.  Make sure to read the Blocks. 

2)      Cancelled holds – Cancelled holds remain in a patron’s account for 90 days.  Most cancelled holds can be reinstated if the patron wants the item on hold again.

3)      Number of Renewals – The number of renewals allowed on an item depends on WHERE the item comes from.  Here in Des Plaines, we allow up to 3 potential renewals on most items.  If a patron checks out a DPPL item, they will see 3 out of 3 renewals left in their account.  However, Round Lake, for instance, only allows 2 renewals.  If a patron checks out an item here that came from Round Lake, they will only get up to 2 potential renewals.  And if a patron checks out an item that came from Wilmette, they will get up to 4 potential renewals.