Our library does not charge fines for overdue books. How can we set PAL to not charge fines?
If you are not charging fines you should set the fine amount in the Media Types panel to $0.00 (Main Menu > Admin Menu ("11") > All Panels Menu ("6") > Media Types ("21"). You need to do this for each media for which you don't charge a fine. Then no fines will be charged.
Check out speed:
How fast is it to check out a book using PAL?
Checkouts are quick. Simply scan in the library card - then scan in the item's barcode. There is no need to even touch the keyboard(unless you are alerted by a beep to a problem (e.g.,borrower already has too many books checked out,etc)).
Checking to see if book is checked out
Is there a way to access the system to see if a particular book is checked out? And to whom? Occasionally, a student will ask for a book they can't find, and I don't know how to find that out.
There are two ways to see if a book is checked out.
In the Catalog Panel at the very bottom there are two
fields "Circ" and "Hist". The Circ field tells you
how many times the item has been checked out. The
"Hist" field tells you if it is now checked out or not
("0" means it's on the shelf, "1" means it's checked
out). Note also that by using the ALT-F2 key
combination (instead of Tab or Enter) you can get to
the "Hist" field to do a UpArrow lookup (to see a list
of all items checked out, i.e. with "1" in that
You can also go to the "Check Out's" Panel, tab to the
"Item ID" field and do a look up by title (UpArrow).
This way you can see exactly who checked out the item,
what was the due date, and whether or not it was
On the Patron page, there is an item that says
"Permission Slip". What is that?
If there is nothing in the "permission slip" box (ie no "Y") in the Patron Panel, then when that student attempts to check out an item the message
"NO PERMISSION SLIP ON FILE" appears under the students name in the Transaction Panel alerting you to this fact. Many schools do not permit students to check out items without parent's permission (and acceptance of responsibility) on file.
Check Out Time Period
The system is set right now to give them two weeks on a checked out book. Can this be changed? For instance to four weeks?
Yes. We set 14 days as the default but you can easily change this. And, you can also have different time periods for different media. For example, books can be checked out for 14 days while videocassettes can be checked out for only 3 days, etc. You can change the checkout period for each media as follows:
From Main Menu choose "11" (Admin Menu) then "6" All Panels Menu then "21" (Media Types Panel). Here you can set the checkout period (# of days)and overdue fine amount for each type of media.
No Library Cards?
Can we run PAL when the patron does not have a library card? Can they check out books as usual and we still have a record of them?
You don't have to use library cards at all if you
don't want to. If you are not using library cards
(i.e., there is no library card number to associate
with the patron) PAL generates its own unique "ID"
number for each patron.