Charging/Retrieving Offline Charges

This document is part of the Circ/Reserves Manual. (Link downloads the manual.)

Offline circulation

  1. When Voyager is “down,” you will receive a message that the “connection is refused.” Click on OK.
    Error message: Connection refused
  2. Voyager will then ask you whether you want to use the “offline circulation function.” Click Yes.
    Dialog box: Unable to connect to server. Only Offline Charge is available. Proceed?
  3. You will then be prompted for a due date. This will be the due date for all items that you check out regardless of the patron or item type.
    Entry form: Enter Due Date for Offline Charge
  4. You will get a window that looks like circulation. (You can see by the header that it says “Charge <Offline Mode>”). Scan the patron barcode and then the item barcodes.
    Charge Offline Mode: Entry box for item barcode
  5. Offline circulation will not notify you if an item is on hold for another patron, charged to another patron, or has any other status. Voyager will simply inform you that the item is charged. It is a good idea to keep an eye on the screen, so that if the scanner misreads the barcode or misses digits, you can re-scan the barcode. (This will reduce the amount of time you spend tracking down “bad” transactions from the Circulation Error Reports.)
  6. You cannot discharge items with offline circulation; you will need to hold those until Voyager is back up.
  7. When the circulation client is available again, Voyager will inform you that you have been using the offline function. It will give you directions on how to upload the circulation transactions that Voyager has been capturing for you.
    Dialog box: Select Charge/Renew from the Functions menu, then Restore Offline Capture File.
  8. To upload the circulation transactions:
    1. Click on Charge.
    2. Once you have the Charge screen up, click on Charge/Renew on the top menu. (Circled in red in Figure 62.)
      Charge/Renew option on Voyager menu
    3. Then select Upload Offline Capture File….
    4. Voyager will begin uploading the circulation transactions. You should see the words “uploading transactions” at the bottom of the screen. It is absolutely imperative that you pay attention to the screen. From time to time, the process will stop to notify you that Voyager encountered problems.
    5. Once Voyager is finished processing all the transactions, you may be prompted at the end to check the error file.

When NOT to use Offline Circulation

Offline Circulation only works for UIUC patrons and UIUC items. When the transactions are uploaded, Voyager cannot recognize other I-Share libraries’ patrons and items, and any transactions that Voyager cannot recognize will end up in the Circulation Error Reports. It is best to use your library’s manual check-out procedures to ensure that all necessary information is being recorded.

Voyager Offline Circulation Error Reports

When Voyager goes down, you are prompted to use the offline circulation function. Once the circulation client is available again, Voyager will give you directions on how to upload the circulation transactions that were captured during the offline time.

Because Voyager Offline Circulation is not actually talking to the database while you are using it, it doesn’t know at the time of charging an item if a patron record for the patron ID scanned is valid and in our database; likewise, Voyager does not know if an item record scanned is valid and in our database. When items and patrons don’t match up after the offline circulation charges are uploaded into Voyager, an error report is produced on the local PC.

If any errors were generated, the following message displays indicating the name of the error file and where to find it:

Dialog box: The *.rpt files contain a list of any errors. Please review.

  1. Locate the error file on your computer’s C: drive. You will see two types of files — “CAP Files” and “RPT Files.” The CAP files contain all the charges that were uploaded into Voyager; the RPT files contain all the errors. You are interested in the RPT files only.
    Sample list of error reports in Windows Explorer
  2. You can open the error report using a text editor such as Notepad or Wordpad. Here is an example of the file. The first error message tells you that the patron barcode was not found; the second one tells you that the item barcode was not found.
    Report Date = 2002-10-22 16:55:08Capture File Date: 2002-10-22 16:47:47
    Patron Barcode: 20111XXXXXXXXX
    Item Barcode: 30112003964969
    Due Date: 2002-11-19 23:59:00
    Reason for Error: Patron barcode not found.

    Capture File Date: 2002-11-05 14:37:42
    Patron Barcode: 20111XXXXXXXXX
    Item Barcode: 30112058687580
    Due Date: 2002-12-03 23:59:00
    Reason for Error: Item barcode not found.

  3. If the patron barcode was not found, first check to confirm that the barcode is for a UIUC patron (e.g., has a 20111 or 20112 prefix). If the patron is affiliated with another school, try checking out the item again, this time selecting the patron’s institutional affiliation from the drop down list. If the barcode indicates that the patron is a UIUC patron, contact the Library Telephone Center to help troubleshoot the missing patron record.
  4. If the item barcode was not found, you will need to create an on-the-fly record with a title like “UIUC Library item; title not available” and a comment in the note field like “Offline circ charge error.” Then charge out the on-the-fly record to the patron indicated.