Network News


Email Notices: Update

We have been working with innovative to fix two minor issues with email notices. One, was "iiiguy" showing up in the from address, and the other was in overdue notices where the last part of the text was being cut off. Innovative says they have removed "iiiguy" from the notices and yesterday we made a small adjustment in the format of the overdue notices that we hope will fix that problem. Unfortunately, it is hard to generate a test notice, so if anyone received an overdue notice this morning, could you please let me know if the second paragraph printed completely, including the url to InfoSoup. It should say:

Items may be returned at any OWLSnet library. For a list, see the
Library Directory under the My Library menu at


InfoSoup Reading Blogs

In discussion with many of the librarians most active in posting reviews to the InfoSoup blogs, we reached the conclusion that now was the right time to bring the review blogs to a quiet and peaceful end. I have posted a note on each of the blogs informing users of this decision.

The plan is to keep the current pages up until the end of the year. In 2016 we will replace each of the blogs with a corresponding page highlighting book lists, award lists, and other age appropriate reading resources, such as Read On Wisconsin, TeachingBooks, NoveList, local book festivals and community reads etc. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for resources you would like to see presented.

Many thanks to all who participated over the years!


Sierra Software Upgrade - December 14/15

One server migration down, one software upgrade to go! As discussed at AAC, we will be upgrading our Sierra Software from 1.2 SP2 to Sierra 2.0 SP3. We have schedule with Innovative to run the upgrade overnight, starting around 11:55 pm on Monday, December 14th. The upgrade should be completed sometime very early the following morning. If all goes well, there will be no down time during any open hours. In general, most libraries who have upgraded recently have reported few problems. This is a pretty big software jump for us, however, so we can assume there will be some issues. We will hope for the best, but be ready for an exciting Tuesday, just in case. As the date approaches we will provide additional information on what to look for after the upgrade.


Email Courtesy Notices

Since the server migration, there has been an issue with email courtesy notices where the library name does not display in the email From address. The library name has been replaced with "iii guy." From addresses look like this:

"iii guy" is just the generic user name that Innovative gives to email sent from the Sierra server. We have a ticket open and Innovative is looking into this. If patrons are confused or concerned that this is spam, please let them know that this is OK, but that we are working to fix it. Thanks,


Paging Lists Not Printing

Printing paging lists continues to be a problem. We have a call open with Innovative and are working with them to resolve this issue. We will post a note when we believe the problem is fixed. Please continue to report to OWLSnet help any other issues. 


Sierra Application Server Migration

I just confirmed with Innovative that we are all set to go tomorrow (November 17) beginning at 8:00 am. We will send out a net support notify message when the server is back up. I put a note on InfoSoup indicating that we will be down for a short time tomorrow morning. Of course, once we are down, no one will see the message :)


Sierra Application Server Migration

On Tuesday, November 17, from 8 am until 10 am, Sierra, InfoSoup, and Encore will be offline. During this time, Innovative will be migrating data from our old Sierra server to our new one. There is no software update involved, just moving data from an old machine to a new one. Innovative has told us that this is usually a relatively easy process and that we should be back up by 10 am. Given the short down time and the early hour, we think that most libraries may prefer to write down checkouts, and enter them in manually once Sierra is online rather than use offline circ. If you do plan to use offline circ during this time, please let us know by sending a note to OWLSnet help

Even if you don't plan to use offline circ we recommend that you be prepared just in case we run into any problems with the server migration. If at some point during the migration, Innovative tells us that we will be down longer than expected, we will send out a message on Net Support Notify.

Here are a couple of hints for using offline circulation effectively:

1. Be prepared. Print out the OWLSnet Offline Circ Procedures and have them available. The most recent copy of the procedures (dated October 25, 2011) is available at

2. Please remember not to use the offline circ client to register patrons, to check items in, or to renew items.

3. Please contact the OWLS office either before or as soon as possible after beginning to use offline circ.

4. Please contact the OWLS office before sending offline circ transactions. After Sierra is working at your library, send an email to OWLSnethelp letting us know there are offline circ transactions to be processed. OWLS staff will call you when we're ready to process the transactions.  We find there are fewer problems when these are processed one at a time, so we need to coordinate sending the transactions.

If you have not used offline circ for a while or have any questions at all, please call or email Laura or Patty.

InfoSoup Home Page Update

Now that all the library catalog stations have been updated, we are going to move forward with updating the main InfoSoup home page. I will launch the new home page this Thursday morning, November 12th. You can see a preview on our staging server at  This week I will also begin updating the supplemental InfoSoup pages, such as Research and Homework Help, Local History, Wiscat, Shoutbomb, Suggest a Purchase etc. The main goal is that all of the InfoSoup pages will eventually have the same header and navigation as the new Encore catalog. Some pages, such as the book blogs, will take a little longer to update.

The content on the new homepage is essentially the same but has been move around a little and updated. The biggest change is that all the links in the right hand column have been moved to the drop down menus, most under My Library and Help. Links to the new materials database and to BookLetters book lists are under the What to Read? menu and also displayed on the home page under the What to Read Next? section. The Job & Career page and Language Learning page are under the Research & Learning menu.

To the right of the search box is a What's Simmering section that will be updated regularly to highlight new resources and upcoming events etc. The rest of the homepage is meant to highlight our digital collections, reader's advisory tools, and research and local history resources. 

A link to the classic catalog will be available from the My Library menu and also at the bottom of the page. The classic catalog header will also change to match the new navigation, but will be clearly be label "Classic InfoSoup." The classic catalog page will look like this: It would have been nice to leave "classic" alone, but the way the catalog shares headers across all pages made this difficult. Book covers for the classic catalog on the staging server are not working, but they will display once the site is live. Also note that, while you can login on the staging server, some of the subsequent navigation may not work.

The new homepage has a "responsive design" and will resize nicely for display on phones and tablets. Once the new page is live, I will ask Innovative to remove the automatic redirect to (Airpac). Searching on a small screen device from will automatically take users to Encore mobile.

I don't think users will have trouble finding their way around, but I will try to post a brief help document highlighting the major changes. Anyone using Internet Explorer 8 or earlier will be redirected to the Encore start page.

If you take a look at the new page and click on any of the links, just remember to use your back button to get back to the staging server, as home button links will like you take you back to the live InfoSoup page. Please let me know if you have any questions.Thanks,


Sky River Software Update Scheduled for October 21

The Sky River Listserv is reporting that Sky River will be "offline for a couple of hours" on October 21st beginning around 2pm CST for a software update. We will let you know when it is back online.


Encore - Problem Viewing Holds: Important Update

I believe I found the origin of the "loading" problem. I haven't had any confirmation from Innovative, but I'm pretty sure I understand what is happening. The format of the link to My Account (when you click on your name) only works when you are on the Encore server -- The link causes an internal error if it is coming from somewhere else, such as or any library web site. You can still login, but the necessary files fail to load. Modifying the link, however, appears to solve the problem.

The My Account link I originally sent out (and was using on InfoSoup) was:

We need to remove "?lang=eng&suite=def" from the end of the link.

Correct link:

I have updated the link on all InfoSoup pages and OWLS web sites. NFLS libraries that included the previous link on their web sites will need to contact the person in charge of updating their site. If you are not sure who that is, please contact John. My apologies for this inconvenience.

I am not certain that this was the only reason for the "Loading" error and the spinning wheel of death, but it was likely the main cause. If patrons or staff report this loading error going forward, please try to find out what linked they used to login from. Anyone who set a bookmark from the old link will need to update it.

Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for your help and patience.