Network News


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.


Library Catalog Stations and OverDrive Sign In

We are unable to get the Sign In page on the OverDrive site to display in public web browser on the library catalog stations. OverDrive titles, however, can be searched and checked out in InfoSoup on library catalog stations. We will continue to look into the problem. 


Public Web Browser for Windows 7 Catalog Computers (Update)

We have a couple of the new Public Web Browser catalog computers installed at libraries. Testing has gone well, and we will now begin updating Windows 7 catalog computers. John and Julie will begin contacting you to make arrangements if you have catalog stations that need to be updated. How do you know if you have a Windows 7 catalog station? The two main issues have been the inability to place a hold on the brief record page and the inability to logout. If you are not having these problem, then your catalog station is likely running an older version of Windows. But don't worry, John and Julie will be checking each catalog station to determine if it needs to be updated.


Note about NOOK Magazine downloads

We had a report from a library that noticed that if you try to open an OverDrive magazine in the NOOK app before it is finished downloading, you will get a message about "Try for Free" along with subscription costs and details. Once the title has fully downloaded, that information goes away. Until the download is complete, it appears that the NOOK app does not recognized the title as a library checkout. You can see a screen shot at:

I added a note to the "magazines now available" announcement letting patrons know not to open the magazine until the title has finished downloading. Not sure how often this will happen, but it is good to know if patrons ask about why that message appears. 

Public Web Browser for Windows 7 Catalog Computers

Dave has put a lot of time and effort into working with a new Chrome based version of Public Web Browser. We think we finally have a version ready. We have been testing it in OWLS and the browser appears to work beautifully with Encore. We are going to field test the configuration at a library as soon as possible. If all goes well, we will begin working with libraries to get the new PWB installed on all Windows 7 catalog computers. Thank you for you patience.


OverDrive Magazines

As announced on the WPLC list this morning, OverDrie magazines are now live. I put a brief note on the InfoSoup page with a link to an announcement page - . The post has links to an OverDrive help document and video, as well as a modified version of the WPLC support document. 

We have MARC records for the titles and will try to get them in the catalog as soon as possible. As with all new things from OverDrive, getting started is the hard part. Once set up, the process runs pretty smoothly. I suspect that one common question may be about how to get the NOOK app on a Kindle Fire. I will try to put together a help document for that process. For now, google "nook app kindle fire" or something like that, and you will see instructions for side-loading the NOOK app on to a Kindle Fire. Please let me know if you have any questions. 


Another Library Catalog Stations (Public Web Browser) update

We are seeing problems again with catalog stations running Windows 7. Through testing last week, we thought we had a fix, but problems logging out and placing holds still remain on some catalog stations. We will be working today to see if a different version of Public Web Browser will solve the problem.

For problems logging out, the best solution is to click the X on the top right hand corner. It might be worth putting a note at your catalog stations advising patrons to logout by clicking the X.

We are also seeing on some catalog stations that the "Request it" button on the brief record page is not working. On a full record page, however, the button is working.

I will report back later today on our progress in resolving these issues.