Using Voyager’s Offline Backup Circ [OBC]

Revised 2/26/2018

When to use OBC

  • Use OBC when your circ desk is open, but Voyager is down or you cannot connect to it.
    • Only for charges or renewals.
    • Only for YOUR items.
    • Only for YOUR patrons.
  • Voyager connection outages may occur:
    • Unexpectedly due to local networking issues, or issues affecting CARLI services.
    • As planned as a part of a Voyager upgrade to the newest version.
    • As planned as part of a new I-Share library's migration into Voyager during the Production circulation gap period, and/or during the copy of your database to the Voyager production server.

When NOT to use OBC

  • Cannot use OBC to discharge.
  • Cannot use OBC for UB (I-Share) transactions.
    • Examples: items on your Hold Shelf for your patrons that came from another I-Share library, or, patrons from another I-Share library who visit your library in person.
  • Do NOT use OBC for short term use materials such as Reserves, Short Loans, or the Voyager Media Scheduling client materials (since discharge transactions cannot be recorded using OBC).

Video Demonstration

Please view the video for an overview of using Voyager Offline Backup Circulation.

Bottom line

  • If the outage is unexpected, please contact CARLI support to make sure we are aware of the issue.
  • Details on using OBC are found on pg. 6-25 to 6-34 in the Voyager 9.1.1 Circulation User’s Guide.
  • You cannot do any circulation activities that would require a discharge transaction.
    • This includes most Reserve transactions, which typically have short loan periods.
  • Use OBC when the charge or renewal transaction is for YOUR item, YOUR patron, and at YOUR Circ Desk.
    • You cannot upload OBC charges of OTHER libraries’ items or from OTHER libraries' patrons, they will be logged as errors.
  • Error-checking of patron or item barcodes is not available in OBC.
    • Offline Charge Mode will accept any barcode that is scanned or typed in, even if it is entered incorrectly; or the patron is blocked, suspended, expired, etc.; or the item is non-circulating, missing, etc.
  • Keep items that belong to other libraries on your Hold Shelf; don’t check them out to your patrons.
    • Before prolonged downtimes, either add Exception Dates to your library's active circulation calendars for the dates Voyager will be down for the upgrade, or extend the “Hold Shelf Life” parameter in the All/All matrix in SysAdmin to cover the period that the system will be down.

Creating the OBC Downtime Capture Files

  • The OBC option displays when the connection to Voyager is not available.
  • Capture files are stored in the c:\voyager\circulation\offline folder on each computer that runs Voyager Circulation in Offline Backup Charge mode. You may have more than one offline capture file following the upgrade weekend.
    • If your institution assigns the same due date to all patrons charging items while offline, then operators can leave the Charge workspace on screen and simply clear the patron barcode information from display (click the x next to the patron barcode input box) between patrons. This creates a single capture file on the local computer.
    • If your institution assigns different due dates for items charged, then operators need to close and re-open the Charge workspace between charges. This allows the operator to enter a new due date and time. This creates separate capture files on the local computer.
  • If using OBC during a Voyager version upgrade:
    • Capture files are not version specific. Files from one version of the software are interoperable with other versions of the software.
    • REMEMBER: Copy any OBC files you have created from c:\voyager\circulation\offline to a folder that will not be overwritten by a new client installation!
      • This is particularly important if you do not use the Update Checker to download new clients.
        • A manual installation may overwrite your existing c:\voyager folder on your computer. Copy out any needed files into another folder before the upgrade is performed.
        • The Update Checker will rename the entire current Voyager directory “Voyager_BAK_#.##” when it downloads the new software to the PC, so that the OBC files generated when using the previous version of Voyager will not be overwritten on the computer.

Uploading OBC capture files

After Unexpected Outage, or for New I-Share Libraries during Migration

  • At first login to Circulation once connection is restored, the system will tell you that you have charge transactions from previous offline sessions.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to upload the OBC files.
  • For each capture file created on the computer, a report will be generated. Check this file for errors.

after upgrade

  • After upgrade, move the captured offline files into the new version's…Circulation\Offline folder.
  • At first login to Circulation, the system will tell you that you have charge transactions from previous offline sessions.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to upload the OBC files.
  • For each capture file created on the computer, a report will be generated. Check this file for errors.

Following Upload of OBC Capture Files

Discharge materials

  • Discharging the backload of materials returned during the outage/down time.
  • Recommendation: backdate the discharges to start of outage/down time.