FAQs about Quick Cats

and other frequently asked OPALS questions...

New: cool tricks you might want to try!

There are many handy little tricks that our OPALS libraries use to mark ILLs or Quick Cats for easy identification, and that's awesome. Keep doing them!


--Warrensburg recently tried out the idea of having their quick cats in all caps. At first, I wasn't sure what to make of it, but it makes them really easy to spot! When we tackle them, the all caps go away. I think it's a great visual for library staff who are leery about circulating items that haven't been fully processed yet, or for catching any ILLs or Quick Cats that linger in the catalog, waiting for attention...super cool.

--When adding temporary ILL records into your local catalog, have the word "ILL" and the school in the author field...again, it makes them easier to spot if they need attention later.

Q: I want to add FIC (or GN or whatever) and can't choose it...

A: You should be able to customize the prefixes you want in the 852k subfield. If you're not seeing what you want when you do Quick Cats, go to:

Administration-->reports and tools-->prefix authority to add what you want, delete any you don't want, that sort of thing. It's also an interesting place to find anomalies that may have crept up with past entries (which could be from the ghosts of librarians past).

Big picture

Q: I have an incorrect icon assigned to an item. How do I change it?

A: Okay, this may not be a frequently asked question yet. But I have noticed an uptick in the OPALS programming sometimes changing icons when we improve records. As MARC records more and more commonly have multiple formats in one record, sometimes the ebook ISBN is first, which changes the icon. I usually notice, but occasionally they slip through the cracks if I'm going really quickly. If you see an item in your collection that clearly is a physical book and not an ebook (or otherwise has an icon you think is incorrect), just click on the item, click on "edit", and one of the choices on the MARC edit screen is to change the "record type", which will change the icon. Holler at me if you have any more questions!

Q: How do I add holdings?

A: If you're in Quick Cat, there should be a place to add barcodes while you're adding the first record.


If you want to add holdings to titles you already have, you can click to go into the record, click "edit", click on the holdings tab, and add a holding to the holdings tab. (Always click 1 to add one holding at a time, or else it will automatically add consecutive numbers to your first barcode.)

Q: Should I put spine label information into Quick Cats?

A: That would be wonderful! If you don't know a Dewey number for an item, we can fetch that for you. But if you prefer "GN" instead of "741.5", or want to circulate the items right away, or whatever, you can put in your spine label info that you want. We won't change it (other than to possibly move the subfield if it's incorrectly assigned).

Q: Can I circulate Quick Cat items right away?

A: Of course!


Note that if you mark items as in processing, I don't change the status. I can't see that they're marked in processing while I'm edit mode, and I have no idea if they're sitting in a back office, or waiting for spine labels, or circulating. :)

Q: Is there a way to get Quick Cats done faster?

A: Okay, I'm pretending again that this is a question...but yes, there is an auto fill option for Quick Cats. If you'd like it turned on, we can do that!


It has its pluses and minuses...

--A plus is that if the system detects that it can fetch a record for the item, it will fetch it that day.

--The downside is that it sometimes adds spine label information that needs to be removed (though it makes it easy to spot that it was autofilled, and it's super easy to detect and remove the wonky info)...and occasionally it might fetch a not-fantastic record. If you want to try it out, let me know! We can turn that on and off really easily in your preferences.

Q: Can I change the series? Or add a series?

A: YES! Absolutely. Make that series what you need to to make it work for your catalog.

Series is found in the 490 field. 490a is for series title, and 490v is for the number. Keep it consistent (with capital letters and spacing) so that when you click on the series, it brings up the whole series.

Example: Dog Man: Unleashed

490a Dog Man

490v book 2


It's okay to group edit a series to make the series labeling consistent. Holler if you need assistance with that. I do try to improve consistency of series labeling when I happen to catch them. Hoping that the "top down" capability that OPALS is working on for SLS will make that easier for us.

Q: Oops! I made a mistake on a Quick Cat. Can I edit it?

A: Just let us know if there's an error. If you edit it, it will disappear from Quick Cats, and then we don't know that it's a title that needs a better record...