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Hopeless Holds

What are Hopeless Holds?

A hold becomes “hopeless” when all available copies become unavailable.

For example, Jo places a hold on a title record that only has one available copy. When staff go to pull that copy to fill the hold, they cannot find it and mark it 'Missing.' If there were other copies still available, the holds targeter would retarget the hold to another copy, but since there are no other copies that can be targeted, the hold gets added to the Hopeless Holds list.

Library staff can check the Hopeless Holds list to see if there is another title record that the hold can be transferred to in order to fill the hold for the patron. Libraries may also use this list for collection development purposes.


Please note that the Hopeless Holds list will not capture all holds that go unfilled in all scenarios. For example, in the example scenario above, if library staff did not mark the item missing when they couldn't find it, the hold would not appear on the Hopeless Holds list. Libraries may wish to use the PINES Quick Report for “Unfilled Holds (Not Captured)” to identify that type of issue.

How to Identify Hopeless Holds

Open the Local Admin menu and click on “Hopeless Holds”. This is a list of holds that cannot be filled due to the status of the items on the record. The patron will not get these items unless the hold is moved to a better bib (ie, title) record.

How to Transfer Holds to Better Records

1. Open the catalog in a new tab and do a search for the title of the hopeless hold. If possible locate a different bib record with available copies for the hold.

In this example, the hopeless hold is on record number 1. Record number 2 has a copy that is available, so it will be a better record for the hold.

When comparing title records, be sure to check that the one you select for transferring is as close to the original record as possible. For instance, you wouldn't want to transfer a hold that was on a DVD record to a print record, or to transfer to similar title by a different author.

2. Open record 2 and go to the “Mark For” menu or right click to see the menu.

3. Click on “Reset Record Marks” before doing anything else.

This is a very important step to be sure the hold transfers to the correct record.

4. Next click on “Title Hold Transfer”.

A small box will appear in the lower right corner of the screen confirming the transfer target has been set.

5. Return to the tab showing the hopeless holds list. Select the line for the title needing to be transferred to the current hold transfer target. Go to the actions menu or right click to view the menu options. Select “Transfer to Marked Title”.

A confirmation window will open.

6. Click on “Transfer.“

A small box will appear in the lower right corner of the screen confirming the hold has been transferred.

7. Repeat these steps to continue transferring holds to records that have available copies for the hopeless holds.

8. When all holds have been transferred, open any record in the catalog and reset the record marks. This will help prevent holds being transferred to the wrong record in error the next time a hold is transferred.

You may encounter holds that do not have any other suitable record for transferring. Those titles could be considered for collection development purposes, or the holds could simply be left alone to naturally expire.
circ/hopeless-holds.txt · Last modified: 2021/07/08 22:34 by tmccanna