New and Improved eCard Registration Service

July 10th, we'll turn on the new eCard registration form. This is being LSTA funded through the MBLC for eight of the MA networks; CLAMS, CW/MARS, MVLC, MBLN, MLN, NOBLE, OCLN, and SAILS.  We've been allowing patrons to register for online cards for several years now, however we never had control over who was registering. Now we do, with the Quipu service. We've contracted with them to provide a basic user lookup, based on street address and last name. They will also check our system for duplicate cards. Much of the patron record will be updated automatically, and if the patron wants to come into the library to get a permanent card, other than their profile, the card will be properly filled out. Here are the basic rules for how this will work. Thank you to the circulation policy committee for helping fine-tune the process.

Who should be eligible to sign up for an eCard through SAILS?

  1. Massachusetts residents only:
    1. This is a change from the current online card signup form, which allows anyone to register for a card.
    2. Out-of-state residents who work and go to school in a SAILS community also will be ineligible. SAILS libraries have different policies on how to handle these patrons.
  2. Age requirements:
    1. Must be 13 or older to register
    2. Teens between the ages of 13-15 must supply a parent email address. A notification saying the new card was created, will be sent to this address.
    3. Ages 16 and up will get a standard eCard registration with no parental notification. 

What Profile Will Patrons Get? How will we manage physical lending for these accounts?

  1. For verified online registrants in a SAILS community:
    1. SAILSOU (SAILS Online User) profile
    2. Allow five holds and checkouts  (checkouts only circ for one day)
    3. One year expiration
  2. For verified online registrants outside of SAILS, but in MA:
    1. MASSOU (MASS Online User) profile
    2. Allow five holds and checkouts  (checkouts only circ for one day)
    3. One year expiration
    4. Different profile gives the library flexibility for preventing access to some online resources if desired.
  3. For provisional cards where the address is not verified:
    1.  OUREG (Online User Registration) profile
    2. Allow five holds and checkouts  (checkouts only circ for one day)
    3. Three week expiration
  4. The barcode prefix will match the library’s current prefix, but will start with a ‘5’ instead of a ‘2.’
    1. This will also make it easy for libraries to determine if they want to authorize an online card for local online content or not.
  5. When patrons visit the library, they will need to follow a similar process to what is done today to upgrade their card to a three-year card that borrows materials.

Which library will be assigned to each online patron?

  1. SAILS will continue to allow patrons to select a library. 

What data will be populated in the record for an online user?

  1. All name data we currently collect, with the option of adding a preferred name and checking a box to use that preferred name in all communications.
  2. The address that will be used for verification purposes will need to be entered as Address 1 and it must be in Massachusetts. 
  3. Email address (required), phone number, cell phone number (separate from phone number and used if the patron wants SMS notifications.)
  4. Date of birth - this will also be used for determining the user category 1.
  5. User category 2 will be based on the entered town/city of the address.
  6. NOHISTORY or ALLCHARGES - do you want to keep a history of the items you check out?
  7. Preferred notification method  - depending on this selection, they will be required to enter a cell phone or regular phone.

What data will not be populated in the record for an online user?

  1. Preferred language - only a few libraries have requested that this info be maintained.
  2. User groups
  3. Address 2
  4. Parent information in a ℅ field - only five libraries responding to the survey responded that they collect this information.
  5. Newsletter opt-in - varying policies among libraries. Even those who request this info from patrons don’t store it in Workflows.

Duplicate checking

Duplicate checking will be done by rejecting an account where there is an existing record matching the last name and date of birth. There are some edge cases where registrations will fail (e.g. twins), but, in Quipu’s experience, adding a first name to duplicate checking results in too many duplicate records being created.

Retaining patron information in eCard system?

Quipu stores 30 days of accepted and rejected registrations. This could be useful for troubleshooting.


Based on survey results. Brazilian Portuguese ranked high, but, after discussing the results with the Board, we agreed that it is close enough to European Portuguese to support just one Portuguese form. This makes room for both Russian and Hindi, which received an equal number of votes.

  • Portuguese
  • Spanish
  • Haitian Creole
  • French
  • Chinese
  • Arabic
  • Russian
  • Hindi

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