3 Replies Latest reply on Feb 1, 2016 6:47 PM by brad

    Pharos Signup - patrons getting additional sessions/time?

    brad Pioneer

      Hi guys,


      Just wondering if anyone else has come across this, and if they managed to find a cause/explanation for it.


      We're on Pharos Signup 8.2.6005 (been trying for approval for an upgrade for 1.5 years and counting), which is configured to allow patrons a 1-hour session, which can be auto-extended up to a maximum of 2 hours per day. However, at 2 different branches, 2 different patrons have managed to have 4 hours per day, using 4 sessions, and on different PCs (first patron we found doing it was on the same PC every time, so we had the machine re-imaged on the off chance it was the PC that was allowing it, rather than the system).


      The system is configured with:


      Max reservation duration = 60 mins

      Can Extend session = Yes

      User groups' "Max use time per day" = 120 mins


      Those are the settings which are directly related to this situation (as far as I'm aware, at least).


      One of the examples I've been looking at, a patron had 3 sessions yesterday:

      10:45am for 50 minutes

      12:23pm for 70 minutes

      13:38pm for 70 minutes


      I've double-checked the account to ensure it's a "standard" user account, in the "public" group. I've looked at anything and everything I can think of that could be contributing to this, multiple times, and can't for the life of me find anything that's not as it should be...


      Any comments, suggestions, similar experiences much appreciated.




        • Re: Pharos Signup - patrons getting additional sessions/time?
          Steven English Guide



          Rapid fire questions to help round out the environment picture...

          • Do you have a script in place that talks to a library management system?
            • If so, does the script you have in place feature user group assignment?
            • If so, is there any possible way that the user has been/is being assigned to a group that does not have the 120 minute daily limit/max/restriction?
          • Do you allow immediate (walk-up) reservations or do users have to go through a queue station?
          • Or maybe I should just ask what session types are allowed on the computer groups to which the offending computers belong...
          • Is it safe to presume that all sessions are recording in the Pharos database (as opposed to simply pulling info from the Nerve Center)?
          • Do you have any security software in place like Deep Freeze, Smart Shield, anti-virus or the like?
          • Is standalone mode enabled on the computers in question?
          • Is librarian logon enabled on the computers in question?




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            • Re: Pharos Signup - patrons getting additional sessions/time?
              brad Pioneer

              Hi Steven,


              Thanks for the quick come-back.


              Yes, we have a script in place. I had a look through it for the pertinent entries:

              new sDefaultGroup                      = "public";

              // Set the group as public for the created account.  Do not change it on updates.

              User.SetProperty("group", sDefaultGroup);

              The "public" group is the one that I quoted settings from in my previous post.


              Yes, we allow immediate, queued and scheduled reservations for our public access machines... so they can walk up and sign in if there are machines available, without having to make a booking.

              Yes, the sessions are being recorded in Pharos (the transactions section is where I've been getting the session info from for my investigations). I'm assuming this means that the machines aren't in offline mode (standalone mode is enabled on our machines)

              Yes, we use DeepFreeze. The Pharos configs are saved on a hidden, non-frozen partition as recommended by Deep Freeze - although we DO still have issues with settings being pushed out to the machines by Change Control not actually making it to the machines occasionally.

              Yes, Librarian logon is enabled - although I don't believe it ever gets used, so disabling that, if it's suspected as being an issue, would not be a major for us.




            • Re: Pharos Signup - patrons getting additional sessions/time?
              brad Pioneer

              Hmmm - I suspect I may have found the reason that this is happening, possibly (or maybe ONE of the reasons?).


              We had a report from one of our branches that they'd discovered that patrons signing in manually, and including the leading and trailing barcode lead and tail characters (**), they are able to have more than one Pharos session going at a time (which isn't the case when logged in "normally". It's not too much of a stretch to go from that, to patrons being able to log in multiple times in serial, rather than parallel - giving them more than their allotted max daily time.


              Have sent off a mail to our support vendor concerning this, and advising our findings - and suggesting a possible modification to our login script which would likely resolve this particular issue. Will be interesting to see what they come back with - and whether or not it completely resolves out initial issue, or if this is just a secondary way of patrons getting additional time...


              Will report back once I find more - just wanted to provide the additional info, on the off chance someone else is seeing similar

              1 of 1 people found this helpful