Circulation Control

It is difficult to think of another place in a library resource centre where speed and efficient handling are as important as at the issue desk. The multiplicity of demands and the sheer volume of traffic can quickly lead to bottlenecks and a great deal of frustration all round.

With that in mind we designed the Heritage Cirqa Circulation facility to work from a single screen so that everything you need is available at your finger tips - instantly. The layout is intuitive and if you want to make things even quicker still, then you can remove the need for a keyboard altogether by assigning a barcode to each of the major tasks and using a scanner to execute them. Staff can see everything they need to when dealing with borrowers including: status of membership, reservation details, borrowing history, outstanding fines, areas of interest and journals received. The borrower can also access their details via Heritage Online. A sophisticated rule base with an almost infinite number of permutations of borrower type/media type/location is possible and these can be even further defined for multi-site libraries.


The administration facilities in Heritage Cirqa Circulation Control are impressive. As well as a large number of tailorable letter templates conveying any type of communication to users, Heritage Cirqa can also generate email notices. Many administration tasks can be run out-of-ours by a clever event scheduler, so that intensive processes can be run when the demand on hardware is lighter.

Borrower Records

Borrower details can either be entered manually or downloaded regularly from another data source, such as a Management Information System (MIS). This can be achieved either with an optional Reader Import Module or through Heritage Connect.

Photographs can also be stored against each individual in their borrower record. These images can be visible from the Issues/Return screens so that you can ascertain that the record matches the borrower without fuss.

Sometimes you need to notify your users about things other than overdue, recalled or reserved items. Heritage Cirqa offers the flexibility to notify any group of your users about any topic via email or printed letter. Standard notifications can be set, such as reminders to borrowers with items approaching their due dates, or memberships about to expire which still have items on-loan against them, as well as free-text notices to users on any topic. This facility is incredibly popular with Heritage Cirqa users and has really helped improve communications between library staff and users.

Heritage Biometrics

Some Heritage Cirqa users have done away with the need for id cards altogether at the issue desk. Instead they use Biometrics or fingerprint recognition technology. It is important to note at this point that this technology is not fingerprint storage in the way that the police hold such information, but rather just a mechanism which creates a unique id from the pattern of the fingerprint in the form of an algorithm. No physical picture of the print is held, and it is impossible to recreate a fingerprint image from this algorithm. Biometrics is a great way to keep traffic moving in the library and reduces the administration of replacing all-too-frequent membership card losses. Have a look at Southport College's case study for an example implementation.


Some institutions allow self-issue and the Heritage Cirqa circulations facility is designed with this in mind. Heritage Cirqa is also compatible with self-issue security systems such as Plescon's Kwik-Issue, 3M's SelfCheck systems or other systems from D-Tech or Intellident using the SIP 2 protocol.

Cataloguing and Issuing 'on the fly'

Heritage Cirqa offers 'Issuing on the fly' which allows the operator to create a temporary or instant catalogue record for any item. This need not be a conventional library resource, for example if a user wishes to borrow your stapler, a random number can be created at the issue prompt, followed by the word 'Stapler', and the item is immediately loaned to them. The system would even generate the usual overdue notices if the item is not returned!

SDI (Selective Dissemination of Information)

Also known as 'Current Awareness', library users can specify subject areas of interest and Heritage Cirqa and Heritage Online will keep them informed of any new additions to the library which might be of interest to them.

Tailorable reports of new additions to the catalogue can be generated and printed or emailed to the user easily with minimal work from library staff. The lists can also be viewed by users from their borrower information on Heritage Online or Self-Issue screens.

Advanced Bookings

This is a powerful facility which enables users to reserve items between two specified dates or hours in the future. As well as library stock, other resources such as equipment and rooms can be booked, either as a tentative or firm arrangement with variable buffer periods either side of it to protect subsequent bookings from a late return. Advanced Bookings has a really useful graphical calender showing all bookings for that item.

Inter-Library Loans Module

The Inter-Library Loans (ILLs) module can be used to request items from any library, but particularly from the British Library Document Supply Centre, using the ARTEmail protocol to request and receive loans. 

Off-Line Circulations

This optional, standalone, module allows issues and returns to be recorded when the library system is unavailable e.g. because of network problems or server failure. Transactions can be recorded at multiple locations and imported in to the live system once it is available again. Unlike many other library management systems, there is no requirement to load the off-line data before circulation resumes (although it is advisable to do it soon afterwards).  

Summary List of Circulation Features


  • Circulation transactions in real time
  • Self-issue facility
  • Optional Fines Module
  • Facilities Barcoded Function Controls (e.g. Issue, Return, Back)
  • Export data facility for use in reports
  • Single click to item/borrower record from issue screen
  • Calendar for closed dates
  • Enter new borrowers/items 'on the fly'
  • Rapidly review recent transactions


  • Numerous borrower categories with library-defined limits and rules
  • Borrower records accessed by name, number and/or barcode
  • Borrower photographs
  • Full history held for each borrower and item
  • Extensive statistical borrowing reports
  • Optional module for importing and updating borrower records
  • Messages for borrowers
  • Automatic loan/reservation stops for borrower
  • Reader Import Module (optional module) for importing records

Issuing & Returning

  • Self-issue facility
  • Barcoded readers and accessions
  • Due dates automatically calculated
  • Manual Stamp date override facility
  • Validity check on barred borrowers
  • Different loan periods possible for same items
  • Checks items for reference copies
  • Can override flags and traps if required
  • Quick cataloguing of items and addition of borrowers ‘on the fly’
  • User-defined traps and messages
  • Copy number of loan recorded when more than one
  • Checks for reservations
  • Checks for overdues/fines
  • Messages about specific items e.g. check for DVD with book
  • Timed loans (e.g. by the minute/hour)
  • Postal loans (including service and postage charges)
  • Inter-site transfers Item request (for postal loans, site transfers etc.)
  • 'Lost on loan' status for items
  • Issues and returns available from Heritage Online


  • Renewals possible without discharge and reissue
  • Record of renewals for each current loan
  • Ability to set different limits for 'seen' and 'unseen' renewals
  • Renewal en-bloc or individually
  • Option to bar renewal of reserved items
  • Renewals available from Heritage Online


  • Reservations can be made from Heritage Online
  • Copy-specific reservations can be placed
  • Priority reservations can be made by library staff only
  • Printable list of reservers for each item
  • Printable list of reserved items
  • ‘Cancel reservation’ can be undertaken by borrowers
  • Printable reservation notifications
  • Reservation availability notified when borrower ID entered
  • Automatic trap on reserved items upon return
  • Recall reserved items facility
  • Site-specific reservations
  • Item requests (for postal loans, site transfers etc.)


  • All copies of a given title (or group of items)
  • All items on loan to a borrower (or group of borrowers)
  • Automatically adjust stamp date when recalling items


  • Different overdue letters for different borrower status and item categories
  • Multiple overdues per item or borrower
  • Site-specific overdues
  • Library-defined frequencies and texts of notices (overdues, reservations, recalls)
  • Review list of borrowers with overdue items
  • Email or print overdues, recalls and reservations
  • Can be scheduled to run automatically

Current Awareness (SDI)

  • SDI (Selective Dissemination of Information) provision
  • Areas of interest selected by borrowers
  • Customisable reports of new additions to the catalogue
  • Automatic generation and emailing of PINs to borrowers
  • Automate emailing (or printing) of new additions

Multi-Site Facilities

  • Site-specific calendars
  • Site-specific overdue notices
  • Site-specific reader categories and circulation rules
  • Return site notification for items returned to the wrong site
  • Site-specific reservations

Fines (optional module)

  • Different rates for different types of item and borrower
  • Set maximum levels for item types and borrower types
  • Set different rates according to period overdue
  • Collect payments into a budget
  • Full charging and payment history for each borrower
  • Trigger automatic loan and reservation stops on maximum fines

Advanced Bookings (optional module)

  • Enables users to reserve items between two specified points in the future
  • Bookings can be applied to timed loans as well as stock with day- based loans
  • Timed bookings facilitate booking rooms, equipment or similar fixed resources
  • Tentative bookings can be made, requiring confirmation by a specified time or date.
  • A buffer period can be applied to allow a reasonable time for the return or retrieval of an item
  • An optional release date/time can be set so that items not collected or taken up can be re-allocated
  • A log of all bookings placed is retained for statistical analysis
  • Information controlling bookings is defined as an extension to the circulation rules
  • A booking calendar displays future bookings for each item
  • When a loan or booking request clashes with an existing booking an adjusted loan or booking period is offered Bookings can be applied to non-loan items, e.g. reference stock or facilities not be available ‘on demand’.

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