How to make sure your patrons notices are being sent via email?
Basics about how emailing of notices work:
All of the sending of patron notice activity is managed on the PC. Correctly configured, Aleph will reliably send out notices.
Looking in Task Manager each day one can see whether or not notices were sent out. When notices are sent out from a PC, the application then tells the server to automatically move the notices to another directory. (The notices become no longer visible in Task Manager.) If it did not, the application would be spamming people all day long.
If the notices are still in Task Manager, then you proceed through the below steps A through E.
Once the notices leave the local PC, Aleph has no further information about what happened with the notices. Aleph does not receive detailed feedback from the email server. Step A is required in order to get this feedback.
If you are receiving a copy of the notice by blind CC, then we can be sure the notices are making their way through the email server.
If you are not receiving a blind CC, then you would need to move to step F.
To find out whether or not your email messages are actually going out, please follow these steps:
A) Add a valid email address to receive 'blind carbon copies' of outgoing email messages. This can be temporary (when you are checking whether notices are going out) or permanent.
If you want several people to have access to those messages, you can set up a general staff account with email rules to sort notices into separate folders. (Your IT staff can set up retention limits to keep the emails for a limited amout of time, e.g., six months.) To do that, edit the "alephcom.ini" file as follows:
- Go to C:\Aleph21Prod\Alephcom\tab\alephcom.ini and edit
- Add an email account to the following entry:
BccAddress="your staff email account"
- Make sure to close and reopen the Aleph GUI client
B) Determine whether Aleph is set up on your PC to send email notices to patrons. Look in Task Manager (daily!) for your patron notices. (Do you already have staff sitting at a service desk that can include this in their workflow?)
If you are sending notices automatically, check to see whether you notices are still sitting in the Task Manager. If you see them, then they are not being automatically sent out. When the Aleph client (on any campus PC) sends out notices automatically, the server removes the notices file out of the Task Manager into a separate storage directory to make sure notices only go out once. These are some patron notices staff best practices.
If you are sending notices manually, confirm that the 'Print configuration' in the lower left hand corner is set to 'normal printing'. (Setup Type should be set to Mail.) Select the file to be sent, and watch the lower left hand corner of Aleph Client Circulation module to see if email addresses of patrons are flashing briefly on the screen.
If you determined from the above steps of A and B that your email messages are not going out, follow instructions outlined in step C to E, below, to fix the problem.
C) To send patron notices automatically, you MUST go to the Task Manager and select your "Print IDs" from the "Print Daemon" section. Make sure to check the boxes next to notice_xx (where xx is your two-letter institution code). You MUST also activate the Print Daemon by clicking on the "activate" button on the top right corner:
D) On the PC that is being used to send out patron notices, check to see whether or not the notices or any email errors are in the circulation module's 'Print History'
If you do not find patron notices in the Aleph History, make sure your Aleph client configuration on the PC being used to send out notices are correct. Please consult with steps #6, and #11 through #24 of the Aleph21 Installation Read Me Document to confirm your installation validity. Pay special attention to step #19 and see if any of the "Optional Settings" section configurations is applicable, particularly item A "Automated Printing / Emailing", and C "Default Printing Options." If your email server uses authentication, 'J' will be important.
If you do find patron notices in the Aleph History but your email notices are not being received, do the following two steps:
- Double check your PC's access to your campus SMTP email server,
- If you are using McAfee anti-virus, make sure that you have correctly turned off "Prevent mass mailing worms from sending mail" as outlined in Step 6 of the "PREPARATION STEPS" of the Aleph21 Installation Read Me Document.
E) On the PC that is being used to receive CLICs books, check to see whether you are producing/receiving two documents per each CLICs request:
- A document in a letter form (generally emailed) for the patron to let her/him know the requested book is ready for pick up.
- A second differently worded and formatted document (generally printed) for staff members to let them know for whom that requested CLICs book is intended.
In order to have CLICs patrons receive email notices while staff members receive a printed paper slip to put with the book, check the above-listed steps (A) and (D) of this page. Double-check steps 6, 12, 17, & 19 (page 1 to 7) in the Aleph21 Installation Read Me Document. Note that the optional step 'C' (page 10) is not optional for any PC handling CLICs books. Also, make sure you have DefaultPrintConfig=0 in the "alephcom.ini" file of that PC.
F) In addition to checking the above, you will also want to check on the email server being used.
There are error logs on that email server that must be consulted if emails are still not being received. The email server firewall may require a fixed IP address on the PC used for sending notices and an exception to allow high rates of outgoing messages. (Courtesy & overdue notices can really add up.)
The ALEPH desktop [ GUI ] by default sends email via SMTP port 25. It is worth double-checking that this port is open in your network.
If your local SMTP server requires authentication please contact OLS. Please provide the mail server, port, email server username and password. We will supply you with an encrypted password file to add to your Aleph installation. Note: SMTP Exchange 2010, using TLS 1.2 (SSL3.2) is not currently supported.
G) If you still need help with emailing notices, you can schedule a direct phone consultation with OLS to help you step through your PC setup. Please open a work order for OLS to work directly, on the phone, with someone in your library. Depending on the problem we meet someone with sufficient administrative permissions to your PC.