SPARK UG Meeting 2022!

Katherine DannehlUser Groups

Thank you so much to all who participated in the 3 weeks of events for our annual meeting this May.

Final recordings from all the sessions are on our YouTube channel!

If you have any thoughts, feedback, or questions about this year’s meeting, please let us know so we can plan for next year. We appreciate it!

Katherine DannehlSPARK UG Meeting 2022!

SPARK Feature Highlight/Library Spotlight – June 2022

Katherine DannehlDiscussion Starter, Tech Tip

We’re featuring a NoveList/Evergreen mashup tip this month: author pages + hold groups.

You most likely have popular authors whose books fly off your “new arrivals” shelves, or that don’t even make it to the shelves before the holds queue is 15 deep.

One way to distribute holds amongst groups of ardent C.J. Box or Danielle Steel fans is to use the “hold groups” function in Evergreen. This works well for book clubs!

Holds Groups are easy to use, especially if you’re already familiar with User Buckets!

New holds groups can be created through Circulation > Hold Groups > New Hold Group.

 You’ll name the group, provide a brief description, and then choose the owning library. The last step is to decide whether you’d like the group to be visible in patrons’ “My Account.”

Once you create the holds group, you can add patrons by scanning or typing their barcode. You can also do an integrated patron search from the hold group interface.

Most authors have their own page in NoveList with all available titles, series, and audiobooks listed, along with read-alikes and listen-alikes.

When you get an author alert about a newly published title (remember, you can create an alert for any author right on their page to get an email when anything new is added) you can check the catalog for the bib record and place a group hold!

There are two ways to place a group hold:

  1. From the Hold Groups interface
  2. From Searching the Catalog

A new library setting allows for hold placement times to be randomized among list members for fair distribution: Administration → Local Administration → Library Settings Editor → Randomize group hold order

 If you would like this setting updated, or if you need any assistance with hold groups, please submit a support request!

This month, we want to thank all the amazing library staff who help us keep the ChiliPAC catalog cover images fresh!

Some of our most dedicated cover art uploaders:

  • Mariann Kmetz – Parkland Community Library
  • Nicole Heyer – Pike County Public Library
  • Ian Sheddan – Easton Area Public Library
  • Kyle Bower – Green Free Library

Your hard work benefits all SPARK libraries 😊

If you come across a record with an incorrect or missing cover image, or if you’d like your own ChiliFresh admin account, you can always submit a support ticket.

Katherine DannehlSPARK Feature Highlight/Library Spotlight – June 2022

SPARK Feature Highlight/Library Spotlight – May 2022

Katherine DannehlDiscussion Starter, Tech Tip

Welcome to another feature highlight, in which we share ideas for using some of the features that SPARK offers.

Today’s topic is NoveList Plus and finding pop culture read-alikes for library displays and booklists!

We were inspired by yesterday’s presentation from Caleigh Haworth at EBSCO – it was packed with good information about searching NoveList.

As librarians, we get super excited when someone tells us they “don’t read” because a. We like a challenge and b. We know there are so many entry points to reading.

For people who tend to watch movies or TV rather than pick up a book, NoveList Plus is the perfect tool for finding a book that hits their favorite movie/TV themes.

Think about summer blockbusters, for example.

Maybe you want to create a book display or recommended reads list for fans of “Downton Abbey” – (the second movie is coming out this week, in case you missed the news!)

There is no one way to do this, but we started our search for Downton Abbey read-alikes in advanced search using the field code “SW” (time period) and the search terms  “1910s” and “1920s.”

This gave us 3,880 results – too many.

We used the limiters on the lefthand side to narrow down “location” to England.

Still, there were 316 results. We further narrowed it by subject “Social classes,” which plays a big role in the Downton Abbey world.

We’re left with 33 results to check against the library catalog! Each of these titles also has a “title read-alike” button to take you even deeper into similar books.

If you’re pressed for time, you can also use the NoveList librarians’ lists “For Fans Of…” found in the recommended reads list on the homepage.

As Caleigh said in yesterday’s session, NoveList will make your own TBR list miles longer.


This week we announced that Evergreen carousels can now be embedded in websites other than the OPAC!

Did you know there are also other options for creating external carousels?

Lower Macungie currently uses the “Bookshelves” WordPress widget to populate carousels on their homepage.

ChiliPAC also allows you to embed carousels on any website.

You can create a carousel from a booklist or from one of the dynamic lists such as “Latest staff lists” and “recently reviewed items.”

With ChiliPAC carousels, you can also customize the colors, font size, and cover image size.

You’ll just need an admin account in ChiliFresh to get started.

You can see the WordPress and ChiliPAC carousels in action on this page if you’re curious.

If any of these ideas intrigue you, please reach out to for more information!

Have fun!

Katherine DannehlSPARK Feature Highlight/Library Spotlight – May 2022

Security feature coming on June 1, 2022

Katie Greenleaf MartinCirculation, Evergreen, FAQs, News, Tech Tip, Training

To improve security, SPARK is going to be removing the ability of expired staff accounts from logging into the system starting June 1st. LibAdmin users will be responsible for maintaining staff accounts for their locations. To make sure you are notified, please make sure your work email address is in your SPARK login account. READ MORE

Katie Greenleaf MartinSecurity feature coming on June 1, 2022

SPARK Feature Highlight/Library Spotlight – April 2022

Katherine DannehlTech Tip, User Groups

When you’re a SPARK library, you have access to more than an Evergreen ILS.

PaILS wants to inspire you to use the tools we provide to their fullest potential, so we’re highlighting some of the ways you can do that!

Today’s topic is ChiliPAC booklists: scan it, share it, and alphabetize it!

You can curate booklists in ChiliPAC to share at story time, for a holiday, or for another special event or theme.

By designating “staff users” through ChiliFresh’s admin panel, you can even center your staff booklists on your OPAC! You’ll see that in action in today’s library spotlight.

You and your library members can share lists directly to social media, download in PDF format, or scan a QR code to bring up the booklist on your phone.

One of the more recently added ChiliPAC features was suggested by a SPARK library: click a button to view a booklist in alphabetical order!


Easton Area Public Library has been doing an amazing job using staff booklists to make recommendations!

The screenshot in today’s feature highlight (above) is from EAPL Erin Morrow’s LGBTQIA+ Voices booklist.

There are many more booklists to inspire you on Easton’s “Latest staff lists” carousel, which you can see on their OPAC homepage.

Current events, popular films & television, even a “For Fans of Wordle” list! EAPL is being super creative, and we are so impressed!


We also must shout out Scranton’s Victoria Ryan-Price, who is getting involved with the Evergreen community!

On Wednesday of this week, Victoria presented at Evergreen’s Acquisitions Interest Group meeting, sharing how to submit purchase requests using the acquisitions module.

You can find a recording of Victoria’s presentation here. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Victoria 😊

Katherine DannehlSPARK Feature Highlight/Library Spotlight – April 2022

PaILS 2021 – the year at a glance

Katie Greenleaf MartinEvergreen, News, PaILS, Uncategorized

Hello SPARK libraries!
We here at PaILS have put together a little ‘snapshot’ report of everything we had going on in 2021 — we hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for everything you do to provide excellent library services in Pennsylvania!

PaILS 2021 report

– Katie, Katherine & Elizabeth

Katie Greenleaf MartinPaILS 2021 – the year at a glance

Welcome PaILS/SPARK’s Newest Team Member!

Katie Greenleaf MartinNews, PaILS

The PaILS team is thrilled to inform you that Elizabeth Davis will be joining the team as our Support & Project Management Specialist!

We know she will be a wonderful asset to our consortium – please join us in welcoming her!

Elizabeth Davis has been a member of the SPARK community since her library migrated in 2015, and she has chaired the Reports committee for 4 years.

Most recently, Elizabeth worked as Head of Digital Services for the Scranton Public Library. She earned her MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh and has worked in public libraries since graduation.

Elizabeth lives in Scranton with her husband and their three cats.  Elizabeth is learning to bake when she’s not hiking or trying to knit.  She can be reached at elizabeth.davis @ starting February 14th! 😊

Welcome, Elizabeth!!


Katie Greenleaf MartinWelcome PaILS/SPARK’s Newest Team Member!

2022 User Group meeting schedule – SAVE THE DATE

Katie Greenleaf MartinPaILS, User Groups

Hi all,


This year, we’re breaking up the annual user’s group meeting into an event series!

Attached, and below, you’ll find a schedule! All events will be hosted online, recorded, and uploaded to our YouTube channel 😊

More information about each event is forthcoming. If you have any questions or suggestions about content, please contact the event host!


Date & Time Event Host
05/04/2022 11 am EST Interlibrary Loan Tessa Mitchell – tmitchell @
05/05/2022 10 am EST Cataloging Jonathan Moore – jonathan @
05/10/2022 2 pm EST Circulation Jessica Laganosky – jessical @
05/11/2022 1 pm EST Lightning Talks PaILS – pails @
05/17/2022 1 pm – 4 pm EST Official User’s Group Meeting PaILS – pails @


Looking forward to reconnecting and seeing you all there!

Katherine Dannehl (she/her)

Membership Engagement Specialist, PaILS

Katie Greenleaf Martin2022 User Group meeting schedule – SAVE THE DATE

PaILS welcomes Catherine Greenleaf Martin

Katie Greenleaf MartinNews, PaILS, Uncategorized

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Integrated Library System board of directors, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Catherine Greenleaf Martin as our Executive Director.  Katie has been serving in the position as Interim Executive Director and her technology expertise, professionalism, and commitment to the SPARK community and libraries in Pennsylvania is unparalleled.  We are very excited and look forward to continuing working with Katie. Her official first day is January 5th, 2022, and you can reach her at kgm @

Katie grew up in Tioga County, and her first ‘home library was the Mansfield Free Public Library. She lives in Hollidaysburg, PA, with her spouse and son – they enjoy sailing on nearby Lake Glendale. For the last 6 years, Katie has worked with the libraries in Blair, Bedford & Huntingdon Counties, starting with managing their migrations to SPARK.

Please help us welcome Katie!

Melissa A. Rowse

Vice President, PaILS

Katie Greenleaf MartinPaILS welcomes Catherine Greenleaf Martin

Job Posting: Executive Director for PaILS

Katherine DannehlNews, PaILS

PaILS Executive Director Job Description

The Pennsylvania Integrated Library System (PaILS) seeks a dynamic Executive Director with strong leadership and communication skills, strategic vision, and a track record of building strong customer relationships and delivering customer-centric solutions. The Executive Director is the chief operating officer of PaILS, a non-profit corporation, and is charged with implementing the organization’s policies and programs, exercising administrative oversight of all the affairs and finances of the consortium, overseeing the technical operation of the Pennsylvania library open-source software consortium, known as SPARK, and developing and implementing long-term organizational and strategic goals.

(this position has been filled)

Katherine DannehlJob Posting: Executive Director for PaILS