SPARK Feature Highlight/Library Spotlight – August 2022

Katherine DannehlDiscussion Starter, Tech Tip

This month, we want to chat a little bit about print notices.

These notices are set up similarly to the email notices your patrons get daily, except they are formatted to be printable/mailable.

Print notices are most used for lost items, but they can also be used for overdue, courtesy, or holds notices

To see your library’s print notices, you’ll use your staff login at this link, which can also be accessed in our knowledge books:

You’ll replace SHORTCODE with your library or library system’s shortcode, depending on how your notices are setup 😊

If you’d like to set up print notices or alter existing ones, please reach out to us through the support portal!

We have a great handful of libraries to spotlight because last week PaILS went on our Great Summer Tour 2022!

Elizabeth and Katherine visited some SPARK libraries in central PA 😊


We enjoyed visiting the wonderful staff and aquatic creatures of Degenstein!


This “Beloved Books and their One-Star Amazon Reviews” book display from Milton just had to be spotlighted.


You’re gonna need a bigger boat!


Another fantastic book display, this time from Dimmick: “He’s a 10, but…”


We loved this quiet corner of the Pottsville Free Public Library after attending the Pottsville District meeting.

If you want us to visit your library, shoot us an email. We’d love to stop by!

Katherine DannehlSPARK Feature Highlight/Library Spotlight – August 2022

SPARK & Friends Breakfast at PaLA 2022!

Katherine DannehlUncategorized

Pennsylvania Integrated Library System (PaILS) will be hosting a “SPARK & Friends” breakfast for SPARK consortium members and their guests during the Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference. Coffee & juice, bagels & cinnamon rolls will be served alongside an opportunity to learn more about being a SPARK member, to network with other SPARK members, and to hear an update on PaILS/SPARK news from Executive Director, Katie Greenleaf Martin.

RSVP here to attend!

Katherine DannehlSPARK & Friends Breakfast at PaLA 2022!

SPARK Feature Highlight/Library Spotlight – July 2022

Katherine DannehlNews

Hello, how are you? We’re relieved that the heat has relented somewhat.

We’re keeping it simple in this month’s feature highlight with column pickers!

Column picker is another term for the column configuration interface you’ll find on many staff-side Evergreen pages.

For example, when you’re searching for a patron record you might see some excess information that isn’t useful to you, such as “ID.”

Or maybe you aren’t seeing email addresses in your search results, but you’d like to.

Fortunately, you can configure the search results to display as much or as little information as you want!

Click on the down arrow at the top right corner of the search results grid and choose “Manage Columns.” We’re showing the patron search results grid here, but you can do this anywhere in Evergreen that has columns displayed like this.

Once you’re in the column picker, there are several actions you can take.

  1. You can “Sort Visible Columns To Top.” Any column name with a green checkmark is visible and will shift to the top of the list.
  2. You can uncheck any column to make it invisible. Any column with a yellow X will not show on the grid once you close the column configuration. Once you’ve checked or unchecked the columns you want, click “Sort Visible Columns To Top” again to move the invisible columns out of the way.
  3. You can also “Move Up” or “Move Down” any column to change the order they’ll appear. These arrows will move the column one spot up or one spot down. A quick way to move a column up to the very top or bottom of the list is to choose “First Visible” or “Last Visible,” which will shoot it to the beginning or end of the list.

When you have them sorted to your liking, click “Close” at the bottom right corner. But you’re not done yet!

It’s important to go back to the dropdown menu and click “Save Columns” to make sure your preferences are saved to that workstation! They should stick if you don’t clear the browser cache 😊

One more tip: you can also adjust your column widths to suit your needs by clicking on “Manage Column Widths” from that same dropdown.

Click the “Expand” arrows in a cell to expand the width and click the “Shrink” arrows in a cell to shrink the width.

Make sure to save your preferences!

We want to congratulate the Monroe County SPARK libraries and spotlight the resource-sharing they began in May 2022!

5 independent libraries are now acting as a system together 😊

When Barrett Paradise Friendly Library and Western Pocono Community Library joined SPARK earlier this year, after a few weeks getting accustomed to Evergreen, they joined together with other Monroe County SPARK libraries Eastern Monroe Public Library, Clymer Library, and Pocono Mountain Public Library.

Now their patrons benefit from a significant increase in library resources!

In case you missed it, Sue Lyons, director of Eastern Monroe Public Library, gave a Lightning Talk about the process at our 2022 SPARK User Group Meeting.

Catch it here at the 32:20-minute mark!

Katherine DannehlSPARK Feature Highlight/Library Spotlight – July 2022

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!