Sierra Hacks #Library Scientist

Requesting a list of outstanding holds from iii Sierra generates either a printable list in .txt format or a “print to email” list, which merely copies the .txt file into the body of an email message. While this clearly works perfectly fine for many use cases, it would be much more useful for the particular paging policy at my large university library to have this information in a spreadsheet that could be shared among the staff scattered throughout the library. I investigated alternate strategies for getting this information, but Sierra seems unable to create a csv/tsv version of the list of outstanding holds.

Though I haven’t trained as software developer, I’m always willing to pick up new skills to solve ongoing problems—in this case, a semi-straightforward Python script is all we need to scrape the data from the Sierra text file and generate a .csv of the outstanding holds.

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