Patron Types


Account Settings

In this section, learn about:

  • How patron types are used in Aspen
  • What can be controlled by patron types

Reminder: These settings can be Batch Updated if making changes in bulk  



Where to Find Patron Type Settings

Patron Type settings in Aspen Discovery are in Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Patron Types.

P-Type values will load automatically for certain ILSes, like Koha and Polaris. For other ILSes, these will be added during implementation. For all ILSes, you'll want to double check these settings to make sure they are configured correctly.

If you add a new patron type in your ILS, you'll also want to double check that you add it to this section of Aspen.

Patron type values and descriptions have a maximum character count of 50.


Updated 2024-06-05 km bws
Set Max Holds Amounts

In Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Patron Types library staff can set max holds by patron type (p-type).

You can make adjustments to the patron type and their max holds by clicking into the patron type you would like to adjust and saving the changes. By default, Aspen sets all max holds to 300.

Aspen will always follow the hold rules set up in your ILS. However, matching the hold limits (Max Holds) in Aspen to your ILS rules will give users a more specific message when trying to place a hold if they’ve reached their hold limit. This message will display at the top of the "Place Holds" screen:


If the user then tries to place the hold anyway, they will see this message:



If the Max Hold value in Aspen is higher than the limit specified in your ILS (Aspen defaults this value to 300), the user will not see the "Maximum Holds Reached" warning message on the Place Hold screen. They will be able to successfully place holds until the limit set in your ILS is reached.

If the Max Hold value in Aspen is lower than the limit specified in your ILS, users will see the "Maximum Holds Reached" warrning message per the limit specified in Aspen's Max Hold value, but users will still be able to successfully place holds until the limit set in your ILS is reached.

Assigning Roles by Patron Type
If there are specific permissions you want all staff members to have, it may not be practical to add each individual user as an administrator. Instead, you can assign roles based on Patron Type (P-Type). When a role is assigned to a p-type, this means that any user with that p-type who logs into Aspen will have access to the permissions specified for that role.
  1. Visit Primary ConfigurationPatron Types.
  2. Locate the p-type for your staff, then click Edit.
  3. Click the dropdown menu under Assigned Role and select the desired role.


  1. Click Save Changes and Return.


Click Save Changes and Stay Here to remain on the current screen and continue making more changes.

Assigned Role

In Aspen Administration > Primary Configuration > Patron Types > Assigned Role column, you can choose from the drop down one of the roles set up in Aspen Administration > System Administration > Permissions.

By applying a role to a patron type, this will give everyone with that patron type that role. You can always assign additional roles by library card number but this applies a role to everyone en masse and represents the minimum permissions that patron type will have.

Example: Select "Masquerader" as the assigned role for everyone on the patron type of "STAFF" so that all staff can use masquerade mode to assist patrons

Learn more about permissions

Treat as Staff

Checking Patron Types > Treat as staff enables access to a Staff Settings section within the user account, within the Account Settings section.

In Staff Settings, users will see:

  • Roles they have been assigned (if any)

  • An option to bypass automatic logouts based on any IP address settings

Example: I am a staff member logged into Aspen with a patron type of "STAFF." I am working on the same IP address that our public catalogs are on. We added the IP address to Aspen and marked it "treat as OPAC." However, because 'Treat as Staff' is checked for this patron type, and I have switched "Bypass automatic logout" to ON in my Staff Settings, Aspen will not automatically log me out per the timeout length in my Location's settings.


  • Materials Request settings, if the user has Aspen Materials Request permissions

Restrict masquerade from accessing patrons of this type

If you have masquerade mode on but want to prevent staff from masquerading as a specific patron type, check Patron Types > Restrict masquerade from accessing patrons of this type. In most cases this would be a library not wanting staff to masquerade as other staff.

Learn more about Masquerade Mode

Enable Reading History

Patron Types > Enable Reading History determines whether users of this patron type should be able to access Reading History.

If Reading History is disabled, the user will not see a Reading History link in their account options.

Learn more about Reading History

Two-factor authentication setting

If using two-factor authentication (2FA), Patron Types > the Two-factor authentication setting option tells Aspen which setting should be applied for users of this patron type.

Linked Account Settings

In Patron Types, libraries can choose per patron type how Linked Accounts are configured. 

Account linking setting

These settings allow you to control linked account behavior for users of this patron type. The options are:

  • Allow to be linked to and link to others
  • Allow only to be linked to
  • Allow only to link to others
  • Block all linking

Allow users to remove managing account links

Check or uncheck this setting to control whether users of this patron type can remove managing accounts who have linked to them.

Learn more about Linked Accounts

Allow Users to Create Material Requests

The Patron Types > Allow users to create materials requests option allows control over whether users of this patron type are able to submit materials requests (purchase suggestions) from Aspen.

This only applies for ILS request system (Koha) or the Aspen Materials Request system.

If a user account belongs to the restricted patron type, they will not see the 'Materials Requests' link from within the user account.

If they click the 'Didn't Find It?' link at the bottom of search results to access the materials request form, they will see a message explaining that they are unable to submit requests. (The text in this screen is translatable.)

Learn more about Materials Requests

Allow users to renew their account online

In Patron Types > Allow users to renew their account online, these settings determine if that patron type is eligible for online card renewal.

Learn more about online card renewal here.