Send attachments with an answer


Attachments sent by librarians to patrons are stored with the transaction. While the transaction is in the 90-day current database, the attachments are downloadable from within the "Ask" module, by any librarian with permissions to see the transaction.


To attach up to four files to a message:

  1. In an Attachment box, type the path to the file.
    Click the Browse button, find the file, and select it.
  2. To attach more files, repeat step 1 in the other attachment box.


Do not type a URL in an Attachment box. Include URLs in the Answer or Message box. Do not attach a file that is larger than 5 MB. If you do, an error message appears when you try to send the answer and the answer text is saved as a draft without the attachment. A total of 12 MB worth of attachments can be included in each answer sent.

Do not attach a file that has any of the following file extensions:

.ade .crt .jse .pcd .vb
.adp .exe .lnk .pif .vbe
.bas .hlp .mdb .reg .vbs
.bat .hta .mde .scr .wsc
.chm .inf .msc .sct .wsf
.cmd .ins .msi .shs .wsh
.com .isp .msp .shb  
.cpl .js .mst .url  

When an Answer is sent, the attachments are sent with the answer to the patron via email. They are also scanned separately for viruses, and if they pass the scan, they are uploaded to a storage server and given a unique id.

When the transaction is viewed in the Ask Module, questions lists, a paperclip icon is displayed in the far right column.

On the Full Question page, there are three possible states visible for each attachment sent.

Attachment status Description
Attachments awaiting virus scan Attachments spend up to 5 minutes in this state, awaiting or undergoing virus scan. During this time, the attachments are not available for download by the viewing librarian.
Attachments saved Attachments that have successfully passed the virus scan are hotlinked and downloadable for examination or reuse by the viewing librarian.*
Attachments not saved Attachments that have failed the virus scan are identified but are NOT downloadable for viewing or reuse by the viewing librarian.

*Downloading and viewing the attachment will not result in its deletion for subsequent users. Once attachments have passed the scan and are saved, they remain accessible for any subsequent viewer of the question, until such time as they transition to "Service History" (typically 90 days after last action taken on the transaction.)


The virus scan that the attachments undergo does NOT prevent the attachment from being sent to the patron via the emailed answer. The virus scan only protects the attachment from being stored with the answer, thereby preventing unintentional virus delivery to other librarians viewing the attachments at a later date. Librarians should continue to carefully assess any attachments that they choose to send to a patron.

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