Let's talk about Fulfillment (I mean Alma, not life's purpose) 10/20/20

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 9:00am to 10:30am

During this session held on Friday, 10/20, topics of discussion included:

  • Review of recent Known Issues in Alma and Primo VE
    • Alma Primo VE Known Issues
    • The page is oriented with newest-posted Known Issues at the top.
    • Posts may include a workaround, an Idea Exchange enhancement to vote for, and/or an Ex Libris support ticket number.
  • Brief review of hold shelf maintenance and working with expired holds.
    • The workflow to return materials that expire on the hold shelf is different in Alma than it was in Voyager.
    • We reviewed the steps posted: Staff workflows for Alma Requests
      Under the section: “Best Practices: Alma Hold Shelf Maintenance”
    • Why this is important:
      • Many I-Share libraries have been reporting an increase in I-Share materials, which when they arrive at the pick-up library, direct the pick-up library to route the item back to the home library.
      • Others have reported being unable to finish routing-in their own materials when returned from the other I-Share library.
      • While some of the “route-homes” may be caused by the patron canceling the request while it was in transit (Alma will allow this; Voyager did not), through investigations conducted by NEI, many of these may also be caused by expired hold shelf materials not being “Transited” as Alma expects.
        • If staff go to Fulfillment>Return for an item in Alma that expired on the hold shelf (which was what we did in Voyager, and is not what Alma expects), Alma fails to fully clear the hold.
        • Alma will print a transit slip to return the item to the item’s home library. But, when the item arrives back home, Alma then prompts staff to return it to the pick-up location.
      • Processing the expired and canceled holds as Alma expects should alleviate many of these issues.
  • Review of how to refresh a linked user's record to bring over new information from their home library
    • When a user from one I-Share institution borrows or requests material from another I-Share institution, Alma copies some details in the user record from the patron's home library to the other I-Share library. That copy is called a "linked user record"; in Voyager, we called it a "stub."
      • The linked user record is "refreshed" with a new copy from the patron's home institution when specific scenarios occur:
        • Library staff to do a Fulfillment> Manage Patron Services> Find user in other institution re-import/re-save of the patron's home record.
        • If the user places another request for another item from the institution where the linked user record is saved.
        • Currently, renewals do NOT refresh the patron's linked user record.
      • If library staff go to Fulfillment> Manage Patron Services> and then check the box for "Find user in other institution" while entering the patron's home library, when they then input the user's indentifier and search for that user, Alma will bring in a new copy of the patron's record information, updating dates and contact information.
  • Workflow to recall material from patrons for reserves
    • CARLI staff will work on getting the directions that use a job to place the recall re-tested and posted soon.
    • CARLI staff will work on getting alternative directions mentioned by UIU library staff tested and posted soon.
  • Review of Alma Fulfillment Configuration to see how the term loans are being calculated for patrons
    • We discussed the three primary levels of configuration for fulfillment:
      • Top level: Fulfillment Units bring all the settings together.
      • Middle level: Terms of use are applied by the rules in the fulfillment units as transactions occur.
      • Smallest level: Advanced Policy Configuration are the settings available for individual policies, aka, the options available in the menus in the Terms of Use.
    • If interested, email CARLI Support and CARLI Staff will be happy to review your library's settings with you in a Zoom call, make sure your policies in Alma match your policies in day-to-day operations, and help to condense TOUs/Rules where appropriate.
  • How to set passwords for community patrons
  • Why is term loan unable to be renewed?
    • Research continued after call with follow-up to reporting library. The reason was that the calendar was not yet set to have the next term's date for Alma to use in the calculation.

Additional sessions of "Let's talk about Fulfillment (I mean Alma, not life's purpose)" are scheduled/have occurred.
Please register for future sessions if interested, or review past sessions for the discussion notes: