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Alma Fulfillment Resource Guide

This guide covers all aspects of the fulfillment process. This includes maintaining all patron records, loaning materials, returning/renewing loaned materials, managing lost items dealing with fines and fees as well as course reserves.

New Features

New Features in Fulfillment and Resource Sharing

ExLibris rolls out new features to Alma and Primo VE on a quarterly basis. You can find them in their entirety at their site.

Alma: https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Release_Notes

Primo VE: https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Primo/Release_Notes/002Primo_VE

Every quarter FLVC Fulfillment and Resource Sharing Specialists will review the new features and update this page to highlight features we think are useful for these areas. Please see the new features copied from the ExLibris pages below.  Under each new feature heading will be additional information on how it might be useful and what needs to be done to get it implemented.

February 2024

New Features in Alma

Lending Requests Returned to Temporary Location

February 2024 Fulfillment and Resource Sharing 

Nothing needs to be done for this new feature/bug fix.

Items that are shipped for fulfilling a resource sharing lending request are moved to a temporary location. If, before shipping, the item was already in a temporary location then, when returned, the item would revert back to the permanent location (instead of the previous temporary location). Now, the item will revert back to the previous temporary location.

Temporary Location.

Temporary Location

For more information see Temporary Location Information.

Hold Shelf Policy for Resource Sharing Requests

February 2024 Fulfillment and Resource Sharing  idea exchange Idea Exchange

With input from the RSSC, on 2/7/2024, FLVC updated all institutions' configurations to keep hold shelf expirations the way they were before the new feature was implemented. Contact the help desk if you would prefer for UBorrow requests to expire on your hold shelf when the item is due to be returned to the Lending library.

To prevent items from sitting on hold shelves for extended periods of time, Alma now enables you to configure if the maximum time for an item to remain on a hold shelf before being returned to the lending library should be based on:

  • Due Date for the request
  • Circulation Desk Hold Shelf Expiration Time

Held Until.

Held Until

For more information see Managing the Hold Shelf.

Display User's Loan Due Date in Borrowing Request Page

February 2024 Fulfillment and Resource Sharing   NERS NERS Enhancement (ID #8125)

You can now display the Due Date of the loan associated with the borrowing request.

Loan due date.

Loan due date on Borrowing Request

You can configure this in the Records Customization page.

Due Date Column in Record Customization.

Records Customization Page

For more information see Customizing the Record Display.

Sort Lending Resource Sharing Requests by Location

February 2024 Fulfillment and Resource Sharing 

To efficiently organize your lending requests, you can now sort lending requests by location. After selecting Sort by: Shelving Location, when printing pickup slips, the pickup slips are printed in order by shelving location.

Shelving location.

Shelving Location

This is only relevant for requests that have not yet shipped.

For more information about working with lending requests see Managing Lending Requests.

Borrowing Task List — Print Slip in Bulk

February 2024 Fulfillment and Resource Sharing  idea exchange Idea Exchange

The Print Slip bulk action enables the library staff to reprint received or returned slips in bulk. When multiple borrowing requests are selected, selecting Print Slip reprints all the slips.

Print slip.

Print Slip

For requests that were not received, no print slip is printed. For requests that were received but not yet returned, the Resource Sharing Receive Slip Letter is printed. For requests that were returned, the Resource Sharing Return Slip Letter is printed. When multiple items are selected, all slips that were received/returned are printed and a message appears indicating which slips were printed successfully and which slips could not be printed.

Statuses for print slips.

Statuses for Print Slips

For more information see Managing Borrowing Requests.

Dismiss/Activate Notes Action in Right Pane of Resource Sharing Task Lists

February 2024 Fulfillment and Resource Sharing 

Both the borrowing and the lending resource sharing task lists now allow dismissing or activating notes from within the right pane of the task list. This makes it easier to manage the request notes without having to navigate to the full Edit form.

Active notes toggle.

Active notes toggle

For more information about working with notes see Managing Notes

Conditional Terms of Use for Digital Requests

February 2024 Fulfillment and Resource Sharing 

Lenders that provide a document delivery service can now indicate whether the supplied document can be made available to the patron in digital form, or whether the digital content requires manual handling by the borrowing staff, such as printing a physical copy that can be shared with the patron as a non-returnable physical copy. This new option enhances copyright control by enabling the lender to specify to the borrower that the document cannot be shared with the patron. As a lender, you can enable the relevant terms from Configuration > Fulfillment > Resource Sharing > Shipping Terms of Use. By default, only the NONE term is enabled.
 

Shipping Terms of Use.

Shipping Terms of Use

When the message is received on the borrower side and a term of use is selected by the lender, an alert is added to the request indicating that the request has a loan condition. The received digital file is not automatically forwarded to the patron, and the borrower request remains in a Shipped Digitally status.

Request has loan condition.

Loan Condition Alert

In addition, the Shipping Terms Of Use condition appears in the Request information on the right pane.

Request Information with Shipping Terms of Use.

Request Information

For more information see Delivering Digitized Items Using the Document Delivery Page

Resource Sharing Off Time Updates - RapidILL

February 2024 Fulfillment and Resource Sharing 

Previously, Rapid users needed to update both Alma and RapidILL when setting their library off times. Now, when the parameter rs_update_rapid_with_lending_offtime (Configuration > Fulfillment > General > Other Settings) is set to true (default false), when updating the resource sharing library's Inactive dates range in Alma (Configuration > General > Libraries > Add a Library or Edit Library Information > Summary tab > check Temporarily inactive for lending), the date range in RapidILL is automatically updated with the data configured in Alma.

  • The start date must be less than one year in the future.
  • The duration cannot be longer than 30 days.
  • Setting this configuration to true means that the configured inactive dates override the dates submitted using RapidILL webpages.
  • The temporarily inactive checkbox remains selected after the date range until it is manually deselected.

The inactive dates range settings.

Inactive dates range

Letters Configuration - Easy Selection of Letter Example XML File

February 2024 User Experience, Accessibility & Infrastructure

Previously, users had to navigate to the Letter Examples side-pane, choose the desired XML by selecting the corresponding radio button, and then click Save to pick another XML letter file for testing the XSL. Now, a new dropdown has been introduced above the XML editor, displaying all available example letters XML files. Users can effortlessly switch between files by selecting an option from this dropdown. Upon selection, the XML editor content is replaced with the information from the chosen file, and the letter preview is automatically refreshed.

For more information, see Using Example Letters for Testing.

XSL Editor enabling navigation between Letter Example XML Files

XSL Editor enabling navigation between Letter Example XML Files

Recommendation for Mail Relay and Support DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

February 2024 User Experience, Accessibility & Infrastructure    NERS NERS Enhancement (ID #8197)

The best practice and recommended approach is to move over to your own institutional mail relay.

Gmail and Yahoo announced that emails lacking DKIM signatures may be flagged as spam.

DKIM, or DomainKeys Identified Mail, serves as an email authentication method specifically designed to identify fraudulent sender addresses in emails, addressing the issue of email spoofing.

It is strongly recommended to configure DKIM, especially for institutions sending emails to Gmail and Yahoo addresses. Additional email service providers are expected to follow up with similar practice in the near future.

The following instructions are relevant for institutions that have configured the Mail-Handling integration profile to utilize "Send directly from Ex Libris" while using their own domain, at the 'SMTP EnvelopeFrom address' field (as opposed to the @exlibrisgroup.com address):

Institutions that use Ex Libris’s mail relay and wish to continue using it, should configure DKIM to ensure their emails remain trusted and mitigate the risk of your emails being treated as spam. We have developed this feature and we will gradually deploy it in the coming months (starting February).

During the initial stage, we request customers interested in implementing DKIM to reach out through support (Please open the case under the Alma asset). This will enable us to activate DKIM for your account and closely monitor the implementation process.

Once the DKIM functionality is activated for your institution, the Mail-Handling Integration-Profile will include support for DKIM digital signatures in outgoing emails. Configuration instructions can be found here.

If your institution cannot undertake any of the above, please reconfigure your Mail-Handling integration profile to "Send directly from Ex Libris" and set the 'SMTP EnvelopeFrom address' field to <your_user>@exlibrisgroup.com 

For more information, see:

Excel files are now supported in the course loader


Excel files are now supported in the course loader (Configuration > General > External Integrations > Integration Profiles) directory, in addition to .csv.

The option to input the file path.

Input File Path

For more information, see Configuring Course Loading.

November 2023

New Features in Alma


Additional Personal Delivery Locations

November 2023 Fulfillment   idea exchange Idea Exchange

This feature might be useful for institutions that use Personal Delivery. It is unclear how Alma will determine which users are eligible for Personal Delivery, however, so testing will need to be done to see if a workflow can be established. Contact the help desk if interested. 

Patrons who qualify for personal delivery can now choose a pickup location different from their registered home or office address. This enables libraries to offer a personal delivery service to addresses other than the home or office addresses.

Personal Delivery Address.

Personal Delivery Address

It is also possible for patrons to update their registered home or office address (or other personal delivery address) while requesting personal delivery in Primo. This enables patrons to use the personal delivery service even if their home and office address isn't pre-loaded in the system.

The ability for patrons to add/edit their personal delivery locations is for PrimoVE users only.

For more information, see Configuring Additional Personal Delivery Locations.

Watch the Additional Personal Delivery Locations video (1:41 mins).

Allow any Field from the Bibliographic Record to be Used when Defining a General Electronic Service

November 2023 FulfillmentThis feature may make it possible to add ILL links to resources previously missed by current methods. Please contact the help desk if interested.

A new "General Electronic Service Bib Fields Enrichment" configuration screen (Configuration > Fulfillment > Discovery Interface Display Logic) was created. This enables institutions to define which field will be extracted from the record's metadata and be available for use when defining an "Availability Rule" or enhancing the "URL template" field upon definition of a "General Electronic Service" (Configuration > Fulfillment > Discovery Interface Display Logic > General Electronic Services).

Below is an example workflow:

1. Access the new configuration screen and add a new row to point to the specific bibliographic field (020_a in the example).

Define the Bib field.

Define the Bib Field

2. You can find the newly defined bibliographic field in the input parameters section of a rule.

Define GES Rule.

Define GES Rule

3. You can also utilize the newly defined field in the URL Template field of the general electronic service.

Add New Name to URL Template.

Add New Name to URL Template

4. Below is an example of how this will appear to patrons in the Discovery (Primo) system, as well as how the actual URL will be constructed.

GES in Search Results.

GES in Search Results

Constructed URL.

Constructed URL

When adding a row to the "General Electronic Service Bib Fields Enrichment" configuration screen, you will need to define the Record format, Bibliographic field and subfield. The defined value within the "Field Name in General Electronic Service" will be the one that appears when defining the General Electronic Rule/URL template.


1. When 2 bibliographic records are matched the logic will only apply on the "Selected" bibliographic record.

2. In case the URL template field starts with a parameter place holder with no text or URL before it (and regardless of what comes after it), no decoding will be done to 
     the first parameter's information.

For more information, see General Electronic Services.

Enhanced Missing Item Workflows

November 2023 Physical Resource Management idea exchange Idea Exchange

The Missing toggle is now available in a more obvious location.

Previously, the ability to switch the missing status of an item was confined to the items list. Now, it's feasible to indicate whether an item is missing or found directly from the search results of physical items. This functionality is also available within the item editor page, accessible through the Save and toggle missing status action.

The Save and toggle missing status will save any changes made to the item in the editor, and then toggle the missing status, adding or removing a "Missing" process type. If an item is in another process type, this option is disabled. If an operator adds a process type to an item in place and then selects Save and toggle missing status, only the selected process type will be saved and the "Missing" process type will not be applied.

This enhancement streamlines the management of missing items, significantly boosting efficiency in the process.

For more information, see Updating Item Level Information.

 

Option to Append to Existing Note Field in the Job Change Physical Items

November 2023 Physical Resource Management idea exchange Idea Exchange

Previously, when using the Change Physical Items Information job to add notes, you could either replace existing notes or skip items that already had notes. Now, there's a new option called Append to field which lets libraries add a new note to the existing one, with a space and semicolon as separators. This is useful for adding a note to all items in a set without erasing previous notes.

For more information, see the Change Physical Items information job.

Watch the Append Text to Notes via Change Physical Items Information Job video (2:30 mins).

 

Letters Configuration - X-Path to Specify a Location within the XML

November 2023 Administration and Infrastructure

The XSL editor now provides the X-Path for a particular XML element when you click on that element within the XML editor textbox. This feature proves valuable, especially when you need to copy an XML element into the XSL. You can quickly access this functionality using the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Shift-H.

For more information, see How to Customize Letter Templates.

X-Path in XSL Editor

X-Path displayed in XSL editor

 

Added Option to Edit User from Alma User Card

November 2023 Administration and Infrastructure

Alma introduces a new feature that makes it easier for Alma staff users to access user details directly from the task lists. This change is designed to streamline their work and save time.

Key Changes:

  • The Requester field in the Alma Borrowing task list (and other relevant fields) now includes a linkable user name.
  • Staff users can select the user's name within the task list to quickly access and edit their details.

Enhanced User Experience:

  • The user's name appears in blue and can be clicked on to open their profile.
  • Selecting the user's name takes the staff user to the user details page, where edits can be made.
  • This link's functionality depends on the user's roles and permissions, ensuring secure access to sensitive information.

Before this update, staff users had to manually copy the user's name or identifier, search for the user separately, and then proceed to edit. This extra step has been removed, making the process more efficient and user-friendly.

Editing User Details

Editing User Details

For more information, see Creating a Borrowing Request.

 

 

August 2023

New Features in Alma

New Layout for Manage Sets Page

August 2023 Resource Management 

The next-generation Alma UI design is now available for the Manage Sets page (Admin > Manage Jobs and Set > Manage Sets).

 The updated design is applied for all users. There will be no gradual roll-out for users to opt in/out.

The New Layout is designed to provide users who manage sets with a more streamlined experience, in which more information is available at a glance and new facet options make it easier to locate sets with certain characteristics.

Manage Sets - New UI page

Manage Sets New UI page

This release introduces a range of enhancements aimed at improving the creation and usage of sets in Alma. The enhancements focus on providing a quick and intuitive experience for users, streamlining workflows, and increase overall efficiency.

  • Key updates:
    • Streamlined set creation: We have implemented a more straightforward and user-friendly approach to creating sets. Users will now find it easier than ever to generate sets, with simplified processes and fewer steps.
    • Improved set utilization: Recognizing the value of utilizing existing sets efficiently, we have introduced a quick and intuitive method for leveraging pre-existing sets. This enhancement enables users to access and utilize sets seamlessly in various tasks and searches.

 

  • Creating Itemized Physical Holdings Sets

The physical holdings sets management was enhanced as part of the improved sets management enabling operators to easily create and manage itemized as well as logical sets of physical holdings records. This is especially useful when you want your set to include specific holdings, or to create an itemized set from a logical set of all holdings that fulfill a condition at a specific point in time.

For more information, see Managing Search Queries and Sets.

A webinar on "Search and Sets Functionality in Alma using the New UI for Managing Sets" will be delivered in two separate time zones on November 13 and 14. For further information and registration see the Alma 2023 Roadmap Webinar Series page.

Watch the New Manage Sets Layout video (4:29 mins).

Accrued Fees Now Appear in User Details

August 2023 Fulfillment  idea exchange Idea Exchange

The Fines/Fees tab of the User Details page (Admin > Find and manage Users > [select user]) now includes information about fees that patrons are currently accruing for overdue loans that they have not yet returned. Previously, this tab included overdue fines information only for loans that were already returned, which were included in the sum that appears under Active balance. The Accrued fines field shows additional fines that may still be increasing, because the patron has not yet returned the loan. Note that the accrued fines are not included in the calculation of the debt limit that, if reached, would prevent the patron from borrowing additional items. For additional information, see Managing Users.

User Fines and Fees w Accrued.png

Accrued Fines Field in the Fines/Fees Tab of the User Details page

Additional Fields Added to Resource Sharing Record Display

August 2023 Fulfillment - Resource Sharing

Additional information about resource-sharing requests has been added to the resource-sharing task lists, as follows:

Optional Fields

The following optional fields can now be added to the record information displayed in the task list:

  • Lending Requests:
    • ISBN
    • ISSN
    • Publication date
    • Publisher
    • Place of publication
  • Borrowing Requests:
    • Publication date

Lending Requests - New Fields.png

Additional Information in a Lending Request Record

By default, these fields are not displayed. To add them to your display, select  (or ) > Records Customization to open the Records Customization pane, and then select the fields you want to add to the record display. For additional information, see New Layout 2022.

Records Customization - Borrowing Requests.png

Records Customization Pane

Call Number

When available, the request Call number is now shown in the Request Information section of the Details pane for both borrowing and lending requests. For additional information about working with the Details pane, see New Layout 2022.

Call No in RS Request Details.png

Call Number in the Details Pane of a Resource-Sharing Request

August 2023 Fulfillment - Resource Sharing

To enable librarians to work more efficiently, when the parameter rs_borrower_copyright_management (Ex Menu links clipboard_eb042e55fe2fd0e8672beb7538ead4c20.png > Admin > Customer Parameters) is set to true (default false), copyright information for requests is now available and manageable from the right pane in addition to the Edit pane of a request.

The copyright information can only be edited for requests that have not yet been sent.

The copyright status on the right pane.

Copyright status on the right pane

Long Term Digital Loans

August 2023 Digital Resource Management

Long term digital loans is a process by which libraries can lend out digital copies (representations) of physical materials to patrons for periods of a day or more. The system imitates the experience of lending physical items by enabling you to limit the number of digital copies being lent concurrently and configuring the time period of the loan. Like with physical items, the requester enters a waitlist if the digital copy is on loan. Alma keeps track of the patrons who requested the digital representation and notifies the next person in the waitlist when it is available. Users can also indicate the list of physical items that are represented by each digital resource. 

Long term digital loans introduces a rich set of policies, is fully integrated into the Alma requests workflow, and is accessible from the patron Library Card in Primo. For more information, see Long Term Digital Loans.

To activate this functionality, contact Ex Libris Support.

Separating User Search by Library Affiliation

August 2023 Administration and Infrastructure

Libraries that implement library independence can now be set up to separate also their users search by library scope. This way, operators from one library cannot search for patrons of another library. Setting this option is done by using the Configuration menu > User Management > General > Other Settings menu to set the limit_user_search_by_library_scope parameter to true.

This addition to the library independence theme creates an option for improved privacy of user records in the Alma institution.

See Library Independence and Fulfillment Library Independence.

Option to Hide User Contact Card

August 2023 Administration and Infrastructure

Removing the privilege to view user pop-up cards from user roles is now possible. To remove the privilege, please contact Ex Libris support.

New and Improved Letters Configuration Interface

August 2023 Administration and Infrastructure   NERS NERS Enhancement (ID #7876)

A new letters configuration interface was implemented, to create an improved and more intuitive user experience. This includes:

  • XSL/XML and preview of the output, now all in one window.
     

    New Letters Preview Window.Letters Preview Window

  • Error detection and reporting while editing.

  • Enhanced preview pane with easy navigation between visual and html view.

  • Quicker access to configuration of labels and letter examples.

  • New save draft feature. 
     

New Save Draft Feature.

Save Draft

For more information see Configuring Alma Letters.

A webinar on “The New User Interface for Customizing Letters in Alma” will be delivered in two separate time zones on August 09, 2023. For further information and registration see the Alma 2023 Roadmap Webinar Series page.

Watch the New Letters Configuration video (6:12 mins).

Search for Citations Within a Reading List

August 2023 Fulfillment - Course Reserves

You can now search for a citation within a reading list in Alma. You can search by the following criteria (for descriptions, see Managing Citations):

  • Keyword (default selection) — When selected, this option searches the following citations' metadata fields for a match:
    • Additional Person Name, Author, Book Author, Book Title, Chapter Author
    • Chapter Title, Citation ID, DOI, Edition, Editor
    • ISBN, ISSN, Issue, Journal Title, LCCN
    • MMS ID, OCLC Number, Pages, Place of Publication, Publication Date
    • Publisher, Resource Note, Source, Title, and Volume
    • Keyword searches for citations do not support the use of Boolean operators (such as AND or OR), and if these operators are specified, they are treated as keywords. 

    • When special characters (such as hyphen, dash, slash, and so forth) are specified as search terms, the search will return results that both include and exclude the special characters.

  • Citation ID
  • Creator — The citation author's name. Note: Additional person names are not included in the search.
  • ISBN
  • ISSN
  • MMS Id
  • Title — Citation title

The option to citation search list.

Citation search list

For more information, see Managing Reading Lists.

Filter Approval Requests by Date Range

August 2023 Fulfillment - Course Reserves SF: 06676661

To filter approval requests by relevance, the Approval Requests List (Fulfillment > Resource Requests > Approval Requests List) now includes a Creation date filter. The default date range displayed is for requests from the most recent year.

The creation date filter.

Citation Creation date filter

For more information, see Digitization Approval Requests.

Option to Connect Citations to Library Resources by Title and Author Combination

August 2023 Fulfillment - Course Reserves

Using the Resource Locate process, Leganto now provides more flexibility for matching citations to library inventory. The Resource Locate process runs automatically as citations are added to reading lists, manually on demand, or in bulk using a job. It is now possible to specify that a combination of the title and author fields can be used to identify matching resources in the library collection. The library can now configure, for example, that Leganto checks for a match using first ISBN/ISSN, and if a match is not found, check for a match using title AND author. The title and author must match the repository record for the citation to link to the bibliographic record. 

To configure, enable the new parameter Title_Author in the Locate Citation by Fields table (Configuration > Fulfillment > Courses > Locate Citation by Fields). When the parameter resource_locate_mode (Configuration > Fulfillment > General > Other Settings) is set to OR, Leganto checks against all enabled fields in the order configured in the table.

The option to require both the title and author.

Title AND Author parameter

For more information, see Match by Fields.

August 2023

New Features in Primo

Allow Authentication for Customized List of Institutions - Consortia Only

August 2023
This enhancement enables an institution within a consortium to allow users to access a main view and then authenticate and get services from another institution in the network. Previously, access to services was restricted to your own institution. When enabled, users are prompted to authenticate with an institution that is affiliated with your institution. Depending on your configuration, users are redirected either to the other institution's view or to the same page (such as a record's full view) within the other institution if the following information matches in the other institution:

  • Search term

  • search scope and tab

  • filters, facets

  • doc id (when coming from full view)

  • lang

  • mode

  • Collection id (when coming from collection discovery)

  • journals (in journal search)

  • databases (in database search)

Configuration Options

This functionality is disabled by default. Refer to the following table for information to enable this feature and to set other configuration options.

Element Description

General tab on View Configuration Page (Configuration > Discovery > Display Configuration > Configure Views)

Select the new Allow direct login to other institutions field to enable the configuration of the affiliated institutions.

This parameter displays only for institutions (IZs) that are affiliated with a Network Zone (NZ).

To create the list of institutions that appear in the Login Menu:

  1. Select the Allow direct login to other institutions field.

  2. Select Edit configuration to open the Direct login to other institutions page, which lists all the affiliated institutions.

  3. Select Add configuration and specify the following fields for the institution:

    • Consortia institutions (mandatory) – Select the institution that you want to add to your authentication list.

    • Institution name label (mandatory) – A unique label for the institution, which displays on the Direct Login Menu for the institution.

    • Other institution domain (mandatory) – The institution's Primo VE domain to which users are redirected after authentication (pretty URL/standard hostname).

    • View code (mandatory) – The view code to use with the other institution's domain.

  4. Select Save to save the institution and to return to the list of affiliated institutions.

Discovery Customer Settings mapping table (Configuration > Discovery > Other > Customer Settings)

Set the direct_login_transfer_all_parameters parameter to true if you want to redirect to the other institution and retain context and page settings (such as search terms and filters/facets) from the original page.  The default setting is false, which redirects to the other institution without transferring page settings from the original page. 

For more information, see Discovery Customer Settings.

Direct Login Labels code table (Configuration > Discovery > Display Configuration > Labels)

Defines the labels used on the Direct Login Menu. This information is automatically populated with the values configured in the Institution name label field from the view's configuration for this functionality.

Display Item Policy in Get It (Idea Exchange)

August 2023
Previously, an item's policy could be seen only in Alma. With this enhancement, you can now display the Item Policy if the field is configured to display in Get It >  Location Items (brief and full item displays):

PVE_GetIt_Display_Item_Policy.png

Item Policy Displayed in Get It

Configuration Options

This functionality is disabled by default. If you want to display configured item policies to all users, enable the Item Policy field on the Item Details page (Configuration > Discovery > GetIt Configuration > Items Display Configuration). For additional information, see Configuring Item Display for Primo VE.

PVE_DisplayItems_ItemPolicy.png

Display Items page - Item Policy Activated

This information displays in Primo VE only if the Item Policy field is configured in Alma's Physical Item Editor. For additional information about the Physical Item Editor, see Alma: Updating Item-Level Information.

PVE_ItemPolicy_Alma.png

Item's Loan Policy Configured in Alma

My Library Card Improvements

August 2023
When enabled, this enhancement enables users to view all library notices and to choose whether to receive them or not. As with other personal details, users must first select Edit Details

PVE_MyLibraryCard_PersonalDetails_DisplayNotices.png

Personal Details - Library Notices

Configuration Options

This functionality is disabled by default. To enable the display of the library notices, set the new display_actions_personal_settings parameter to true in the Discovery Customer Settings mapping table (Configuration > Discovery > Other > Customer Settings). For more information, see Discovery Customer Settings.

Long Term Digital Loans - Support Patron Workflow

August 2023
Long term digital loans is a process by which libraries can lend out digital copies (representations) of physical materials to patrons for periods of a day or more. The system imitates the experience of lending physical items by allowing you to limit the number of digital copies being lent concurrently and configuring the time period of the loan. Like with physical items, if the digital copy is on loan, the requester enters a waitlist. Alma keeps track of the patrons who requested the digital representation and notifies the next person in the waitlist when it is available. Users can also indicate the list of physical items that are represented by each digital resource.

Patrons can request these digital items from the View Online section in Primo VE and manage them from the My Library Card > Requests tab. For more details, see Creating a Long Term Digital Loan Request from Primo VE. For example, the patron’s viewing requests, both those still in the waitlist and those currently being fulfilled and viewed by the patron, are displayed on the My Library Card > Requests tab:

library_card_requests_tab.png

Library Card Requests Tab

The Requests tab displays relevant information about the request, such as allowed session period and grace period. Patron's can select a title to display a title’s full display page, view the resource if it is currently available for them to view, and cancel a request in the waitlist.

 

May 2023

New Features in Alma

Anonymization of Notes in Requests and Other Records

If your patrons regularly use notes to add personal identifying information to requests there is now a way to remove them with the anonymization job. Please send a help desk ticket if you would like to configure this feature.

May 2023 Fulfillment

At times, personal information is entered into the Notes attached to requests and other records related to patrons. Alma's anonymization feature has therefore been expanded to make it possible to delete Notes as well as other patron information from closed loans, fines and fees, requests, and resource-sharing requests. Institutions can configure the anonymization job (Fulfillment - Handle Historical Archiving) to remove Notes from any or all of these sources. For additional information, see Configuring Fulfillment Jobs.

Anonymization Job config.png

New anonymization options

Option for Items Returned from Reading Rooms to Be Restored to Permanent Locations Immediately  

Please send in a help desk ticket if this is something you would like to configure for your reading room.

May 2023 Fulfillment

A new option in the configuration of a reading-room circulation desk, Restore from reading room at checkin, makes it possible for items that have been temporarily moved to reading rooms to appear in Alma and in Primo as being restored to their permanent locations as soon as they are checked in for final return at the reading rooms. When this option is not selected, these items are only restored to their permanent locations when they are checked in at those destinations. The terms of use (TOU) of these items are set in accordance with their current locations, so this setting affects the time at which the TOU revert to their permanent settings, including the levels of fees and fines. For additional information, see Configuring Circulation Desks.

Watch the Reading Room Functionality in Alma video (54:45 minutes).

Additional Optional Fields Can Be Added to Resource-Sharing Task Lists

This does not require any additional configuration by FLVC. 

May 2023 Fulfillment - Resource Sharing

New optional fields are now available for inclusion in the rows of resource-sharing task lists in the New Layout.

The following optional fields can now be added:

Lending Request Task Lists Borrowing Request Task Lists

Column 1

  • OCLC Number
  • LCCN
  • Issue
  • Volume (book)
  • Volume (article)
  • Pages
  • MMS ID

Column 2

  • Internal Identifier
  • Additional Infor
  • Pickup Location
  • Level of Service
  • Barcode
  • Request printed
  • Date for Reply
  • Update date

Column 1

  • OCLC Number
  • LCCN
  • Issue
  • Volume (book)
  • Volume (article)
  • Pages
  • Request Note
  • MMS ID

Column 2

  • Internal Identifier
  • Additional Infor
  • Pickup Location
  • Level of Service
  • Barcode
  • Update date

These fields are hidden by default. You can choose which fields to include in your task-list displays, and where in the record display they should appear, thereby improving the visibility of those fields that are most important to you. To do so, in the task-list page, open the Customization menu (Customization icon.png), and then select User customization > Record customization. For additional information, see New Layout 2022.

Borrowing Requests with "Ready to Be Sent" Status in Tasks List

This does not require any additional configuration by FLVC. 

May 2023 Fulfillment - Resource Sharing  NERS NERS Enhancement (ID #7934)

The Tasks list of Borrowing Requests now includes links for borrowing requests that have the status Ready to be sent ("unassigned" and "assigned to me"). For additional information, see The Alma User Interface.

Tasks - Ready to Be Sent.png

"Ready to be sent" borrowing requests in the Tasks list

New Layout for Resource-Sharing Task Lists Is Now the Exclusive Option 

This does not require any additional configuration by FLVC. 

May 2023 Fulfillment - Resource Sharing

The New Layout of Alma task lists is now the only available interface for the Borrowing Requests and the Lending Requests task lists. Users can no longer opt-out of this layout and use the previous layout.

The main new features of the new layout are:

  • Details pane: A work area can be opened in a pane on the right side of the request list. This makes it possible to edit most aspects of the request without losing sight of the request list, and also speeds up the editing process.
  • Multiple facet selection: Multiple criteria can be selected in each facet category, providing more flexibility in the creation of a filtered request list.
  • Streamlined access to notes and patron queries: Notes and patron queries can be seen, added, and edited in the new right pane. This makes these important elements more noticeable and easier to manage when reviewing the request list or processing requests.
  • Status and assignee information as facets: Activity status and assignee information are facet categories, enabling searching for requests by specifying multiple activity statuses and a number of specific assignees.
  • Sliding panel: When access to the full request form, with all of its tabs, is required, it opens in a panel that "slides" out from the right side of the right panel, only partially covering the task list. This enables work on all aspects of the request without losing sight of the request-list context.

Watch the New Resource Sharing Task List video (3:34 minutes).

Borrowing Request w Details.png

Borrowing Requests task list - New Layout with Details pane open

Enhanced Notes Section in Resource-Sharing Task Lists

This does not require any additional configuration by FLVC. 

May 2023 Fulfillment - Resource Sharing

The Notes section that appears in the Details pane of the resource-sharing task lists has been enhanced. It now provides an additional display mode, List layout mode, in addition to the Notes layout mode, which was previously available. The new layout mode supports searching within and sorting of the existing notes, as well as an alternative view of the notes themselves. To switch between the modes, select an option at the top of the section (Notes Mode Menu.png). For additional information, see New Layout 2022.

Watch the Enhanced Notes Section in Resource Sharing Task Lists video (1:18 minutes).

Notes - Note Mode.png   

Notes in Notes layout mode (left) and the new, List layout mode (right)

Unused Labels Automatically Removed from Resource-Sharing Task Lists

This does not require any additional configuration by FLVC. 

May 2023 Fulfillment - Resource Sharing idea exchange Idea Exchange

Labels in resource-sharing task lists that are not attached to any records are now automatically removed from the list of available labels. This clears unnecessary clutter, making it easier to work with the list of labels. For additional information, see New Layout 2022.

Due Date Added to Items List

This does not require any additional configuration by FLVC. 

May 2023 Physical Resource Management idea exchange Idea Exchange

Presently, operators cannot easily view the due date of items in the Items List and need to check each loan individually. A new column can now be added to the physical items table, containing the due date of items on loan.

For more information, see Working with the List of Items.

New and Generic Physical Items Material Types

Please submit a help desk ticket if you would like to add additional Physical Item Material Types.

May 2023 Physical Resource Management idea exchange Idea Exchange

Alma now offers an increased range of physical material types, including generic options that libraries can customize according to their requirements. This update is particularly advantageous for libraries with specialized materials, such as medical libraries that lend anatomical models, as they can now tailor the available type descriptions to their specific needs.

There are 15 new lines that can be configured and activated.

User's Role Profiles Now Recorded in Account Notes

This does not require any additional configuration by FLVC. 

May 2023 Administration and Infrastructure

Users' role profiles are now recorded in the user-account's Notes tab when they are applied. This makes it possible to find all users to which a particular role profile was applied in the past, by searching for the role profile's name or ID number. A logical set of these users can also be saved, and used as input for the Update/Notify Users job, which can update the roles assigned to the users in the set. For additional information, see Roles and Registration Configuration.

Role Profile - User Notes.png

Notes recording the application of role profiles to a user account

Please submit a help desk ticket if you would like to configure your Copyright Approval and Reject Reasons.
May 2023 Fulfillment - Course Reserves

You can now customize the copyright approval and reject reasons (Fulfillment > Resource Requests > Approval Requests List). 

Copyright approval reasons list.

Copyright approval reasons list

Copyright rejection reasons list.

Copyright rejection reasons list

You can customize the approval and reject reasons using the Configuration > Fulfillment > Copyright Management > Copyright approval reasons and Configuration > Fulfillment Copyright Management > Copyright reject reasons tables. You can edit any of the existing reasons or use the Add Row button to add new reasons. The reasons can now be translated to the Alma display language.

Copyright approval reasons configuration.

Copyright approval reasons configuration

Copyright rejection reasons configuration.png

Copyright rejection reasons configuration

For more information, see Customizing Copyright Approval and Reject Reasons.

Easily Identify Citations that are Not Located

This does not require any additional configuration by FLVC. 

May 2023 Fulfillment - Course Reserves

The Resource Locate facet (Fulfillment > Course Reserves > Citations) now includes a Not Located facet which accounts for all resources with the statuses Multiple Resources Located, Locate Not Run, No Resources Located, Locate Failed, and Information Incomplete. 

The not located facet. 

Not located

For more information, see Reading List Citation Process and Enrich and Manual Jobs on Defined Sets.

Resource Sharing Lending - Titles with physical holdings now display the Holdings information (name, shelving location, call number, and availability) in the right pane.

This does not require any additional configuration by FLVC. 

The Holdings information displays whatever information is available. When some of the Holdings information is not available, the field for the unavailable information does not appear.

The holdings information in the right pane.

Holdings

Resource Sharing - From Emails

If you are experiencing issues with the email address that patrons use to reply to your Resource Sharing Emails please submit a help desk ticket to see if this enhancement would work to fix the problem.
  • You can now set the default sent from email address to be different from the main library email address. When rs_use_addressfrom_letter_param (Fulfillment Configuration Menu > General > Other Settings) is set to true (default false), instead of letters being sent from the Preferred Email Address set in Fulfillment > Library Management > Contact Information, the email is sent from the letter configuration addressFrom (Configuration > General > Letters > Letters Configuration) on the following letters:
    • Externally Obtained Letter
    • Lending Recall Email Letter
    • Borrower Claim Email Letter
    • Ful Cancel Email Letter
    • Ful Renew Email Letter
    • Ful Incoming Slip Letter
    • Ful Damaged Email Letter
    • Ful Lost Email Letter
    • Borrower Overdue Email Letter
    • Ful Outgoing Email Letter
    • Borrower Receive Email Letter
    • Borrower Return Email Letter
    • Lender Checked-in Email Letter
    • Lender Reject Email Letter
    • Lender Response Email Letter
    • Lender Ship Email Letter
    • Lender Will Supply Email Letter
    • Query To Patron Letter
    • Resource Sharing Request Confirmation Letter
    • Resource Sharing Return Slip Letter
    • Resource Sharing Shipping Slip Letter

    Letter sent from the preferred email address.

    Preferred email address

    Letter sent from the addressFrom email address.

    addressFrom email address

    In addition, for the following letters, signature_email needs to be replaced in the XSL with address_from in order to prevent the preferred email address from appearing at the bottom of the email:

    • Externally Obtained Letter
    • Query To Patron Letter

    The parameter to change in the xsl.

    XSL

    The preferred email address on the three letters.

    Preferred email address on three letters

    For more information, see Configuring Alma Letters.

 

February 2023

New Features in Alma

Additional Parameters for Automatic Loan-Renewal Rules

If you have Automatic Loan Renewal Rules set up at your institution or are considering it there are new ways to define what loans will get renewed when the Courtesy notice goes out. If you are happy with the way things work now, no change is necessary.
If you would like to refine your rules or would like to add an Automatic Loan Renewal Rule please contact the help desk. 

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Two powerful new types of parameters can now be used in configuring automatic loan-renewal rules: locations and statistical categories:

  • Locations: Location-based auto-renewal parameters make it possible to create distinct rules for locations within individual libraries. For example, items in reading rooms, for which automatic renewal is not allowed, and items in other locations in the same library, for which renewals are permitted, can have different automatic renewal rules.
  • Statistical categories: Primarily used for analytical reports, statistical categories are created by institutions and assigned to patrons as required. Examples of possible statistical categories are "Citizenship" (with possible values Australia, Canada, China, and so forth) and "Degree Program" (Bachelor's, Masters, PhD, and so forth). Employing statistical categories as parameters in automatic loan-renewal rules makes it possible to fine-tune auto-renewal rules for the various types of patrons served by the institution.  

For additional information, see Configuring Automatic Loan-Renewal Rules.

Auto-Renew Rule Editor w Param Box.png

Configuring an Automatic Loan-Renewal Rule with a Location Parameter

User Statistical Categories as Parameters in Fulfillment-Unit Rules

This new feature can be useful for institutions who, for example, would like to have different loan or request rules for patrons who have an ADA designation. It is now possible for a patron to keep the User Group they are assigned during the patron load and be manually given a Statistical Category which we could then use to differentiate them and create appropriate loan and request rules. 
If you are interested in this new functionality please contact the help desk.

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User-defined statistical categories can now be used as input to fulfillment-unit rules. Originally intended to be used only for analytical reports, statistical categories sometimes reflect patron attributes that affect their eligibility for fulfillment services, such as special loan-rules for patrons with disabilities. This feature makes it possible to use these statistical categories to define patrons' privileges for fulfillment services. For information about configuring fulfillment-unit rules, see Physical Fulfillment. For information about creating statistical categories, see User Details Configuration.

Configuring a fulfillment-unit rule to use a statistical category as a parameter

Request-Cancellation Reasons Now Customizable

This new feature seems really great. Please contact the help desk if you would like to customize your cancellation reasons list.  Keep in mind that this is an institution wide change so all libraries in your institution would be affected.

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It is now possible for each institution to customize the list of request-cancellation reasons that appears in the dropdown list of reasons when cancelling requests like holds or resource-sharing borrowing requests. The text displayed for each of the standard reasons can be modified, and reasons that are not relevant to the institution can be removed from the dropdown list. In addition, the institution can create up to ten new reasons to add to the dropdown list. These new options enable the institution to create a list of options that only includes reasons that are actually in use in their libraries, thus preventing problems that arise when an inappropriate reason is selected. The list of cancellation reasons can be edited at Configuration menu > Fulfillment > Request Cancellation Reasons. For additional information, see Configuring Request Cancellation Reasons.

Watch the Customize Request Cancellation Reasons video (1:20 minutes).

Customization of Resource-Sharing Record View and Row Actions List

This new feature doesn't require any mediation from the help desk. Please view the knowledge articles below. 

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Users can now customize the task lists of the resource-sharing borrowing and lending task lists by choosing which fields will appear for each item, and the order and locations in which they will appear. In addition, the order of the row actions of each task can now be configured, and options that are not required can be hidden from the list entirely.

These new options add to the flexibility of the task lists, and enable libraries to improve the efficiency of their work by reducing clutter and making the fields required for their workflow easier to locate. Future releases will add additional fields to the task lists, further expanding the configuration options.

For additional information, see Customizing the Record DisplayMore Actions and Main Action Buttons.

Search for Reading List by List ID

This new feature doesn't require any mediation from FLVC.

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You can now search Reading lists by List ID in Alma.

List ID searches are not currently included in All searches. This option will be available in a later release.

Searching a reading list by list ID.

Searching a Reading list by List ID

For more information, see Reading List Search Fields.

Course Reserves Label Change

This new feature doesn't require any mediation from FLVC.

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For consistency and clarity, the Brief Display Request Status label is now labeled Citation Status to match the Citation Status facet label and the data in analytics.

Citation Status label on the Brief Display of a citation.

Brief Display Citation Status

New Features in Primo VE

Support "Starts With" Option for Call Number Searches - NERS #7986

Please put in a help desk ticket if you would like this new Primo enhancement.
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For advanced searches, users can now use the Starts With option to search for holdings call numbers. Previously, this option was enabled only for title searches.

PVE_StartsWith_HoldingCallNumber.png

Holdings Call Number - Starts With Option Enabled

If you are testing this functionality in your Sandbox environment, it is necessary to re-index the records that you are testing. For your Production environment, the semi-annual re-indexing of your records will be completed by February. 

Configuration Options

This functionality is disabled by default. The following table lists the configuration options associated with this functionality.

Element Description

Discovery Customer Settings mapping table (Configuration > Discovery > Other > Customer Settings)

When set to true, the new parameter allow_start_with_for_call_number enables users to search for holdings call numbers that start with a specified value in Advanced Search. The default setting is false, which disables this functionality.

Aria Labels code table (Configuration > Discovery > Display Configuration > Labels)

When this functionality is enabled, the following code should be customized to include the call number:

  • nui.aria.search.startswithAria – This search type is available only for Title field

Search Tile Labels code table (Configuration > Discovery > Display Configuration > Labels)

 

When this functionality is enabled, the following code should be customized to include the call number:

  • search-advanced.precisionOperator.option.startswithTitle – This search type is available only for Title field

UX Improvements - Changing Number of Titles per Page - NERS #7700

No configuration should be necessary for this new feature.  If it is not working as expected please contact the help desk.

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Previously, users had to scroll to the bottom of the page to set the maximum number of results per page. With this enhancement, users can now set the number of page results by also clicking the expand icon next to the total results count that appears at the top of the page. For signed-in users Primo VE now saves this setting between sessions, and for guests this setting is kept only for the current session.

PVE_ResultsPerPageTop.png

Setting the Maximum Number of Results per Page - Top of Page

The following issues are known for this functionality:

  • Currently, the new drop-down is not appearing for Database and Journal searches when clicking a category from the category tree. This will be fixed for the March 2023 release.

  • In browse search, when opening a FRBR record with several versions, the new drop-down doesn’t appear. This will be fixed for March 2023 release.

Configuration Options

No configuration is necessary to enable this functionality. Refer to the following table for additional configurations associated with this functionality.

Element Description

Results Tile Labels code table (Configuration > Discovery > Display Configuration > Labels)

The following codes were added to support this functionality:

  • nui.results.resultsPerPageTop – Results per page

  • nui.results.title.resultsDisplayed – {{resultsRange}} of {{totalNumberOfResults}}

Aria Labels code table (Configuration > Discovery > Display Configuration > Labels)

The following codes were added to provide accessibility for this functionality.

  • nui.aria.results.resultsPerPageTop – {{numberOfResults}} results

  • nui.aria.results.resultsPerPageTop – Choose the number of results to display per page

Support Search in My Favorites

No configuration is necessary for this new feature.

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Signed-in users can now search My Favorites > Saved Records to find items more quickly in long lists. The search is performed on the Title, Author and labels fields.

PVE_MyFavorites_SS_SearchinFavorites.png

My Favorites Search Box

After performing a search, the search box is replaced with the search term. Users can quickly return to the complete list by selecting X next to the term or perform an action on one or more records that match the search terms.

PVE_MyFavorites_SearchPerformed.png

Search Performed in My Favorites

Analytics - Search My Favorites

To support this functionality, the following action has been added to the Action Usage subject area:

Group Subgroup Action Description

General

My Account

Search in My Saved Records

The user has performed a search in My Favorites > Saved Record.

Configuration Options

This functionality is enabled by default. The following table lists additional configuration options associated with the display of this functionality.

Element Description

Favorites Labels code table (Configuration > Discovery > Display Configuration > Labels)

The following codes were added to support the display of this functionality:

  • nui.favorites.records.search – Search in My Favorites

  • nui.favorites.records.showingRecordsFor – Showing records for

  • nui.favorites.searchButton – Search

Aria Labels code table (Configuration > Discovery > Display Configuration > Labels)

The following codes were added to support accessibility for this functionality:

  • nui.aria.favorites.close – Remove search term {{searchTerm}}

  • nui.aria.favorites.tooltip.showingRecordsFor – Showing records for {{searchTerm}}

  • nui.aria.favorites.searchButton – Search in My Favorites

Add Barcode Search - NERS #7859

If you would like to enable this new feature, please contact the help desk.

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With advanced searches, users can now search by barcode so that users can locate specific physical items on the shelves more easily. To support this type of search, the Barcode Search tab has been added to Advanced Search.

PRM_BarcodeSearchExample.png

Barcode Search Tab in Advanced Search

In addition, you can use permalinks to open a pre-populated Bar Code tab using the following format:

<Primo_VE_domain>/discovery/search?vid=MY_VIEW&mode=advanced&searchType=barcode&barcode=<search term>

Users must select Search to return the results.

  • In addition to the new Barcode Search tab, the expand/collapse icon has moved to the right side of the pane and appears only when the Search Criteria tab is selected.

  • You cannot perform barcode searches in a Union catalog.

Analytics - Barcode Search

To support this functionality, the following action has been added to the Action Usage subject area:

Group Subgroup Action Description

Search

Search

Barcode search

The user has performed a barcode search on the Advanced Search page.

Configuration Options

This functionality is disabled by default for advanced searches. The following table lists the configuration options associated with this functionality.

Element Description

View Configuration (Configuration > Discovery > Display Configuration > Configure Views)

The Enable Barcode Search field has been added to the General tab to enable this functionality for your view.

Search Tile Labels code table (Configuration > Discovery > Display Configuration > Labels)

The following codes were added to support the display and translation of labels for this functionality:

  • nui.search-barcode.barcodeSearch – Barcode Search

  • nui.search-barcode.barcodeSearchButton – Search

  • nui.search-barcode.noResults – No records found for {{searchTerm}}

  • nui.search-barcode.noResultsText – Try to refine your search term

  • nui.search-barcode.searchTerm – Enter a barcode

Aria Labels code table (Configuration > Discovery > Display Configuration > Labels)

The following code was added to support accessibility for this functionality:

  • nui.aria.search.barcodeSearch – Search by Barcode