It is possible to generate many different SMS alerts through Alma, please read this page through and request activation by emailing the Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. FLVC has already set up and tested the necessary Integration Profiles for each institution which sends texts generated by Alma through our Twilio server to the patron.
Less than half of the forty institutions had SMS set up for their patrons through Mango. The Mango set up allowed patrons to opt-in to SMS messaging themselves when they logged in. Since this feature was through Mango and not through Aleph it wasn’t possible to migrate that information into Alma. The alerts that the patron received through Mango were: Courtesy, Overdue, and Hold Available.
To use SMS messaging in Alma two things need to be considered. The first is which notifications should be turned on, there are many to choose from and you may not want them all. SMS messages are received in addition to emails.
The second is how you want your patrons to opt-in to the service. Unfortunately, there is currently no way for a patron to opt-in via Primo VE. In order for a patron to receive an SMS notification in Alma, the patron will need to have a phone number in their patron record set to “Preferred SMS.” This can be accomplished by manually going in to the patron record and making a phone number “Preferred SMS” or setting a number to be “Preferred SMS” through the patron load.
When you request SMS messaging to be turned on please let us know which notifications you would like to activate.
Please read the following about SMS opt in/out compliance:
Like noted above, since it isn’t possible for users to opt in to SMS messaging themselves through Primo VE it will be up to each institution to determine how to set the “Preferred SMS” phone number in each patron’s record. There are two options.
If your institution lets patrons opt in to SMS messaging through their PeopleSoft/other registrar account for University/College related messages you may be able to automatically opt patrons in through your patron load. We would need to work with your IT staff responsible for patron loads to add additional logic that would find and update each loaded patron’s phone number that had opted in to SMS setting preferred_sms=”true” in the XML:
<phone segment_type="External" preferred="false" preferred_sms="true"> <phone_number>5555555555</phone_number>
Manually by Staff
If opting patrons in through the patron load is not feasible then the only other option is to opt patrons in manually by staff. In order to facilitate this your library might want to create a sign-up list.
The steps to do this are as follows:
In Alma search for the patron:
Open the patron record and click on the “Contact Information” tab.
Look for the patron’s preferred cell phone number in the Phone numbers list.
If it is there, click on the ellipse next to the phone number and change the “Preferred SMS” from ‘No’ to ‘Yes’ and click the “Save Phone” button at the top right.
If it is not in the list, click the “Add Phone Number” link. Choose, “Mobile”, add the number, change the “Preferred SMS” from ‘No’ to ‘Yes’ then click “Add and Close”.