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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.

Loans & Returns

Currently at Location

Before checking-out physical inventory to a patron, you will need to log in to Alma and verify that your current location is the circulation desk where you want to work. Your current location will display on the main menu bar at the top of the screen. If the location is not displaying or is incorrect, click the location icon and select the desired location:

You can select ‘Always show current location’ to display your location in the menu bar.

Loaning Materials

In the Fulfillment menu, click ‘Manage Patron Services.’ If you don't see this option, make sure that the account that you're using has the appropriate circulation role(s).

Scan the patron’s library card or use the list icon to find the patron by barcode or name and click Go:

  • The patron’s record is opened to the Loans tab.
  • Scan the item barcode or type the item’s barcode and click Ok. The item is checked-out to the patron.
  • Click Done to finish the transaction and generate a receipt if configured.

That’s the basic check-out procedure: swipe the patron’s card, scan the item barcode, click done.

Loan an Item via Proxy

Let’s say the patron is allowed to borrow material on behalf of another patron, for example a teaching assistant on behalf of a faculty member.

  • Before swiping the patron’s card, select the ‘Use proxy’ checkbox.
  • Scan the patron’s card and, and then select the patron on whose behalf our patron can check-out items, and click Go.
  • We now see the other patron’s record. Notice that Alma indicates that our patron is serving as a proxy in this transaction.
  • Scan the item barcode to create the loan, as before. The loan is charged out to the other patron, and not our patron, who is only serving as a proxy.‚Äč

No Item Barcode

If the item barcode has fallen-off or is illegible, you can search for the barcode by clicking the list icon and conducting a simple or advanced repository search for the physical item - for example, according to author, title, isbn, etc. 

  • Click on the item entry to select it.
  • The scan field in the Patron Services screen is populated with the item barcode. Click OK, then click Done.
  • The item is checked-out to the patron.

No Item Record

Let's say you scan the barcode and get an error message: “Item not found”. This means that there is no record for this item in Alma.

  • If you have a Physical Inventory Operator role in addition to a circ desk role, you can create an item record by clicking ‘Create item.’


  • Select ‘New’ to create a new bibliographic record to which the new item record will be attached, or ‘Existing’ to create an item for an existing bibliographic record. Click ‘Choose.’
    • Existing:
      • Enter the title in the ‘Title’ field or click the list icon to conduct an All titles repository search. Select the bibliographic record and click ‘Save’.
      • The new item record is created and the item is checked-out to the patron. Behind the scenes, a work order has been created to send the item to the technical services department upon check-in.
    • New:
      • Select the Citation Type - either Book or Article - and a simple cataloging template opens.
      • Complete the Title field and the inventory information: Library, Location Material Type and Barcode. Complete any additional fields you like. Deselect the ‘Suppress from Discovery’ checkbox if you would like the record to be published to Primo or Summon, and click Save.
      • Behind the scenes, a new bibliographic record is created, with a new holdings and item record attached. The item is checked-out to the patron and a new work order is created to route the item to Cataloging when the item is returned.