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Cambridge Libraries Intranet

 

Q. Where have the libraries@cambridge webpages been moved to?

The libraries@cambridge pages went off-line in the summer of 2019. Since then, those pages that remained relevant or useful have been moved to relevant sections of the Cambridge Libraries Intranet (https://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/home).

 

The libraries@cambridge cataloguing documentation

These webpage contain information on the following: Local practice, Cataloguing special formats, MARC 21, RDA in Cambridge (information + access to RDA Toolkit), Classification Web (information + access), Cataloger's Desktop (information + access) and FRBR.

The webpages have been recreated here: https://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/policies-and-standards/cataloguing-documentation-librariescambridge.

Navigate to: click on the 'Policies and standards' (drop-down menu) >> selecting 'Cataloguing documentation (libraries@cambridge)'.

 

Social Media

The: Who Tweets?, Who Blogs? and Who's on Facebook? sections can all be naviaged to via the 'Communication and news' drop-down menu.

Direct link: https://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/communication-and-news

 

Contacting the libraries@cambridge team

This information has been moved to the 'Help' section (drop-down menu)

Direct link: https://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/help

 

libraries@cambridge Advisory Group (L@CAG) [archives webpages]

Navigate to: via the 'Committee' (drop-down menu)

Direct link: https://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/committees/librariescambridge-advisory-group-lcag

 

Bibliographic Standard Advisory Group (L@CAG sub-committee) [archives webpages]

Navigate to (option 1): via the 'Committee' (drop-down menu) >> 'libraries@cambridge Advisory Group (L@CAG)' >> then clicking on the link in the sub-committee section

Navigate to (option 2): Policies and standards' (drop-down menu) >> selecting 'Cataloguing documentation (libraries@cambridge)' >> then click on the 'Bibliographic Standard Advisory Group' link.

Direct link: https://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/policies-and-standards/cataloguing-documentation-librariescambridge/local-practice-cataloguing-1

 

Acquisitions

Q. Why is the Claim missing items link unavailable?

To process claims, one of the following roles is required:

  • Purchasing Operator
  • Purchasing Manager

Please ask your line manager to email the helpdesk (alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk) to request that the appropriate role be added to your profile.

 

Information can be found on the Ex Libris Knowledge Centre (https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Product_Documentation/010Alma_Online_Help_(English)/020Acquisitions/020Purchasing/100Processing_Claims).

 

 

 

Q. When Alma checks for duplicates, can we limit the check to one library?

No, the system checks for duplicates across all records.

Q. Is there a way of creating an order retrospectively? (i.e. for cataloged books that have not yet had an order created for them in Alma Acquisitions).

Yes, this is possible. There are sections in the in-house documentation at https://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/systems/alma-0/acquisitions, which outline this.

 

In addition documentation relating to Alma is freely available on the internet, via the Alma Knowledge Centre. These links seem to be useful:
 
https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Knowledge_Articles/How_to_add_Order_without_Inventory_in_Alma
 
and:
 
https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Product_Documentation/010Alma_Online_Help_(English)/020Acquisitions/020Purchasing/020Creating_PO_Lines/030Manually_Creating_a_PO_Line

 

 

 

Q. Is it possible to delete a fund part way through a fiscal year?

If a fund has no associated transactions, encumbrances or expenditures, and has been deactivated, it is possible to delete it.

 

Q. Is it possible to add our own purchase order number into Alma?

Alma auto generates a purchase order number. However, there are fields within the order where you can put your own internal references.

 

 

Q. How does it work if you do not want to send the purchase order from Alma?

The purchase order will be set up in Alma but there are different sorts of purchase order and you can specify how to deal with a purchase order for a particular vendor, e.g. print or email.

To create a PO in Alma and not have it sent to the vendor the purchase method "Purchase at Vendor System" can be selected. (Alma assumes that all vendors will receive orders by e-mail, so to send a
print order it will be necessary to set your e-mail address in the vendor account information and print the order when the e-mail is received.)

 

 

Q. How do I use the "Interested Users" option when ordering a book?

Documentation for this can be found in the Alma Knowledge Centre. You can navigate to it, via the following route:-

1) Click on: https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Training/Extended_Training/Presentations_and_Documents_-_Acquisitions

The 'Presentations and Documents - Acquisition' page will appear.

 

2) Scroll down the list of Acquisitions documents and click on: "Acquisitions - The POL Interested User and Hold Item functionality.docx"

 

 

 

 

Q. How do I delete an invoice?

In order to be able to delete invoices you need the "Invoice Operator (Extended)" role. If you do not have this role your line manager needs to email alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk and ask for it to be added to your Alma user record.

Also the invoice status needs to be set back to "In review" - you do this using the workflow below:

  1. Retrieve the invoice by doing a search for the invoice, for example by invoice number.
    The invoice will appear in the result list.
     
  2. Click on Actions, then Set Back to Review.
    The invoice will now be in review.
     
  3. Click on Actions then Go to Task List.
     
  4. Click on Actions, then Delete.
    The invoice will be deleted.

Q. How do I ask for a new vendor to be added?

Please use the Adding or amending vendors in Alma form.

Using this form you can ask for a new vendor to be created, or request changes to an existing vendor.

 

 

Q. Does Alma package together purchase orders for a single vendor?

Yes, Alma packages purchase orders together to send them to a vendor all at once rather than sending items individually.

Alma Analytics (Reports)

Q. Records are not showing in weekly stats. Why is this?

To enable the Alma team to investigate, please provide an example of a record that should be in listed in the statistics, but isn't.

Depending on which specific report it is, you may be asked to provide additional information.

Please submit your query with supporting information to: alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk

 

 

Q. Is there a way to see the description of an Analytic report?

Yes. A description of the report can be viewed by hovering the arrow cursor over the title of the report. In doing so, a grey text-box will appear containing the information.

 

 

 

Q. How do I request the creation of a new report in Alma Analytics?

To enable the Alma team to create a report, please provide the following information:

  • The fields that need to be included in the report
  • How the report is to be sorted
  • How often does the report need to be generated (e.g. on demand or at regular intervals)

If a scheduled report is required please also select the frequency of the report and when it will be run, from one of the six options below.

Frequency Options
Daily Every day at 02:00 Every day at 06:00
Weekly Every Monday at 02:00 Every Monday at 06:00
Monthly On the 2nd of every month at 02:00 On the 2nd of every month at 06:00

 

Please submit your query, with the supporting information, to: alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk

 

 

Blocks

Q. When should one of the blocks listed on the Blocks tab of the user record be added to a user record?

Do not add any of the blocks on this tab to a user's record. While Alma allows you to add a block to a user record, doing so will block the user in ALL libraries that they are registered in, not just your library. A library could make their library's scope in the user record inactive to manually block a patron just in their library if desired.

Q. One of the Alma videos mentions the ability for a staff member to suspend a patron manually. If a member of staff in a library manually suspends a patron, does this mean that they are suspended in all libraries?

Yes.

 

 

Q. Is it possible to put charges in manually for lost books? Is this be included in the fine block total or not?

Yes, it is possible to put charges in manually for lost books.

and

Yes, this will be included in the fine block total.

 

 

Q. If someone has been institutionally blocked due to a very high fine at the UL is it posssible for another library to override the block if they have a good record at that library?

Yes, if a staff member has the relevant permissions.

Overriding is not possible at self-issue terminals.

 

 

Q. If fines are centralised does the users have to pay all the fines in all libraries before they can borrow?

No, the user just needs their fines to be under the block threshold. If they are over the fine limit individual libraries can choose to override on a case by case basis at the issue desk (overriding will not work on self-issue machines). Students can also choose to pay their entire fine via the online payment system, and this will unblock them from Alma immediately.

 

 

Q. Can you override a block?

Yes an operator can manually override a block in Alma if they have the relevant permissions.

 

 

Q. Can we change certain books to a 3-day loan to make fines rack up?

Your loan rules will then need to be adjusted - please send an email to alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk with details of the loan rules that will need to be changed.

 

 

Q. Can blocks be placed or removed locally?

No, this is part of the Alma system architecture and is not something that can be changed. Blocks can be overridden locally to allow items to be issued by staff with the correct permissions. The library could make their library's scope in the patron record inactive to create a local block of sorts.

 

 

Q. Are there any local library blocks?

Local loan limit only. However, the library could make their library's scope in the patron record inactive to manually block a patron just locally if desired.

 

 

Q. Are other libraries able to block reader’s access to all libraries?

Yes – if they put a big enough fine on the patron record, though this is not encouraged.

 

 

CLiPS

Q. Why am I unable to access CLiPS?

In order to login to CLiPS you must have one of the following Alma roles, scoped to the library you are working at:

  • Circulation Desk Operator
  • Circulation Desk Manager
  • User Manager*

If you do not have any of these roles, then you will need to ask your line manager to send an email to the Alma helpdesk (alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk), asking for you to be given you one of the above roles that is suitable to you. We will not process requests that have not been reported to us in this way.

 

* the User Manager role is limited to two staff members per library.

Q. When do new Postgraduate (PhD) students get their account updated with the correct user group?

No records are likely to be initially loaded into Alma, via CLIPS, with the user group of Postgraduate (PhD). These changes will be done in bulk at some point during the Summer vacation.

Q. What should be done when a Student moves to a further degree course, or becomes a member of staff?

This covers a number of different situations:

  • Students doing a 3 year degree then continuing, more or less automatically to a fourth year or more.
  • Students moving from an undergraduate degree to an MPhil.
  • Students moving from an MPhil to a PhD.
  • Staff or student moving to a new job in the University with a short break in their status

 

In all of these cases the data about the person in the University card system may not be up to date or even available. Undergraduates moving onto an MPhil for example are removed from the live Card Office data and reinstated when, presumably, various bureaucratic procedures have been completed.

In these circumstances, when the patron wants to continue to use the library, the following procedure should be observed:

 

1.    The user group is changed so long as the member of staff is happy that the change of user group is appropriate. Ideally this should be backed up with some documentary proof  - e.g. of the student moving onto an MPhil, or the prospective member of staff having their job offer confirmed. Verbal confirmation from departmental or college admin staff would be OK as well. Some libraries might want to be wary of making this change without supporting documentation.

 

2.    The expiry date for the patron role for the library making the change should be extended by a period of around three months. If the date is extended to the presumed end of the course or contract, then there's a risk of CLiPS not updating the other patron scopes. These would have to be updated manually. A relatively brief extension would allow the entire record to be updated when the Card Office data is accurate.

Q. Expiry dates changes in patron scopes, where the user has a blue University card.

If a patron has a University card, then their expiry date should only be changed to a date that falls after their current expiry date in CLiPS

 

Explanation:

This is a clarification of how expiry dates work in CLiPS where the user has a University card, as there seems to be some confusion over how these dates work in conjunction with the Card Office data.

  • If you change the expiry date for a patron scope to a date which is later than the current expiry date in CLiPS (e.g. if a PhD student wants an extension for writing up their thesis), that date will remain unchanged.
  • If, however, you want to change the expiry date for a user's patron scope to one that is earlier than the current expiry date, CLiPS will change it back again when the data is next synchronised with the Card Office feed. CLiPS can't distinguish between this situation and the previous one, where a course has been extended.

 

This information is now recorded in the CLiPS user's guide documentation, at: http://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/systems/alma-0/fulfillment/clips-user-management

 

 

 

 

Q. Can I change a User Group / Patron Group?

If this is an obvious change (i.e. obvious to everyone, not just one person) then the Alma team are happy for departmental or college staff to change a user group, in the following cases:-

  • A change from Undergraduate to Postgraduate (Masters).
  • A change from Postgraduate (Masters) to Postgraduate (PhD)**
  • To give a user either of the Upgraded groups.
  • When an academic staff’s accounts is either: Postgraduate (Masters), Postgraduate (PhD), or even Undergraduate. These can be changed.
  • ‘Univ-Staff’ user group
  • If a patron is, or has become, a member of staff, then please find them on the Cambridge University Look up Service. If their entry has the MIS status listed as ‘staff’ (as below), then the Alma team are happy for you to give them the Univ-Staff user group.

 

 

  • If they do not have this MIS status then do not give them the Univ-Staff user group. Instead, please send their details to the Alma team so that their eligibility can be investigated further.  

 

**Note: no records are likely to be loaded into Alma with the user group of Postgraduate (PhD). These changes will be done in bulk at some point during the Summer vacation 

 

Reporting all changes

When you have made any changes to any patrons user group you should always email the Alma team (alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk) with the patron’s details, to inform us of what change has been made. Please provide the following:

  • Barcode
  • CRSid (if applicable)
  • Previous user group
  • New user group
  • Reasoning – i.e. “a former Cambridge student has now been employed as a member of University staff”

Notifying us in this way, allows the Alma team to monitor the changes being made and query changes that require clarification.

 

Contact

Please send details of the required changes / addition to alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Data and Resource Management (Cataloguing)

Q. Why I am I unable to find records in Alma that are created by Girton / King’s / Peterhouse / Trinity ?

You will not find records in Alma for items belonging to these four college libraries, because they do not use Alma. Their records are instead loaded directly into iDiscover by the Alma team.

 

 

Q. Why doesn’t a catalogued record appear on iDiscover?

Possible causes:

  • If the job on the Alma server that exports bib records created/modified the previous day in Alma ("Publishing to Primo") has failed then this could be the cause.

 

  • The pipe (job) on the Primo server that loads bib records created/modified the previous day ("44CAM_ALMA_ONGOING_PIPE") might not have finished yet.

 

  • If there were a lot of bib records created/modified the previous day then the pipe (job) on the Primo server that loads them into Primo ("44CAM_ALMA_ONGOING_PIPE") might be taking longer than normal and might not have finished yet.

 

  • If the pipe (job) on the Primo server that loads bib records created/modified the previous day ("44CAM_ALMA_ONGOING_PIPE") has failed then this could be the cause.

 

  • Changes made to existing Holding and item records or new Holding and item records attached to existing bib records should be visible fairly swiftly.

 

Please submit the details of any record that does not appear in iDiscover (i.e. the ISBN, Title, Author, etc.) to alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk, so that the team can investigate.

 

 

Q. When you perform a search within Resource Management is it possible to sort titles by Suppressed and Unsuppressed?

Using the "Advance search" feature in Resource Management it is possible to limit results to records either suppressed or un-suppressed from publishing to iDiscover.

 

 

Q. What is the difference between unlocking and releasing records?

Releasing a record removes it from your metadata editor sidebar, but it also unlocks the record automatically so that others can edit it.

Records automatically unlock after 24 hours of inactivity, but this does not release the record, so it's possible for others to edit records which are still in your metadata editor window, providing that you haven't accessed them for 24 hours.

To summarise: releasing automatically unlocks, but unlocking does not automatically release.

 

 

Q. What granularity is available in staff access to the cataloguing module?

Only staff with the Cataloguer Extended role will be able to delete bibliographic records.

 

 

Q. Is there anything to stop duplication of a bib record within Alma?

When you first save a bib record if Alma believes it is a duplicate of a record already in the system it will warn you, and you will also be able to see the version history.

If you discover duplicate records there are instruction on how to de-duplicate records here https://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/policies-and-standards/metadata-standards/documentation/deduplication-alma

 

 

Q. Is it possible to see the changes made to bib records?

Yes - the View versions option in MD editor Tools menu allows you to see previous versions of the records and restore them.

 

 

 

Q. Is it possible to change the location or Item Policy of multiple item records (in Voyager this could be done using the Pick and Scan function)

In Alma it is possible to make the same change of location or Item Policy to multiple records using the "Scan In Items" functionality.

1) In Alma open the Fulfillment menu, and click on "Scan In Items"

2) The "Scan In Items" window opens. Check that the "No" radio button is selected for "Automatically print slip".

3) Click on the "Change Item Information" tab

4) If you are permanently changing the location of the item record(s), set "Change Type" to "Permanent"

5) Click the down arrow at the end of the "Location" box, and select the location you want the item record(s) to have from the list that appears.

6) If you want to change the Item Type of the item record(s), click the down arrow at the end of the "Item Policy" box, and select the item policy (item type) you want the item record(s) to have from the list that appears.

7) Put the cursor in the "Scan item barcode" box and scan or type in the barcode number of the item (if you type it in you might need to press the OK button as well)

8) The table in the bottom half of the screen will have a line for the item record you've just processed. In the "Destination" column it will say "Reshelve" - this is fine.

9) Scan or type in the barcode number of the next item you want to change (if you type it in you might need to press the OK button as well)

Unfortunately it is not possible to feed it a file of barcode numbers, as you could with Pick and Scan.

 

 

Q. How to catalogue one item with multiple bib/holding records, in Alma (i.e. ‘boundwiths’)?

Alma boundwith relationships are created at the bib level.

Documentation is available from the Boundwith relationships in Alma webpage.

 

 

Q. How often are the Authority Records loaded into Alma?

There is a weekly job which updates the Authorities in Alma.

 

 

Q. How do I unsuppress a bibliographic record?

Go to: Tool > Set management tags > uncheck the 'Suppress from discovery' box.

The method appears in the Cataloguing workbook, whcih can be found on the Alma workbooks webpage: http://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/systems/alma-0/alma-workbooks

 

 

Q. How do I mark an item as missing?

  1. Run a Physical titles search for the book in question (select Physical titles in the search bar at the top of the page).
     
  2. In the list of results, click on the Items button for the item you want to mark as missing (or right-click anywhere in the title line and in the menu that appears click on Items). If the Items button is not displayed, click on the ellipsis button at the end of the row for the item and in the menu that appears click on Items.
     
  3. This brings up the List of Items page. Click on the ellipsis button at the end of the row for the relevant item, and in the menu that appears click on Toggle Missing Status. This sets the item status to Missing.
     
  4. If the item is found, just repeat this process, and the Missing status will be removed.

Q. How do I log into RDA Toolkit?

Staff working at the UL, the Squire and the Moore should be able to access RDA Toolkit directly using IP recognition, so they can type the address (http://access.rdatoolkit.org/) directly or save it as a bookmark.

 

Staff based at any other Departmental or Faculty libraries, College libraries or other associated instiutional libraries must always log in using to RDA Toolkit by clicking on the "access RDA Toolkit" link, from this webpage: https://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/policies-and-standards/cataloguing-documentation-librariescambridge/rda-cambridge/rda-toolkit

The webpage above can be navigated to by: clicking on the Policies and standards (drop-down) >> selecting Cataloguing documentation (libraries@cambridge) >> then clicking on the "RDA Toolkit (access)".

 

If "Cambridge University" displays in the top right-hand corner, then you are sucessfully logged in. 

 

 

Q. How do I know if I am successfully logged into RDA Toolkit

If "Cambridge University" displays in the top right-hand corner, then you are sucessfully logged in. 

 

Logging in and access information, go to: https://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/policies-and-standards/cataloguing-documentation-librariescambridge/rda-cambridge/rda-toolkit

Documentation and Training details, go to: https://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/policies-and-standards/cataloguing-documentation-librariescambridge/rda-cambridge

 

Q. Can I attach my library's holdings record to a suppressed bib record and unsuppress it?

If you find a record on Alma where both the bib and holding record are suppressed (e.g. in the case of a book that the UL have ordered, but has not yet received), then it is okay for the bib record to be unsuppressed and for a Library to then attach their holdings record to it.

 

 

Q. Add holdings - what’s the difference between add holdings and inventory?

Inventory is Alma’s terminology for “portfolios, collections, representations, holdings and items”. In the Metadata Editor, there is a button to View Inventory; when clicked, this displays all inventory attached to the bibliographic record.

Clicking Add Holdings allows you to create a new holdings record attached to the selected bibliographic record.

 

 

Data protection

Q. How is the security of information in the data centres being dealt with?

The security is ensured with certificates and also due diligence. Security will also be implemented for other elements such as using Raven for logging in, and the use of sTunnel to ensure information going to and from self-issue machines is secure.
 

 

 

Error message

Q. When logging into Alma I get the following message: 'The user is not authorized in Alma'.

Check (in order)

1. Try a different browser and/or PC

2. If none of the above resolve the issue, then ask a colleague with the User Manager role to check the following details in your record:-

  • Is your CRSid identifier present and active
  • Check the record expiry date.
  • Check the expiry date on your University card. If it has expired you will need to apply for a new one from the University Card Office.
    Applications for a new card should be arranged via the card representative at your institution. Contact information can be found on the Card Representatives webpage: https://help.uis.cam.ac.uk/service/user-accounts-security/security/university-card/card-representatives. Note: different institutions have different rules regarding University cards.

Q. LSF MACRO ERROR box appears with text stating: 'Macro fail, Alma item save took too long'. What causes this?

 

Once the macro is started it gives Alma 20 seconds to complete the process of saving the item. The "Macro fail.." message will appear if you take longer that 20 seconds to save the item.

If Alma opens a pop up box asking you to confirm that you want to save the item and you don't confirm that you do, then the item will not be saved and the macro will exit.

20 seconds should be plenty of time to complete saving even when the pop up box is displayed, you just need to confirm that's what you want to do.

 

 

 

 

Fullfillment

Q. With regards to the hold shelf life does the ‘end of year’ refer to the end of the term/year or a full academic year?

End of year date is specified in each library’s calendar.

 

 

Q. Why was there only the choice between a hold and a recall?

The Alma system architecture does not allow a user to specify if they want to place a hold or recall.

 

 

 

Q. Which library does a request get placed to?

When a user places a request for an item (and the item is available in more than one library) they select the loan period or the pick-up location. This controls which item in which library the request is placed on.

 

 

Q. When do requests (recalls) get turned on and off?

For libraries that have adopted the standardised loan rules, requests (recalls) are turned on on the first Tuesday of Term, and are turned off on the last Tuesday of Term at approximately 0700.

Q. When an Items is issued to a user, it has not been given the correct due date. Why is this happening?

There could be several reasons for this. To assist with the Alma team’s investigation, please supply information below to alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk

  • full name of a reader affected
  • their barcode
  • user group
  • date/time of issue
  • barcode of item issues
  • due date given
  • due date expected

 

Guidelines for reporting issue can be found here: http://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/systems/alma-0/reporting-issues/guidelines-reporting-alma-issues

 

 

Q. What should I do if I accidentally pay off the fines of other libraries?

Identify which libraries' fines have been paid by going to the user's patron record > clicking on fines and fees tab > filtering to "all" > then and seeing which fines have a status date of the date you made the erroneous payment. It would be best to view the history for each to double-check that it is one paid by you.

Once you have that information, you will need to contact the relevant libraries to explain what has happened. They may need to add fines to the reader’s account to replace the one you paid off, or may ask you to send them the money you took.

 

Q. What notes can I add to a user's / patron's record?

Do not add any notes to user records in Alma or CLiPS. User notes are visible across all libraries that use the
Alma system. If a library feels that they need to add a note to a user record they should contact the
libraries@cambridge Team. If/when pop-up notes for user records become available in Alma this policy may change.

Q. What is the policy for adding a statistical category / statistical categories to a user record?

Statistical categories should be added to a user record in CLiPS, NOT in Alma.

Statistical categories beginning with A: can be added to user records for alumni to indicate college affiliation.

Statistical categories beginning with C: can be added to user records for non-alumni to indicate college affiliation.

Statistical categories beginning with M: can be added to user records by staff at the Medical Library only.

Other statistical categories should NOT be added to user records.

Q. What happens with recalls for really short loan items?

Terms of use for loan periods of 1 day, 2 day or 3 days that allow recalls have been created. Whether libraries want to use them or not is up to them.

 

 

Q. What can library staff override?

This depends on the user privileges the operator has been given.  A list of the privileges an operator can be given will be circulated.

 

 

Q. What are "fulfillment units" (or "fulfilment units")? What controls which fulfillment unit a location is allocated to?

In Alma a location must be assigned to a Fulfillment Unit. Alma uses this as a way of grouping locations so that loan rules can be set for all those locations in one place. This presumes however that the loan rules are the same for all the items at all those locations for all libraries (what Ex Libris call "location-based borrowing"). Unfortunately we don't have this in Cambridge but we still have to allocate a location to a fulfillment unit so we have some broad guidelines on which fulfillment unit a location is allocated to.

Open Stacks, or Open Stacks 2, or Open Stacks 3: locations are allocated to this fulfillment unit when some (but not necessarily all) of the items stored at that location can be physically accessed from the shelf by the user and can be removed/borrowed from the Library.

Limited: locations are allocated to this fulfillment unit when all of the items stored at that location can be physically accessed from the shelf by the user but cannot be removed/borrowed from the Library, e.g. Reference Shelf items.

Short Loan: locations are allocated to this fulfillment unit when all of the items stored at that location are issued for 1 or 2 days or overnight.

Media: locations are allocated to this fulfillment unit when all of the items stored at that location are physical A/V materials such as DVDs, CDs, videos, microfilms, as well as physical materials like locker keys and bookrests, but NOT online resources.

Closed Stacks, or Closed Stacks 2 or Closed Stacks 3: locations are allocated to this fulfillment unit when all of the items stored at that location cannot be physically accessed from the shelf by the user and that they have to ask to be fetched but can be removed/borrowed from the Library.

Closed Stacks - No Requests: locations are allocated to this fulfillment unit when all of the items stored at that location cannot be physically accessed from the shelf by the user and that they have to ask to be fetched but cannot be removed/borrowed from the Library (in the UL this fulfillment unit is used for locations where all of the items stored at that location cannot be physically accessed from the shelf by the user and that they cannot ask to be fetched and cannot be removed/borrowed from the Library)

 

 

 

Q. The patron groups are fewer in number than some libraries have had in the past. Can 'upgraded' groups be used for other patrons when needing extended loans? Not just for DRC matters?

We could have more groups, but we don’t want too many, as the more groups you have, the more specific the name you need to give them to be able to distinguish between them – you don’t want to draw attention to why they are in that group as this could be seen as discriminatory. Currently it only says "[patron group] upgraded".

If a patron needs extended loans as a one-off this can be dealt with at the circulation desk as a manual date change, provided the staff member has the correct permissions to do this.

 

 

Q. Once it has been decided to fine or not fine, will that be the case across the board, for students and fellows alike?

No, you choose the relevant term of use for that patron group (the one that fines or the one that does not fine).

 

 

Q. Is there an offline back up system for circulation (as there is for Voyager) if Alma is unavailable?

Yes. There is a client that needs to be installed on PCs.

 

 

Q. Is there a standard consent form for students who need the Upgraded user group need to fill in?

Q. Is it still possible to charge for lost books manually?

Yes.

 

 

Q. Is it possible to see the circulation history of an item?

Yes, you can see the circulation history of an item within Alma, but the Voyager history has not been exported - only the number of times the item was issued in Voyager has been exported.

 

 

 

Q. Is it possible to manually change the return date of an item (e.g. an item returned in a book-drop overnight)?

Yes. You can set the date on the system and then check those items in.

 

 

Q. Is it possible to manually change due dates?

Yes. The due date of an item can be changed at the time it is issued to a user in Alma and after.

 

 

Q. Is it possible to edit the amount of a fine, that has already been added to a user's account?

Yes. This can be accomplished by waiving only part of the fine. To do so:-

  • click on the "Waive" link

  • A page should appear asking for the amount that you wish to waive (note: this defaults to the full amount).

  • In the Fee amount box: give the amount that you wish to waive.
    • In the example above, the full amount of "5.25" has been deleted and "3.00" typed in its place. Doing this will result in £3.00 being waived, leaving the remaining amount of £2.25 as the new total.

 

  • In the Waiving Reason box: select from the appropriate option from those provided in the drop-down menu
  • In the Comment box: provide any additional information relating to the partial waiving of this fine/fee.
  • Click "Waive" and the partial amount will be deducted from the total.

 

Q. Is it possible to choose the end of term for loans? Does it refer to term of days (56 days) or academic term?

Currently it is not possible to get items issued for a rolling number of days during the Michaelmas or Lent terms to be due back no later than a certain date at the end of the term. The only way to get items issued during the Michaelmas or Lent terms to be due back no later than a certain date at the end of the term is for the loan period to be set to that date and the item to be issued to that date whenever it is issued to the user during that term. It is possible to get items that are issued for a rolling number of days during the Easter term to be due back no later than a certain date at the end of the Easter term. To do this the libraries@cambridge Team have to manually run a job in the last few weeks of the term that changes the due date of items where it is currently later than the date at the end of term that the library wants the book to be due back to the date at the end of term that the library wants the book to be due back. Nearer the Easter Term an email will be sent to libraries asking if they need us to do this, and what date they want the due date changed to. See also details in this FAQ: http://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/i-would-items-be-due-back-specific-date-end-easter-term-what-do-i-need-do

 

 

Q. Is it possible to change the status of students and their ability to borrow before their end date to facilitate college billing?

Yes, the library scope can be set to not active or deleted.

 

 

Q. Is is possible to see the patron group, College etc when issuing a book to a user?

You will be able to see the patron group, but to see which libraries they are members of you will need to go into the full user record.

 

 

Q. Is is possible to create a local/standalone patron?

If the patron does not already have a record in the system you will be able to create a record in CLiPS, which will then be visible in Alma. Anyone already associated with the University and with a University card should automatically have a user record in Alma, so new patrons will only need to be added if they do not fit these criteria.

 

 

 

Q. Is is possible to apply no fines within a patron category?

Yes – choose the term of use that does not fine.

 

 

Q. If your open shelf is open for the whole term are students able to renew before vacation?

Yes.

 

 

Q. If a staff error occurs is there a ‘forgive’ option?

Fines can be waived in Alma if the operator has the relevant privileges.

 

 

Q. I would like the Bulk Change Due Dates job run for my library

Q. I would like items to be due back on a specific date at the end of the Easter Term. What do I need to do?

We are aware that some libraries during the Easter Term lend items for a rolling number of days, but require all the items on loan to be due back no later than a specific date at the end of the Easter Term. Reasons for this include:

  • Library needs to make sure graduating students bring books they have on loan back before they graduate and leave Cambridge.
  • the Library wants to get as many books back in the Library for their vacation borrowers or so they can do a stock-check.
  • there are implications for fines and the college end-of-year process.

The work-around is to use the Bulk Change Due Dates job. This job changes the due date of items on loan from a certain Library that currently have a due date that falls within a certain date range and allows the due date to be changed in batch to a new due date.

The job would be run manually by a member of the libraries@cambridge Team (we are investigating ways to get Alma to run it automatically) once a day Monday-Friday and would change the due date for all items on loan from your Library that have a due date that falls within a date range you will need to specify, regardless of what item type the item has or what user group the user who has the item on loan has.

Users that have the due date of the item they have on loan changed by this job will receive an email telling them that the due date has been changed by the Library and stating the new due date.

 

If you would like the Bulk Change Due Dates job run for your Library then please send a message to alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk (not to personal email addresses) and specify:

  • the date of the first day you want the job to be run.
  • the date of the last day you want the job to be run.
  • the date range for the current due date of items that you want to change the due date (i.e. the: '"From Due Date"…"To Due Date" range' ) - e.g. items that currently have a due date between 14th May 2018 and 30th June 2018.
  • the date you want the due date of these items to be changed to (i.e. the: "New Due Date").

 

 

Q. How does the Bulk Change Due Dates job work?

The Bulk Change Due Dates job is designed to change the due date of items that have a due date after the end of term, to a date at the end of term. Below is an example using dates relating to the end of Easter Term 2019:-

Example 1

From Due Date: 15/06/2019

To Due Date: 30/06/2019

New Due Date: 14/06/2019 (i.e. last day of Easter Term 2019)

In the case of the above example, the Bulk Change Due Dates job would identify all loaned items with a due date of 15/06/2019 - 30/06/2019 and change each of their due dates to 14/06/2016. Upon doing so, Alma would then immediately send an email to the user that has that item on loan, to notify them that the due date has changed.

A notification email is sent out every time an item's due date is changed by the Bulk Change Due Dates job being run.

If you want the Bulk Change Due Dates job is run for your library, please see this FAQ: http://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/i-would-items-be-due-back-specific-date-end-easter-term-what-do-i-need-do

 

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Issues to be aware of...

In 2019 some libraries submitted Bulk Change Due Dates job requests with a “New Due Date” that sat within the “From Due Date…To Due Date” range, as in the example below:-

Example 2 

From Due Date: 01/06/2019

To Due Date: 30/06/2019

New Due Date: 14/06/2019 (i.e. last day of Easter Term 2019)

If the Bulk Change Due Dates job is run with these parameters, it will would identify all loaned items with a due date of 01/06/2019 - 30/06/2019 and change each of their due dates to 14/06/2016, *including* those where the due date is already 14/06/2019.

Upon doing so, Alma would then immediately send an email to the user notifying them that the due date had changed. As Alma treats all the changes equally, these notification emails would also be sent to users where the item’s due date was already 14/06/2019, no doubt causing some confusion.

Furthermore, as notification emails are sent out every time an item's due date is changed by the Bulk Change Due Dates job, if the Alma team are asked to run this job daily (e.g. between 01/06/2019-14/06/2019), then users with items due on the 14/06/2019 are going to receive an email every day!

There isn't anything that can be done about this. There are no settings that can be ticked/unticked to tell the Bulk Change Due Dates job to ignore items which are already due on the “New Due Date” (e.g. 14/06/2019), if it falls within the “From Due Date…To Due Date” range.

The only way stop your users from being bombarded with change due date emails, is to request the “From Due Date…To Due Date” range to start the day after the “New Due Date” (i.e. as in the Example 1).

 

 

 

Q. How do title-level requests/recalls work in Alma?

Where a library has multiple copies of an item and the item records are all attached to the same holdings record, Alma places a recall on the copy that has been on loan the longest and places a hold on the other copies in case one of them is returned first. As these other copies (the non-recalled ones) have a hold on them they cannot be automatically renewed. However as soon as one copy is returned and the request is fulfilled, Alma will then automatically renew the other copies. If one of these other (non-recalled) copies is returned first, Alma uses that copy to fulfil the request.

Q. How do renewals (manual and automatic) work in Alma?

How many times a user can renew an item is dealt with differently in Alma than it was in Voyager. Rather than specify the number of times an item can be renewed, you specify how many days after the item was first issued to the user that they can renew it. This is called the "Maximum Renewal Period".

For example, the Maximum Renewal Period period for an item that is loaned for 28 days is 112 days. This means when the item is renewed the new due date will be 28 days from the date of renewal unless that is 112 days after the date the item was first issued to the user.

If the new due date would be more than 112 days after the item was first issued to the user it will be given a due date of 112 days after the item was first issued to the user. However many times they then renew it, it will always be due back no later than 112 days after the item was first issued to them.

If they try and renew it 112 days after it was first issued to them Alma will not allow the renewal (and no Renew button will be available in iDiscover)

For example, say an item was first issued to the user on 1st August.

  • If the user renews it on any date between 2nd August and 24th October the item will be renewed for 28 days, as the new due date will not be after 21st November (which is 112 days after the item was first issued to the user)
     
  • If the user renews the item on any date between the 25th October and 20th November the item will be renewed but given a due date of 21st November (which is 112 days after the item was first issued to the user)
     
  • If the user tries to renew the item in any date after 21st November (which is 112 days after the item was first issued to the user) the item will not be renewed.

 

AUTOMATIC RENEWALS

For items that are automatically renewed there is no Maximum Renewal Period - the item will be automatically renewed indefinitely until the new due date would be later than the user's expiry date (in which case the new due date will be the same as the user's expiry date) or the item is recalled.

4 days before the item is due Alma will automatically renew the item if the configuration has been set-up to do so and it can (i.e. the item hasn't been requested), and a courtesy notice is NOT sent to the user.

If the item cannot be automatically renewed (i.e. the configuration to do so has not been set-up or the item has been requested) Alma will send a courtesy notice to the user.

Alma will not automatically renew an item AND send a courtesy notice to the user.

 

 

Q. How do I set an item to Lost?

If the item is on loan to a user:

  1. In Alma go Manage Patron Services (the page where you issue items to a user) and bring up the record for the user.
     
  2. Click the ellipsis button at the end of the row for the relevant item and in the menu that appears click on Lost.

If the item is not on loan then it should be set to Missing. See the FAQ entitled How do I mark an item as missing?

Q. How do I change the expiry date in user record?

Library staff should only change the expiry dates that control patron access and borrowing rights in their own library. This change should only be made in CLiPS and instructions can be found in the CLiPS User Guide: http://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/systems/alma-0/fulfillment/clips-user-management (section 2.2.3.).

If a user requires changes to be made to their expiration date in other libraries, then they need to contact those libraries directly.

 

If you require advice or clarification, please email alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk

 

 

 

Q. How do I ask for new locations to be created?

Please submit new location requests to alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk. To help the Alma team set up the location we need to know the following:

  1. the Code for the new location. Codes must start with the Library's three or four letter code followed by a hyphen.

 

  1. the Name of the new location  - this is how the location will display to staff in Alma. Names must start with the Library's three or four letter code followed by a hyphen.

 

  1. the External Name (what in Voyager was called the "Display Name") the new location is to have - this is how the location will display to users in iDiscover.

 

  1. are ANY of the items at this location borrowable? If yes, then the location should be allocated to either the Open Stacks or Closed Stacks Fulfillment Unit, depending on if Library users can physically access the items at this location themselves.
  • If they can physically access the items at this location themselves it should be allocated to the Open Stacks Fulfillment Unit.
  • If they can't physically access the items at this location themselves it should be allocated to the Closed Stacks Fulfillment Unit.

 

  1. Can Library users physically access the items at this location themselves?
  • If Library users can physically access the items at this location themselves then the location should be allocated to either the ‘Open Stacks’ or ‘Limited’ Fulfillment Unit, depending on if any of the items at this location are borrowable.
    • If none of the items at this location are borrowable then the location should be allocated to the Limited Fulfillment Unit.
    • If some of the items at this location are borrowable then the location should be allocated to the ‘Open Stacks’ Fulfillment Unit.

 

  • If Library users can't physically access the items at this location themselves then the location should be allocated to either the ‘Closed Stacks’ or ‘Closed Stacks - No Requests’ Fulfillment Unit, depending on if any of the items at this location are borrowable.
    • If any of the items at this location are borrowable then the location should be allocated to the Closed Stacks Fulfillment Unit.
    • If none of the items at this location are borrowable then the location should be allocated to the Closed Stacks - No Requests Fulfillment Unit.

 

  1. are ALL of the items at this location not borrowable?  If yes then the location should be allocated to the Limited Fulfillment Unit.

 

  1. are ALL of the items at this location physical A/V materials such as DVDs, CDs, videos, microfilms, as well as physical materials like locker keys and bookrests, but NOT online resources? If yes then the location should be allocated to the Media Fulfillment Unit.

 

  1. are ALL of the items at this location items that are issued for 1 or 2 days or overnight? If yes then the location should be allocated to the Short Loan Fulfillment Unit.

 

  1. What type of classmark will items at this location have? LC? Dewey? A local scheme?

 

 

Q. How do fines work with upgraded users? Will staff be able to waive fines and issue for longer loan periods?

At least one member of library staff will have ability to waive/override fines. The upgraded category can be set so that fines are not applied. The loan period that the user has depends on what term of use has been chosen, which can be longer than standard for the upgraded category. The due date can also be manually changed when the item is issued by a member of staff in Alma.

 

 

Q. How can libraries deal with a user who declares a disability to them but not to the DRC? This might apply to staff as well as students.

Due to the global nature of Alma patron records which is viewable across the institution, private data about users will have to be maintained outside Alma.

 

 

Q. Do addresses expire at the same time as the patron account expires?

There is no separate expiry date for email addresses.

 

 

 

Q. Can you make a distinction within a patron group? i.e. within the undergraduate patron group (group A vs. group B for borrowing rights).

No.

 

 

Q. Can we set a time for books to be due back?

the time that the item is due back defaults to the Library's closing time on the day the item is due back. The Library's closing time is set in the library's calendar in Alma.

 

 

Q. Can users have different borrowing rights at a college, the University Library and a subject faculty?

They can have if the libraries want to. An undergraduate (e.g.) can have a different entitlement in their College library to a Faculty library. The entitlement for each patron group can be set at the local level.

 

 

Q. Can students only select the libraries they are a member of when requesting/recalling books?

Users can only recall items from a library they are a member of.

 

 

 

Q. Can students borrow on days that have been set as closed days in the Library's calendar?

Yes.

 

 

Q. Can someone return an item and then immediately borrow it again?

As long as it has not been recalled, yes.

 

 

Q. Can recalled books be renewed?

Recalled books cannot be renewed.

 

 

Q. Can libraries set their own closed days and opening hours?

Yes, libraries are able to set these in their calendars.

 

 

 

Q. Can libraries see what books users have on loan from other libraries?

Yes.

 

 

Q. Can I request a new User Group?

If you wish to make a case for having a new user group added to Alma, please send details to the Alma team at alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk. The team will then consider its merits after consultation with Cambridge libraries community.

 

Note: the current aim is to manages and standardise the number of user groups available for use in Alma, therefore new user groups would only be considered if they met a requirement that was not possible by using any of the existing groups.

 

 

Q. Can I create a user record for a test user?

You can create a record for a test user but with the following conditions:

  1. The record MUST be created in CLiPS.
     
  2. The user's name can't be the same as a cartoon character, or a character from a film, series of films, TV show, book, play etc. In essence the user's name must make it clear it's a test user. Most of the test users created have the surname Test.
     
  3. We would expect a library to have one test user, whose user group would have to be changed according to what they wanted to test.
     
  4. iDiscover logins should not be set-up for these users as the Primo login account gives some permissions, other than logging onto iDiscover, which we'd prefer test users not to have.

Q. Can Alma send an email to the Library when a requested/recalled item is returned on the self-service machine?

This is not something that is configured in Alma - you would need the supplier of your self-service machine to set this up.

Q. Are libraries be able to see requests made to other libraries - e.g. is a faculty library able to see College library requests?

No.

 

 

Q. Are generic logins available in Alma?

Generic logins are not be possible in Alma, as users login to Alma using their Raven ID and password, which generic logins won't have.

In the long term, it is better for the audit trail, of who did what when, against the transaction rather than a generic login.

Note: this also applies to graduate students that are employed to invigilation work in libraries. They will each need to have their own Alma record.

Q. Are alumni able to borrow from any library (college, faculty, UL)?

Not automatically. They would have to be registered manually in each library and the library would need fulfilment (borrowing) rules that permitted items to be borrowed by alumni users.

 

 

General Alma questions

Q. Is it possible to log into Alma in two different browsers simultaneously?

Yes.

Q. Is it possible to log in to Alma from any device?

Yes in principle. Any tablets etc will need to have up to date browsers and operating systems.

 

Q. Is it possible for us to customise the colour?

No, this is set at the institutional level and cannot be modified by individual Alma users.

 

 

Q. How frequently is Alma updated?

Alma is updated on a monthly basis. The current schedule is that the latest version is installed on the sandbox environment, and after two weeks these changes are applied to the production environment. Due to the frequency of these updates, they are incremental in nature and are designed not to disrupt library activity. For example, new features have to be explicitly switched on by the university in order for them to be made available.

 

 

Q. How does Alma know which library you are located at when you log in?

If you have any roles which require you to be at a specified location (i.e. a circulation desk or an acquisitions department), Alma will ask you where you are each time you log in. If you do not have any roles which require you to be at a specific location, Alma will use the scoping of your roles to decide which information to show you.

 

 

Q. How do I turn GuideMe on or off?

GuideMe is enabled at the institution-level by default.

Toggling GuideMe on/off is possible in two ways:

  • Institution-level
    Your System Administrator can enable or disable GuideMe for your institutions as a whole. When turned off, GuideMe will not be available to any users. In the Configuration menu > General > Other Settings, set the enable_new_walk_me parameter to true to enable GuideMe, or set the enable_new_walk_me parameter to false to disable it.
  • Individual user (starting January 2020 Alma release)
    Users can show/hide their GuideMe on screen elements from the Alma Help menu (see Fig 1). When the GuideMe toggle is set to hide, no GuideMe elements are visible on screen; however, you can still trigger walkthroughs from the Alma help menu by selecting GuideMe.

Fig.1

 


 

Further information on the GuideMe feature is available from the GuideMe FAQs webpage, on the Ex Libris Knowledge Center:
https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Product_Documentation/010Alma_Online_Help_(English)/010Getting_Started/050Alma_User_Interface_%E2%80%93_General_Information/GuideMe_Frequently_Asked_Questions_(FAQ)

 

 

Q. Are there keyboard shortcuts?

Yes, mostly listed on the Ex Libris Knowledge Centre. There are a couple of useful ones:

 

Fulfilment

  • Alt + W for Manage Patron Services
  • Alt + R for Returns

 

Resource Management

  • F8 adds a new field in the Metadata Editor
  • F9 adds the subfield delimiter.

More are listed in the file in the Resource Management - Metadata Editor Shortcut Keys.xlsx spreadsheet, on the Knowledge Centre

 

 

 

Q. Are there any regular system downtimes? This includes weekends or early hours for 24/7 libraries.

Once a month there is a four-hour window that Ex Libris set aside for upgrading to the latest monthly release. This runs from 23:00 on Saturday to 03:00 on Sunday, and Alma is generally up and running again before the end of this window.

 

 

Q. Are there any fields that cannot be searched by?

A list of indexed fields can be found here: https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Product_Documentation/Alma_Online_Help_(English)/Resource_Management/020Using_the_Repository_Search/050Search_Indexes.

Note: it is possible to create indication rules to search sets of records for the presence of unindexed fields (e.g. you can create a set of all records at your library, create an indication rule to check them for the presence of a MARC field (with or without specified contents) and run the rule on the set; any records which contain the specified field will be put into a new set).

 

 

Q. Alma has frequent updates, are these likely to change how it works?

Alma is an evolving system like any other and will be updated periodically, but most updates will have at most a minor impact to staff.

 

 

iDiscover/Primo

Q. Will it be possible to search by partial classmark?

Yes, in the same way as in current iDiscover (using * to stand for at least one missing character).

 

 

Q. Why are items that I catalogued yesterday not appearing in iDiscover?

Items catalogued in Alma are not guaranteed to be visible in iDiscover first thing the next day. It can take up to mid-morning or later for them to appear, depending on how many records need to be loaded or if any other jobs are running on the server. If the items are still not in iDiscover 2 days after they were catalogued please send an email to alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk with full details.

Q. How do bound-withs display in iDiscover (Primo) ?

In the “Get It” section, there will be a line saying - e.g. “Inventory of related "Host bibliographic record for boundwith MFHD 2884306" is listed below”. Information on the relevant holdings/items is displayed below.

 

 

 

 

Q. Does iDiscover (Primo) display how many copies a library holds?

Yes, when you click through to a holdings record (which is necessary to place a recall), it displays the number of items.

 

 

Q. Can the contents of the 541 field (Immediate Source of Acquisition Note) and/or the 561 field (Ownership and Custodial History / Provenance) in a holdings record be displayed?

There is an issue with the display of 541 and 561 fields in holdings records in iDiscover. Basically if we enable these fields to display in iDiscover then ALL 541/561 fields will display, even if the first indicator is set to zero. Many libraries have information in 541 and 561 fields that they do not want displayed in Primo (especially now GDPR has kicked in) so have set first indicator to zero.

We have talked to Ex Libris about this, and they proposed a solution where if a holdings record contained a 541/561 field with first indicator 1 or blank, when the holdings record is saved Alma would copy that 541/561 field to a 999 field in the holdings record, and we would then enable the display of 999 fields in holdings records in iDiscover. We didn't feel this was an acceptable solution as it would modify/pervert the data in the MARC holdings record, when iDiscover should be able to use established MARC coding to determine if the 541/561 field in the holdings should display. This was discussed by the Cataloguing Advisory Group who agreed and decided that for now 541 and 561 fields in holdings records will not display.

Ex Libris have a "Primo Ideas Exchange" where libraries can submit ideas/suggestions for improvements to Primo (iDiscover). Other libraries then vote on the suggestions and the ones with the most votes then get looked at by Ex Libris as possible enhancements. We have submitted the idea that the display of the 541/561 field in the holding record should be determined by the value in the first indicator but unfortunately not many other libraries have voted for it.

The current workaround is to put the information in the subfield-z / $z of the 852 field in the holding record. Unfortunately it won't be searchable and currently there is no way to make the 852 subfield-z / $z searchable.

 

 

Logging in

Q. I am unable to login to Alma

The following error message may also display: '"The user is not authorized in Alma"

Check (in order)

1. Try a different browser and/or PC

2. If none of the above resolve the issue, then ask a colleague with the User Manager role to check the following details in your record:-

  • Is your CRSid identifier present and active
  • Check the record expiry date.
  • Check the expiry date on your University card. If it has expired you will need to apply for a new one from the University Card Office.
    Applications for a new card should be arranged via the card representative at your institution. Contact information can be found on the Card Representatives webpage: https://help.uis.cam.ac.uk/service/user-accounts-security/security/university-card/card-representatives. Note: different institutions have different rules regarding University cards.

Q. How can I help a user who is unable to login to electronic resources?

Check (in order):

1. Direct readers to the ejournals or ebooks helpdesks (depending on which resource they are unable to access).

 

2. Check Lookup. Useful for checking the ‘MIS status’ attribute (field). If this is missing, then direct them to either:-

 

Q. How can I help a user who is unable to log in to iDiscover?

 Check (in order):

1. That the reader has a CRSid in their Alma record?

  • If so, is it active?
  • If not, are they entitled to have one? Note: not everyone that is entitled to have a CRSid is entitled also to an email account.

 

2. Is the reader's Primo ID identifier is recorded in their Alma record?

  • If so, is it active and is there a corresponding DS-Print account?

 

3. Check the record expiry date. If they have got a University Card, ask them what the expiry date on it is.

  • If it is expired, tell them that they must get a new one.

 

4. If they haven't got a University card suggest that they get one from their card representative - different institutions seem to have different rules for this.

 

5. Ask the Reader to try a different web browser or device. If they could get into the UL then a UL catalogue terminal would be a good choice as it can't be customised.

 

6. Get them to clear the browsing history.

 

7. Ask them to contact the helpdesk at: alma-feedback@lib.cam.ac.uk

 

Notifications & notices

Q. What time of day are courtesy notices sent?

Courtesy notices are automatically sent around 2.00am.

 

 

 

 

Q. Overdue notices: When and how many are sent?

Four days after the due date of the item an overdue email notice is generated and sent to the user (e.g. if the item was due on the 21st, the notice is generated and sent on the 25th).

 

 

Q. Is it possible to include a librarian’s personalised email address in the courtesy notice? Or change the home email address to the personal one?

No.

 

 

Q. Is it possible to change the text in a courtesy notice?

Not at library level, the wording of notices is standardised across the system.

 

 

Q. How often and when do the courtesy notice go out?

The notices are sent out, as follow:-

  • Four days before the item is due back a courtesy notice email is generated and sent to the user (e.g. if the item is due on the 21st, the notice is generated and sent on the 17th).

 

  • On the day the item is due an email notice is generated and sent to the user reminding them that the items are due back today.

 

 

Q. How do students see their fines?

Students can see their fines by logging into their account in iDiscover.

 

 

Q. Do users receive just one courtesy notice? i.e. who decides numbers of notices going out and the intervals at which they are sent out?

At the moment the notice production schedule is as follows:

  • 4 days before the item is due back a courtesy notice email is generated and sent to the user (e.g. if the item is due on the 21st, the notice is generated and sent on the 17th).
  • On the day the item is due an email notice is generated and sent to the user reminding them that the items are due back today.
  • 4 days after the due date of the item an overdue email notice is generated and sent to the user (e.g. if the item was due on the 21st, the notice is generated and sent on the 25th)

 

 

Q. Courtesy notice - is it possible to put a link in the email to their personal patron account (to easily access online renewing)?

This is not currently possible. The courtesy notice contains the text "To review/renew your items, go to the iDiscover homepage" and the word "iDiscover" is a hyperlink to the iDiscover homepage.

 

 

Q. Can there be a reply field for the courtesy notice?

The courtesy notice contains the text "If you have any queries please do not reply to this email but contact the relevant library directly. Information regarding these libraries can be found by clicking here." and the word "here" is a hyperlink to the Cambridge Libraries Directory.

 

 

Q. Are there separate courtesy notices from the UL, different colleges and faculties, or one from all? [i.e. if a patron has books due back in three separate libraries on the same day will they receive one notice or three?]

The user will receive one notice listing all the items they have on loan from all libraries.

 

 

Serials

Q. How do I unreceive a journal issue?

See Section 2, Receiving, of "Alma Workbook 5 - Print Journals" at https://www.intranet.lib.cam.ac.uk/systems/alma-0/alma-workbooks

Q. Does Alma flag when serials should have been received if they haven’t been?

Yes, an automated warning can be set up, however, good practice would be to manually check. Alma Analytics allows you to run reports on serial receipts.