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Alexandria Makeover

Last Updated: Jun 20, 2022 14:15


We are thrilled to announce our Alexandria and Textbook Tracker Dream Makeover! Yep, that's right, we're giving the programs a new look—for the first time since v7 was released in 2014—while adding various improvements, such as responsive design and exciting features.

We know change can be tough, especially when you run a busy library. Our goal is to make this a smooth, stress-free transition for you and your library. How? We're planning on offering a free webinar, new videos, expanded in-app help, and more—in addition to a gradual timeline.

Keep an eye on your email and check this page every now and then for updates!



Timeline

The Makeover project began in 2018 and we are finally ready to share it with you.

Betas for Circulation, Patrons Management, and Items Management will be released March 2022. This means you can switch to the beta versions of our demo. This will be a great time to give it a try and take a look at all of the cool new features!

We will still be fine-tuning things, so if you notice anything amiss that isn't noted in the Changes tab, send us an email at uxteam@companioncorp.com

Once everyone has had the chance to get comfortable and familiar with the new interfaces, they will become the default interfaces late 2022/early 2023. Don't worry! You'll still have the option of using the old interfaces, but by then, we're hoping you'll love the Makeover as much as we do.

Eventually, the entire program will be updated.


Email Sign Up

Want to receive special Makeover announcements, sneak peeks, and beta access? Sign up for the email list!

Top 5 Features

  • Quick and advanced searching. In Patrons and Items, use either a quick search bar at the top of the record list or Advanced Search, which lets you search by just about any field!
  • Accessible and easy navigation. A new side navigation will let you access anywhere in Alexandria from anywhere else in Alexandria. Also, a new top navigation will allow universal access to recent operations, license information, help, and the site you're currently logged into.
  • New Patron Details. We appreciated your feedback on our Patron Details survey, and used your suggestions to make the design and organization even better! 
  • Homeroom tab patron pictures. See pictures of patrons in Circulation while looking up homerooms.
  • More in-app help. A new help icon in the top navigation—which will be accessible from anywhere in the program—will give you access to more relevant Support Center pages, the option to create a Support ticket, and a brand new guided tour for users.


Important Changes to Know

  • A help icon in the new top navigation bar is where you'll go to send support tickets, access the Support Center, and view license information.
  • In Items Management, the Copies tab will become a tab within the title record.
  • Each interface will be updated with a modern, standardized color scheme. 
  • The keyboard shortcuts for the modules in the side navigation will change. Watch for a new keyboard shortcut guide!


Sneak Peek

Click on the images to view larger versions, and sign up for the special Makeover list to see more!

Check out more new features in the Changes tab

New Patrons Management


Old Patrons Management

Do you have feedback or questions about the Makeover? Take our short survey.

Changes

Curious about what's to come? Here are detailed lists outlining what we're doing to make Alexandria and Textbook Tracker easier and faster to use. Check out the Changed columns to see which changes have occurred already. 

This page is updated frequently, so check back for more!

Try it out on our demo: https://ccdemo.goalexandria.com/circulationbeta 

Log in with username demo and password demo.

Do you have feedback or questions about the Makeover? Take our short survey.

All Interfaces

Note that you can not save your records or preferences in the beta. This is intentional.


  • The first time you enter every interface, you'll see the 'this is still in beta' alert. That is intentional, since they are still in beta (big grin)
  • The first time you (your user) enter every interface, you'll see our new tutorials! Or to see them again, go to the Help (question) menu and choose 'Intro to...'.
  • ESC doesn't cancel out of some dialogs.
  • Some windows have to be a certain (really wide) width to show the full interface. Don't worry, we'll fix that.
  • Dashboard quick buttons won't open up the beta interfaces. This is intentional. 


Here are some things you can look forward to across the whole program:

  • New interface and new icons
  • Responsive design (resized for a better experience across all devices, including iPads and mobile phones)
  • WCAG 2 AA compliant accessibility in regard to responsiveness, colors, text size, help text, tooltips, errors/validation, and more
  • Alexandria is now purple, and Textbook Tracker is yellow—it's easy to tell them apart! (To prepare, Alexandria colors became purple in 21.9
  • In-app tutorials to help new users, and show off new features
  • Organizational and textual changes to tabs and dialogs to improve flow and clarity
  • In-line errors to let you know when a data entry mistake is made (including character limits)
  • Indication for required fields and Authority Controlled fields
  • Confirmations show in "snackbars" instead of dialogs, which means less clicking
  • New top navigation that allows you to see your site and operator, log out, and access help, messages, and operations from anywhere
  • New help icon in the top navigation that will give you universal access to viewing the Support Center, sending a Support ticket, and checking license information
  • New side navigation that allows you access to anywhere in Alexandria from anywhere in Alexandria
  • Various tips regarding the current interface will appear at the bottom of the side navigation
  • Visible keyboard shortcuts
  • Click on patron pictures and cover art to view larger images
  • New login windows and messaging (21.12

Circulation


  • In some tabs, it looks like the columns are sortable but they don't sort.
  • Patron Details has 'covert' cover art (thanks VeNae for spotting this first!)
  • Reservations give an error.


Changed

  • Renewals tab renamed "Items out" (7.19.10)

  • Charges History tab renamed "Payments"  (7.19.10)
  • Moved the Notes button out of the Current Patron and Current Item pane footers (access via command shortcuts and Actions menus) (7.19.10)

  • Added visible shortcuts to some tabs (7.19.10)
  • Moved the Command Help tab to the rightmost end (7.19.10)
  • New Patron Details (20.1)
  • New Item Details (20.3)
  • New Copy List, accessible from Circulation (Alexandria Librarian 20.3 Textbook Tracker 21.1) 

  • Repeated buttons have been removed from the Actions menu in both the Current Patron and the Current Item panes (21.3)

Upcoming

  • See patron pictures and today's checkouts in the Homeroom tab (betas 21.10)

  • Checkout dates displayed in the Items out tab (betas 21.10)

  • Sort by due date in the Items out tab (betas 21.10)
  • Forgive Charge button added to Charges tab (betas 21.10)

  • Support and Special tabs removed; access these features and information in the new help icon (betas 21.10)

  • New and improved charges tabs and dialogs (betas 21.10)
  • Lookup by Series (betas 21.10)
  • All dialogs have been redesigned for easier use and clarity of information (betas 21.10)
  • Brand new icons (betas 21.10)
  • Patron Lookup window shows nickname (betas 22.1)
  • Charges tab entries now have a tooltip so you can see the full charge note (betas 22.1)
  • Nickname shows in Homeroom tab (betas 22.1)
  • Level (e.g. Grade) shows in the Current Patron pane (betas 22.1)
  • Cover art shows for Lost items in Patron Details

Items Management


  • Number of records at the bottom is showing NaN sometimes.
  • Some keyboard shortcuts aren't working yet.
  • Opening mini marc editors makes you save even when you don't change anything.
  • Series Volume disappears on save.
  • We'll be changing how the + (add) button behaves, to make it clearer if it's adding a title or a copy. (Thanks to Angie Hale for this suggestion!) << In 22.1 we did something wrong and you can't add items at all. We'll fix it!
  • Textbooks tutorials are incorrect.
  • Note that you can not save your records or preferences in the beta. This is intentional.


Changed

  • Copy notes are with the rest of Copy Information instead of in a separate tab (7.19.10)
  • Renamed the Study Programs tab "Programs" (7.19.10)
  • Updated the “module entry” (0 results) view to include four helpful links: Add a title, Search for items, View recently added, and View recently modified (7.19.11)
  • MARC View is a quick-access toggle (Alexandria only) (7.19.11)

  • Alert notes for Textbook copies (20.7)

Upcoming

  • Important title information is always visible at the top of the record, and additional information is organized into tabs (betas 21.10)
  • Copies as a tab under the title record (so you can always see which title you are looking at) (betas 21.10)
  • Split searching into basic searches and Advanced Search (search just about every field) (betas 21.10)
  • Select multiple records at once to export or remove (betas 21.10)
  • Removed Copy ID (no longer useful) (betas 21.10)
  • Manually queue cover art for automatic updates or turn it off
  • Copy List available in Textbook Management
  • Icons to indicate medium (Library only) (betas 21.10)
  • Quick searches, adding, and actions buttons are at the top for easier access (betas 21.10)
  • Return 500 records by default instead of 200 (betas 21.10)
  • Last modified log will show the last few times the record was modified, and by whom, so you can track down any issues. (betas 21.10)
  • Record list displays the sort field in addition to title (for example, if you sort by call number, each call number will show above the title in the record list) (betas 21.10)
  • Indicator for Authority Controlled fields (betas 21.10)



Patrons Management


  • Some weirdness with merging patrons.
  • Name/barcode are sorting descending by default (instead of ascending). 
  • Advanced Search for Expired and No Email aren't working.
  • Advanced Search Grade and Location fields are a bit weird.
  • Note that you can not save your records or preferences in the beta. This is intentional.




Changed
  • New Nickname field (7.19.11)
  • Updated the “module entry” (0 results) view to include four helpful links: Add a patron, Search for patrons, View recently added, and View recently modified (7.19.11)
  • Moved Site Access, Security Group selection, and Username/Password fields to the new Access tab (7.19.11)
  • Removed some sorting options: sequence #, username, and creation date (7.19.11)
  • Removed some quick search options: Modified Today, Created Today, Modified in the Last Week, and Created in the Last Week (essentially Recently Created and Recently Modified, which we still have) (7.19.11)
  • Renamed the Personal Info tab to Personal (7.19.11)
  • Renamed the Lexile tab to Programs, which now has two sub-tabs: Study Programs and Lexile (7.19.11)
  • Moved the Email field to the Contact tab (7.19.12)
  • Split the email field into two: Primary Email and Other Emails (20.1)

Upcoming

  • Important patron information is always visible at the top of the record, and additional information is organized into tabs (betas 21.10)
  • Split searching into basic searches and Advanced Search (and you can search just about every field!) (betas 21.10)
  • Select multiple records at once in order to remove (betas 21.10) or merge
  • Patron statistics will be easier to read (betas 21.10)
    • Split up Librarian and Textbooks statistics into subtabs
    • Statistics no longer shows Last Modified or Current Policy because of redundancy
  • The ability to remove patrons even if they have items checked out—the confirmation dialog will list the results of the removal: the items that will be declared lost, charges that will be forgiven, and credits that will be removed (betas 21.10)
  • Return 500 records by default instead of 200 (betas 21.10)
  • Last modified log will show the last few times the record was modified, and by whom, so you can track down any issues. (betas 21.10)
  • Record list displays the sort field in addition to patron names (for example, if you sort by barcode, each patron's barcode will show above their name in the record list) (betas 21.10)
  • Ascending and descending sort order (betas 21.10)
  • Quick searches, adding, and actions buttons are at the top for easier access (betas 21.10)

  • Quick stats is interactive! Click the different information to jump to Circulation items out or Charges, or Patrons statistics tab (betas 21.12)



Operations Management


  • List of operations sometimes takes a while to show.
  • Filter by Type doesn't always work right.
  • Opening one of the other modules from here (e.g. Reports) gives you a note that it's In Beta, even though it's not. 


Changed

  • Added a new dropdown that sorts operations by My operations or All operations (20.1)


Upcoming

  • More noticeable filters (betas 21.10)
  • Links directly to different interfaces that run operations (betas 21.10)
  • Access your report PDFs from anywhere in Alexandria (via the topnav messages drawer) and always be notified when operations are complete (betas 21.10)



Tools


  • Some weirdness trying to get to Calendars, Policies, Security


Changed

  • Added a link to Offline Mode (20.4)

Upcoming

  • Access to Calendars, Policies, and Security (which used to be in Preferences)
  • Better categories for the different tools (Manage, Rules, and Services) (betas 21.10)



Preferences


  • Window re-sizing is a bit wonky. (Keep a wider window.)
  • Circulation groups aren't working properly.
  • Cover Art tab has some issues.
  • Note that you can not save your records or preferences in the beta. This is intentional.


Changed

  • Rename "Extras" to "Services" (they aren't just 'extra', they're essential!) (20.2)
  • New Setup area with less-common settings (keep them tidied up out of the way) (20.6)
  • Email, LDAP, and Checkpoint ILS moved to Setup Preferences (from Admin) (20.6)
  • SIP2 Preferences moved to the Setup area (20.6)
  • Localization and Barcodes settings moved to the Setup area (20.6)

Upcoming

  • More control—toggle each registered service On or Off (betas 21.10)
  • Easier Overdrive setup with validation
  • Security, Policies, and Calendars moved to Tools (betas 21.10)
  • z39.50 requires confirmation to reset to defaults (betas 21.10)
  • Researcher settings moved to the Builder (betas 21.10)
  • New date/time settings with time zone and less complicated date formats
  • Essential settings reorganized to be more understandable (betas 21.10)
  • New preference Preferences > Circulation > Circulation Rules > reservations > for Default Reservation Period, so you can change it from 3 days. (betas 22.1)



Builder


  • Choosing an Explore Pane sometimes doesn't work.


Changed

  • -

Upcoming

  • Brand new Builder to customize all of your patron settings (betas 21.10)
  • Access to Bulletin Board Builder, Explore Builder, Maps, and Reviews (betas 21.10)
  • Default Style (easy to set the same style across all patron interfaces) (betas 21.10)
  • Easier to see global vs local Explore Panes when setting your Researcher panes
  • Set all search preferences at once for all interfaces (e.g. whether or not to show study program) (betas 21.10)
  • Easier to preview Slideshows and grab your customized URL (betas 21.10)
  • New Kiosks area that includes Activity preferences (betas 21.10)



Message Center


  • Nothing. It's obviously perfect.


Changed

  • Better message storage so Message Center loads faster (7.19.9)
  • Better icons to indicate what each message is for (20.7)

Upcoming

  • Special sections for highlighted messages (betas 21.10)
  • Easier-to-read messages (betas 21.10)
  • Special messages on Dashboard and Login screen for better visibility (betas 21.10)

  • Also, the Messages Drawer will be the best part of everything... (betas 21.10)



Frequently Asked Questions

The Makeover includes brand new interfaces for Circulation, Patrons Management, Items Management, Tools, Operations, Message Center, and Preferences. It introduces Builder, your hub for customizing Researcher for your patrons, as well as Dashboard, a collection of widgets that show information about your library and let you jump to the functions you use most. You’ll also see a consistent top bar and side navigation that allow you to navigate the program and access critical functions from anywhere. Eventually the entire program will be updated.

To read about more specific changes, check out the Changes tab. You can also look at the Overview tab for information on the Top 5 Features and Changes You Need to Know.

With Version 7, which was released in 2014, we made the first big step to a modern, web-based product. But the computer world advances fast! With the Dream Makeover, we definitely want to improve how it looks and feels, but we are also updating the code to follow modern standards and be more usable on tablets and phones. This is a switch we slowly started with your Researcher interfaces back in 2015 with the release of Slideshow. And after addressing Scout, Patron Status, and Self-Service, we realized we needed to start updating Librarian interfaces as well.

Betas for Circulation, Patrons Management, and Items Management will be released before the official change is made. This means you can switch between using the new interfaces and the old interfaces in your own Alexandria library. This will be a great time to give it a try and take a look at all of the cool new features! More betas for Operations, Tools, Preferences, Builder, and Message Center will follow.

See the Timeline section on the Overview tab for more information.

Check out the Changes tab for a comprehensive list of what's changed and what's new in each module. You can also look at our Top 5 Features on the Overview tab to see what we're most excited about.

Overall, you won't! We are, however, removing some unused options and moving some things around. Check out the Changes tab to see specifics. One thing you may want to be aware of is that there will no longer be a button linking to Researcher from the Librarian side navigation. If you use this often, a quick fix is simply bookmarking Researcher on your internet browser.

Feel free to contact Support at 1-800-347-4942 or support@goalexandria.com if you feel like something is missing.

Nope! This upgrade is included in your Alexandria subscription, as long as you are current. Still on v6? Learn about switching to 7! This is also a good time to consider switching to Cloud Hosting if you don't already have it.

We think so! With the addition of new in-app tutorials, What’s New highlights, and rollover help text information, we think learning the new interface will be a breeze. And, you’ll have our 247/365 Support available to help you along the way. 

Yep! In the future, we will be sending an email for you to sign up for a free webinar. You can also purchase additional training by contacting our sales team at 1-800-347-6439 or sales@goalexandria.com.

Not at this time. If there are ideas you want us to implement into researcher, please submit them here: https://www.goalexandria.com/ideas

No. Over the last several months, we have been working on improving and consolidating the reports–but any of those changes are outlined in the release notes. The functionality of the reports will not change in the makeover.

The entire reports section is available from Dashboard and Operations. 

For the time being, the betas are only available within our demo environment. Later this year, you’ll be able to use the betas with your own data! Then once everyone has had the chance to get familiar with the new interfaces, they will become the default. See the Timeline under the overview tab. 

You can! The checkbox makes it easy to forgive an entire charge all at once, but you can easily forgive only part of the charge by unchecking “Forgive Remaining Balance,” and select “Forgive as a Payment Option” method. Enter how much of the charge you’d like to forgive, and click Process.

You can pay multiple charges at once, but they will have separate receipts. 

With the image saved to your computer, you can either drag and drop the image into the cover art space, or use the + icon and choose a file from your device. 

From Circulation, use the X command to clear the current Patron and Item panes. More information can be found HERE.

Currently, you will need to us the System Patrons in Circulation to change copy status. If you would like to see this process change, please submit an idea at https://www.goalexandria.com/ideas.

You can access Advanced Bookings from Circulation. Any reports you run can then be accessed in Operations. 

Yes, you can specify the date added in the Advanced Search> More.

You can add patrons from your SIS by running a  Patron Import or with our SIS Integration.

Yes! We have a few lists of our current shortcuts on our Support Center HERE. Keep an eye out for the updated lists for the Makeover in the future!

Alexandria Makeover Webinar

Learn more about our Alexandria Dream Makeover!


And check out answers to the frequently asked questions about the Makeover.