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Frequently Asked Questions

You've got questions? We've got answers!

Trending FAQs

Here are the most common questions recently answered by Customer Support!

 What is Operations Management?
Operations Management is where you can access the reports you run, along with the results of Exports, Imports, and Utilities. To access Operations Management, click on the wrench icon on the top left of the circulation screen.
 How do I use Gmail as an SMTP?

Make sure that your Google account has two factor authentication turned off, and the “allow less secure apps'' setting turned on. Note: Sometimes it takes a day for Google to allow access after changes are made. 

Check Email Preferences to ensure you're using the correct settings. 

 How do I import patron pictures?

Go to Imports and select Images > Choose File. Choose a ZIP file containing the images to be imported. If the file is larger than 50 MB, schedule an FTP import in the Saved tab. For best results, images should be approximately 186 x 240 pixels in size and either .jpg or .png format.

 How can I import items into Alexandria?

Go to Tools>Import and select the category of what you are importing. Upload the file from your computer, and make sure to configure the field map. Note: Marc records don’t need to be field mapped. See Import for more information.

 Where can I find the report for Unused Labels/Barcodes?

Go to Tools>Reports>Special>Unused Barcodes. Under the Options tab, specify if you are running the report with the Range Information, Barcode List, or Barcode Labels (3x10) format. Read our Tip of the Week on Unused Barcodes, or refer to the documentation for additional details.


 How do I log in to Alexandria?

Check out Accessing Alexandria for more information.

 Where is my support folder located?

All of your database information is stored in the Alexandria Support folder, located in your operating system's shared program data or application support directory. From there, open the Data folder, and then locate the subfolder that matches your database serial number. This is where you'll find the Alexandria database (ALX.db); various operation files (such as reports, exports, etc.) log files, version history, and more.

On Windows machines, the shared application folder is typically located here:

Local Disk (C:) > ProgramData (hidden folder) > Alexandria Support

On Macintosh machines, the application folder is typically located here:

Hard Drive > Users > Shared > Library > Application Support > Alexandria Support

 Where can I find my serial number?

Your Alexandria serial number is located in the following places:

  • /admin > Status
  • Circulation > Special tab > License Info

If you you're having trouble locating it or cannot access these locations, check with your library administrator.

 How can I get rid of the alert pop up letting me know that I am over my license limit in Alexandria?

First, check your License Info by going to Circulation>Special>License Info to see where your numbers are. Then Clean Up Your Data with our guides. If you still need more space, it’s time to contact Sales at and upgrade your account. 


 I'm converting my library from Mac to Windows. Will my Macintosh scanner work on my Windows system?

Most Macintosh scanners can be used on a Windows machine with an adapter. Our customers use a wide variety of scanners so it's not possible to address this question globally. Please contact our Support department at 1-800-347-4942 for help to determine if your scanner could be used on a Windows computer.


Recently switched to 7? Get your questions answered.

Inventory FAQs

Make your inventory quick, easy, and extremely efficient.

Reports FAQs

Learn how to make the most of report templates.

Items FAQs

Maintain a clean and searchable catalog.

Switch to 7 FAQs

Considering the switch? Check out our answers to common questions to help you make that decision.

Pre-Switch FAQs
 What is v7, anyway?

Alexandria 7 is the most current version of Alexandria. It's like v6, but way better! Try it out in the demo, and read about what's changed.

 Does v7 have Cloud Hosting?

Yes! And it's even better than before. With v7 Cloud Hosting, you never have to install anything on your computer—even after major updates. Also, v7 is constantly being improved and developed and we consistently back up your data for you!

 Will my pricing change?

Yes, it will. But wait! Our subscription prices are changing across the board. Contact our sales team at 1-800-347-6439 or to figure out what will work best for you.

 Do I have to switch?

Nope! But keep in mind that our support for v7 is much better: new webinars, articles, and cool features. Also, v6 is no longer being developed and will not have a 64-bit version.

 What do I get if I switch to v7?

Here's just a few cool features unique to v7: merging patrons, Clever & GG4L SIS integrations, custom label reports, cover art in Patron Details, Browse, Slideshow, and more!

Check out our Upcoming page to see recently released features and some exciting things we're working on.

 Okay, I get it. Is there any reason I shouldn't switch to v7?
  • V7 doesn't have the Orders & Budgets module, so if those are integral to your workflow, you'll want to find alternatives before switching.
  • Specialty libraries may find that the cataloging experience is different enough to warrant proceeding with caution. 
  • Third-party billing is no longer supported in V7.

In general, we recommend writing down any questions or concerns and then scheduling a training. You can also give us a call to go over your concerns and ask our Customer Support if they recommend switching.

Have you recently switched and noticed some differences? Don't worry! We explain it all here.

Post-Switch FAQs
 Why do reports only come in a PDF format?

Alexandria 7 is a web-based program, so we were required to use a reporting format that is used across all operating systems and web browsers. This is why PDF was chosen.

To make the new Alexandria 7 label reports more dynamic, we've added custom options so that you can still format labels to fit your library's needs.

 Why is the VWP format no longer available?

Since Alexandria 7 is a completely web-based program, nothing is installed on your computer. The VWP format would have required installation to operate.

 What do I do if I cannot connect to my Hosted URL?
  1. Make sure your URL is correct.
  2. Try using a different browser on the same device or computer.
  3. Test connections off of your network by trying to access your URL on another device, like a cell phone.

If you're still unable to connect, use Offline Mode to get work done in the meantime and contact our Support team at 1-800-347-4942.

 Where did Vendors go?

You can customize or disable some vendors settings in Services Preferences. Also, you can see a list of your vendors through the Current Item Actions menu gear icon Actions menu in Circulation

 Where are the Boolean modifiers in Reports?

We use some hard-coded Booleans for specific reports (e.g. overdue reports only look for items or temporary items that are checked out with a due date in the past). Also, you can add a bunch of AND Booleans via the Selections tab, and the Patrons with a Policy of field in all Patrons reports allows you to include or exclude multiple policies.

Why did this change? Most people had a lot of trouble setting up their reports this way, so we wanted to make it easier.

 What happened to the hotkeys/commands?

We didn’t get rid of any commands, and most of the hotkeys are still there. But as we moved into a browser, we didn’t want to override basic browser functions. So, some hotkeys have changed.

 How do I find the reports, utilities, imports, and exports that I ran?

Click on the Operations wrench icon wrench icon at the top right-hand side of the module, or append /operations to your URL. This will open up Operations Management, where you'll find all of your run reports, utilities, imports, and exports. If you keep it open, a noise will sound each time an operation is completed!

 Why am I no longer prompted to run an archive before a utility anymore? How can I run an archive?

If you are Cloud Hosted with us, we take care of all archives and backups for you. But you can also run an archive yourself using the Database Archive utility. However, you need to be mindful about how and when archives are ran and used. Check out our 7.18.3 Release Notes for more information on why Archive Before Import is no longer an option and how you can use archives responsibly.

 How do I print unused barcodes for books now?

Check out the Unused Barcodes report.

 Why are report set-up details not included in the headers anymore?

The headers never had enough space to list all of that information. So we moved it to a separate, detailed file called the information icon Operation Information file. Now you won't miss a single setting!

Name your reports! When you save a report, name it to indicate what it’s for (e.g. FIC A - FIC D Weeding List).

 What's the difference between Web-Based and Cloud Hosted?

Web-Based means Alexandria runs on your browser, like a website over the internet. This means several things:

  • You can access your Alexandria anywhere you can access other websites.
  • It makes use of various browser technologies.
  • It doesn’t care if you use Windows, Mac, or Linux—only what browser it’s on.

Cloud Hosted means COMPanion hosts your data, taking care of all maintenance and backups. This also makes it easier to troubleshoot issues.

 Why does it take so many steps (clicks) to get my report now?

If you bookmark the Reports module (append /reports to your URL), it should take about the same number of clicks. Here are some other things you can do to speed up the process:

 Why are my search results in the new Search different from the old Researcher?

The new Search uses a Smart Search that is significantly smarter than the old one. It may not seem that way if the item you are looking for doesn't show up first, but keep in mind someone using the same search term who is looking for something else. The new Search better allows for your patrons to find items they might not know the exact title for.

  • If you are doing a title search, change the search type to Title.
  • Learn more about Search Types including Smart Search in our Search Basics article. See how the different fields are weighted.
  • Review our information on Search Results.
  • Having trouble finding a book with a common title, such as "It"? Search by title and author (e.g. "it stephen king") to get more exact results.
  • Read more in How Search Works.

Makeover FAQs

We are thrilled to announce our Alexandria and Textbook Tracker Dream Makeover! Yep, that's right. We're giving the programs a new look while adding various improvements, such as responsive design and exciting features. Learn more about it!

 What's changing?

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.

 Why is it changing?

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.

 What new features do I get?

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.

 Do I lose any functionality?

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 if you feel like something is missing.

 Can I get any training?

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

 Will it cost more?

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.

 When is it happening?

Betas for Circulation, Patrons Management, and Items Management will be released summer/fall 2021. 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, and Message Center will follow.

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

 What comes next?

You can look forward to new interfaces for Tools, Preferences, Operations, Builder, and Message Center. Check the Changes tab every now and then for updates.

 Can I see what it looks like?

We will be releasing early betas of some new interfaces early in 2021. That way, you can play around with the new interfaces before you need to use them in your own library. Watch the Message Center and your email for surveys where we ask for your feedback on new designs, or sign up for emails specific to the Makeover!

Beginning-of-Year FAQs

 How do I get a file to import my patrons?

Start by exporting the necessary data from your student information system (SIS) in a tab-delimited text format. This file can be imported into Alexandria Librarian to add new patron records and update any existing patron records simultaneously.

 What information can be updated with a patron import file?

Patron imports can be used to change any field in patron records except for the Barcode field.

 How do I update specific patron information?

Patron information can be changed by editing individual patron records in Patron Management.

You can also update specific information in multiple records using Utilities. In the Selections tab, choose which patron records will be updated by selecting common piece of information, such as Grade or Security Group, or choose Show Additional Selections to set a barcode range or enter a list of specific patron barcodes. Then specify what will be changed in the Options tab.

 How do I remove teachers from the system?

Teachers are listed in the Homeroom (Primary Location) field. To permanently remove a teacher from Alexandria, first make sure that there is NOT a patron record for that specific person. If there is, be sure to remove it. Next, go to Tools > Authority Control. In the Category pane on the left, expand Patrons and select Homeroom. Locate and select the teacher on the right, then go to the Actions menu to remove them.

 Is Patron History changed or modified when updating with an import file?

If a patron's information is updated with an import file, all of their historical information will remain on the record as-is. Historical data is only removed from a patron record if the individual patron is completely removed from the system.

This means that if you're recycling barcode numbers, you'll need to permanently remove the record of the patron who was previously assigned the barcode before you assign that barcode to another patron record.

 How do I advance my patron grades?

Everyone updates their patron records differently. Advancing patron grades may already be taken care of if you use imports or a SIS integration.

If not, go to your Grade Table Preferences and click Advance All Grades once. Check a patron record to make sure it worked properly.

Advancing grades does not also change policies. If your patron policies match grade levels, see our Patron Imports Best Practices for instructions on updating those.

 Will the Advance Patron Grades utility also update homerooms?

No, the Advance Patron Grade utility will only update the Grade (Level) field. All other information, including homerooms, will need to be updated manually, with a utility, or with an import file.

 Where do I set up the "next barcode" if I'm importing items without barcodes?

While importing items, look at the Barcode Handling section on the Settings tab. Add a Starting Item Barcode and select Always Assign New Barcodes.

 How do I make sure imported copies go to the right site?

Ensure that your import file has the correct site code for each copy. If a copy's status unexpectedly changes to In Transit when bookdropped (checked in) instead of Available, it may be assigned to the wrong site.

 How do I import patrons or items through FTP?

You'll need to create a saved import. Go to the import you want and click Create Saved Import at the bottom of the window. Then you'll need to enter a name and fill out the Settings tab with your preferences. Lastly, go to the File Source tab and select FTP or FTPS from the Protocol dropdown. Enter your FTP/FTPS server's information. (If you don't have your own server, COMPanion offers secure and private folders on our FTP server!) Want to check if it works? Click Test FTP Connection. From there, you can run the import whenever necessary.

We recommend using FTP imports for larger files like patron pictures and BestMARC imports.

End-of-Year FAQs

 How can I modify my Grade Table?

Please learn more about modifying your Grade Table here.

 Where can I learn about inventory and weeding?
 Are there more training workshops that I can view?

Check out our YouTube channel!

 Where can I get more information on the End-of-Year procedures?

Visit our Support Center.

 Where can I get more information on the Alexandria Best Practices for Patrons?

Oh man! We have a great workshop for you.

 Which reports can help me with the End of Year reports?

Patrons FAQs

 Can Alexandria assign barcodes to imported patrons?

Yes, if a barcode is not included within the import file, Alexandria will automatically assign a barcode to those patrons.

 Can I choose the next patron barcode Alexandria will assign?

You can! First, navigate to Tools > Preferences > PatronsPatron Defaults tab. In the Barcode Settings section, specify the beginning number for auto-assigned barcodes – choose a number that doesn't conflict with your item barcodes and has enough room to continue sequentially for all future patrons. Learn more in Patron Defaults.

 When a date is entered to the Advance After field in Grade Table preferences, will grades advance automatically after that date?

This is generally used when importing patrons with SIF. Entering a date will not automatically advance the Patron Grades. Learn more about Grade Table preferences.

 What's the best way to automate my patron overdue or hold notices?

How do you want notice to be sent? If you'd like the program to do most of the work for you, try Automatic Email Notifications. Go to Tools > Preferences > Circulation. In the Circulation Settings tab, click the Enable Automatic Email Notifications checkbox. This feature automatically sends email notices to the patron's email address for in-stock holds, overdue fees, and a number of other things. Read more about it in Circulation Settings.

For those of you who want greater control over your notices – such as when they go out and to whom – use scheduled notice reports. For example, you could set up an Overdue Items and Unpaid Charges Notice report for each grade or homeroom and schedule it to email the teacher every month so they can help remind students. Or a Needed for Reservations Notice report could be sent to the librarian every week.

1. Go to Tools > Reports, and choose the Circulation category and Notices subcategory.
2. Test out a few of the reports to see which ones work best for your situation. When you’ve found one, click Create Saved Report at the bottom right.

3. Next, go to the Saved tab, select the report, and unlock it for editing.

4. Build your report in the Selections and Options tabs.
4. In the Schedule tab, schedule the report to run at a specific frequency and time.

5. In the Notification tab, enable email notifications and specify to whom the notices will be sent. Separate email addresses with a comma.

And if you find it meets your needs, you can even use both methods at the same time!

 Where can I find the Patron Count, and how many Patrons/Items am I licensed for?

To find your license and system information, go to your Circulation page, then select Special. In its sub-tabs you will find information like the Status Info, System Info, and License Info, which includes your Patron Count and details about your license.

 How do I forgive charges?

To forgive a charge for an individual patron, use Circulation.

  1.  Make the patron current and go to the Charges tab. 
  2. Select the charge (or by holding <shift> or <command> you can select more than one). 
  3. Click Make Payment.
  4. Enter the amount to forgive in the forgive field, and click Process. 

To forgive charges in batches, use the Forgive Charges utility. 

  1. Go to Tools > Utilities > Patrons > Forgive Charges.
  2. Use the Selections tab to choose who you are forgiving the charges for.
  3. Use the Options tab for what type of charges to forgive, or in a specific date range. 
  4. Click Run
 How do security groups limit access?

Each level has the access of all the groups below them, but does not have access to any security groups on the same level or above them. See Security Preferences for additional information.

Items FAQs

 Where is the genre information located within Alexandria?

Genre information is pulled from the 655_a MARC tag. You can view and modify the data in the Items module using the Items Editor or MARC View Editor.

 Can I enter more than one 655_a genre field to my Item records?

Yes! Add as many genre fields as you need for your patrons to find the item in Search. Keep in mind that only one genre will be displayed in the Items module, but you can click on the pencil icon to open the Genre Editor and view the rest.

 How do I get genre information into my item records?

The easiest way is to ask your vendors to include genre information in the 655_a field of the MARC record, so it's added upon import. You can also add it by editing your records manually or by using the MARC editing tools, such as certain Utilities or Authority Control.

 When are RDA mediums (text-unmediated-volume) and how do I make them understandable in Researcher?

Resources Description & Access (RDA) is a newer standard in which mediums are stored in the 336, 337, and 338 fields and have three components separated by dashes, such as text-unmediated-volume (this one is equivalent to book). Since this medium format is a little harder for patrons to understand, you can add aliases (i.e. alternative names) that will show in Researcher instead. 

 Where should my series information be located?

Whether adding series information manually or automatically via an Import or Utility, make sure the series is being cataloged in the 830 MARC field so the item displays and sorts correctly in Search.

 Why can't I find the item I'm looking for with Title Assistant?

Title Assistant uses Z39.50 servers to search for items, so you may need to add more. Check out the z39.50 Preferences page for a list of resources you can use to bolster your Z39.50 list in Alexandria. You'll also find instructions on adding servers, creating sets, and more.

 Why are copies being randomly added that can't be selected or modified?

If you have overlapping call numbers in Maps, Alexandria will display a duplicate title or a duplicate copy. If the copies can be modified but were not intentionally added, this may be from an import running too many times and adding a new copy each time.

 How can I see how many Items and Patrons are in each site within a Centralized Catalog?

Go to Tools>Sites, and click on the gear icon and select Site Record Counts.

 How can I import items into Alexandria?

Go to Tools>Import and select the category of what you are importing. Upload the file from your computer, and make sure to configure the field map. Note: Marc records don’t need to be field mapped. See Import for more information.

 How can I easily change the copy location or copy shelving?

The easiest way is by using the Set All Copy Locations or CH command in Circulation. This is much quicker than going into each item to change copy locations. Make sure to clear the command line when you’re done!  You can also run the Copies Information Report to help view and sort your items.

Researcher FAQs

 Do all users have access to Patron Status and the ability to make holds and reservations?

Yes, any person added to your system will be given access to Patron Status and other patron-facing portions of Alexandria.

 Can I control what information a patron can change when they're logged in to a Patron Status?

Yes, with your Security Group preferences you have the ability to control how much information (if any) that your patrons can edit.

 Can I share search results and information from Alexandria?

Yes! After you've performed a search, you can share the entire list of results or information for individual item information. You can also create a custom search list and share that with anyone you like.

 What is the difference between a Public and Private list?
  • A public list can be shared and viewed by anyone that you've sent the link to.
  • A private list is viewable only to the patron who created it, when they're logged in.
 How can I make changes and updates to my Explore search buttons?

That's all done through Explore Builder, which we'll be going over in a future workshop. 

 How can I change a Researcher pane?

To select a new pane, go to Preferences>Researcher, and click on Select New Pane, select the desired pane, and click OK. If you want to change the pane itself, go to Tools>Explore Builder, and make the changes to the appropriate Explore Pane.

 How can I see and write reviews on Items?

First, go to the top right corner of the window and log in to your account. Next, search for and select an item, then click on the rating stars in the center of the window to view the reviews.

 What is the difference between Search and Scout?
  • Scout is more for a younger or less experienced audience, that is limited to only allowing you to view information and place holds.
  • Search has more advanced features for refining and showing additional results beyond your initial query. 
 Can I hide in processing copies in Researcher?

Yep! You can set copies to in processing (i.e. checked out to the In Processing system patron #7) if they're in your library but aren't ready to be placed on shelves yet. They will automatically be marked as unavailable in Researcher, but you can hide them if you'd like. In Researcher Preferences, check the In Processing box on the Auto-Hide tab.

 How do I create a map to use in Alexandria?

You can create a map using any type of image creation software, like Photoshop, Illustrator, Paint, etc. You can also take pictures of where the shelf is situated in the library, or hold an art contest with your students to create distinctive markers for each shelf. You can also use text to describe the location for the visually impaired. This article from Classroom Architect might help.

 Can I have different maps for different rooms?

Absolutely! You can have as many maps as you need to accurately show your item locations. Though you may need to get creative with your call numbers if you're running the same call-numbered materials in different locations (i.e. 100S - 300S for a storage location and 100 - 300 for shelved items).

 Can I have more than on Slideshow?

While you can only have one Slideshow active from the primary /slideshow location, you can always show additional Slideshows by creating Explore buttons that link to a Slideshow URL.

 How do I create a Bulletin Board?

Bulletin Boards and their bulletins are created from Tools > Bulletins in Alexandria. Select a board on the left, or go to the Actions menu to add a new one. Then click the plus icon to create a bulletin for the board you've selected. 

 How do I organize my bulletins?

For the bulletin you want to display first, check Show Bulletin at the Top of the Board on the bulletin – but you can only choose one; all other bulletins are stacked according to content and bulletin size. However, Alexandria does try to keep everything in a roughly boxed-out shape to utilize the displayable area.

 What all can I show on my Bulletin Boards?

Bulletin content is entirely up to you. Use them to showcase things happening at your school or facility, let your patrons know about upcoming releases or seasonal items; you can even give specific individuals the ability to manage and create bulletins for specialty groups and organizations. Read about Bulletins for more ideas.

 Is there a limit to how many reservations can be placed on an item at once?

As long as there are no conflicting dates between the reservations, there is no limit to how many reservations an item can have!

 How far in advance can reservations be placed on items?

Patrons can place a reservation up to 90 days in advance.

 Can patrons reserve an item that is currently checked out?

Yes! As long as the reservation is placed for a date that the item will be available, such as after the due date of the current check out period, then there is no issue with placing reservations for items currently checked out.

 When a book has a reservation, can other patrons still check it out?

Yes and no, depending on the situation. If a patron tries to check out an item but their transaction period interferes with the reservation, then they will not be able to check the item out. However, if the transaction does not collide with the reservation, then they can still check out the item. Check out our articles on the Reservations tab in Librarian and placing a reservation through Search for more information. 

 What is the difference between a hold and a reservation?

Holds are placed on either a title or copy record when a patron would like to check it out as soon as it is available. However, a reservation is placed on an item for a specific date range. 

 What is the difference between on-shelf holds and in-stock holds?

Generally, you will see On-Shelf Holds on items that were “Available” when the hold was placed, meaning it should be on the shelf. Once you've pulled the On-Shelf Holds from the shelves, bookdrop them to change their status to In-Stock. Then place them in the holds area of your library for patrons to check out. For more information on the two, see our "In-Stock vs On-Shelf—New holds procedures" Tip of the Week.

 When using Scout, is there a way to automatically show all items that are checked out?

There sure is! You can choose to automatically show or hide checked out items in the results list by using Scout Preferences. From your Circulation screen, go to Tools > Preferences > Researcher > Scout. Then go to the Results List tab. In the Default Visibility section, check whether you want to hide or show unavailable items.

 Is it required that patrons log in to write reviews?

Patrons do need to sign in to the Researcher to write a review. The default Alexandria login information is Username = Barcode and Password = Last name. See our step-by-step instructions on writing reviews and accepting or rejecting reviews.

Inventory FAQs

 Can I use an iPad to do inventory?

Absolutely. You can use an iPad or Chromebook to perform Inventory. If you are using an iPad, you will also need a compatible wireless scanner. Ask our Sales team what they recommend.

 If I start inventory now, can I still check out items?

YES! You can inventory while you are circulating, and circulate while you are in the inventory process. Just be sure to keep track of your Inventory Start Date.

 Which inventory mode should I use?

Well, we recommend using Inventory Management, which keeps track of inventory sessions and can save you time when performing inventory. But if you are doing inventory in Circulation, use Inventory Bookdrop (IB) with a wired scanner, or Inventory Bookdrop Suppressed (IBS) with a wireless scanner. If, for example, you're inventorying classroom sets checked out to teachers, you would choose Inventory (I) or Inventory Suppressed (IS) mode so those items are not bookdropped. In the Inventory Module, this means checking or unchecking the options for Audible alerts, and “Bookdrop items scanned during inventory”.

For more information, read about our Circulation Inventory Commands.

 How do I see which items have been inventoried?

Run a report. In the Review step of the inventory process, run the Inventory Items Report. And in the Reports module, run the Copies Inventoried or Copies Not Inventoried reports.

 Is there anything I should know before running the Declare Missing Items as Lost utility?

Don’t forget about items that aren’t on your shelves! Items in classrooms, book rooms, or on display can be easy to overlook. Inventory these items before you declare a missing item as lost. If you're using Sessions in the Inventory module, this may mean waiting until you have finished all of your inventory, and using utilities to declare items lost.

Also, if you are running your session by a call number range, we recommend using call numbers that are the same length with only whole numbers (no decimals). Using irregular call number lengths can lead to inaccurate estimates.

 How do I access the Inventory Management or helper Screen?

Choose Tools on the far left, then choose the Inventory icon in the top middle.

 Should I create all of my inventory sessions on the same date?

This isn't necessary. It may help you to keep things organized, but Alexandria is flexible enough to allow you to create any number of sessions that are staggered over whatever time period needed. Some people use this feature to slowly inventory throughout the school year.

 Do I need to create all of my sessions before I start inventorying?

Not at all. Feel free to create sessions as you need them, if that’s easier.

 Is it beneficial to break down inventory into small or specific sessions?

This is only as necessary as it would be helpful for you to keep track of what parts of your collection you have inventoried and the process to do it. Some librarians find it easier to use one session to inventory the Entire Collection at once. While others use smaller sessions as they are unable to do it all at once or worry they will have trouble remembering what they have already inventoried.

 If I don't finish my inventory on the same day I start, when I go back to complete it, do I need to alter the Start Date for the session I created?

No, you do not, and most likely wouldn't want to. When you scan an item to be inventoried, an Inventory Date is attached to that item. The date attached to those items is the actual day you scanned them. If you alter the Start Date for your inventory session, than your inventory session would not include the items you had scanned on previous days. Your inventory sessions can last as long as you need them to. Don’t worry if it goes past a day, a week, or even a month.

 Is there a difference between the inventory modes (I, IS, IB, IBS) in the Circulation screen or the Inventory Management interface?

No, they act the same on both interfaces.

 When an inventory session under the Inventory Management interface is completed and the option to Declare Missing Items as Lost is checked, what items are moved to Lost?

Only the items specified by your session’s Call Number Range that were not scanned. Be very wary of this feature if you chose the session option to inventory the Entire Collection instead of a Call Number range.

 I’m not using the Inventory Management interface. How do I manually remove or permanently delete the not inventoried items which have been moved to Lost Status?
  1. Choose Tools from the icons on the left.
  2. Select Utilities at the top left of the Tools section.
  3. Under Utilities, choose the Copies option.
  4. Under Copies, select the last option on the right, Remove Lost Copies.
  5. You have a few options to remove your Lost Copies.
    1. If you want to remove all of them, click Run at the bottom right.
    2. If you want to remove Lost Copies from a specific time period, make sure to alter the Copies Lost option under the Selections tab.
    3. If you would only like to remove copies that were moved into lost during inventory, and not from patrons, you will need to specify this under the Options tab.

(tick) Tip: Weeded or discarded items can be removed using a similar Utility called Remove Discarded Copies

 How do I run a Super Summary Report to help me see my numbers after inventory?

  1. Choose Tools from the icons on the left.
  2. Select Reports at the top left of the Tools section.
  3. In the Reports window, go to the Collection Analysis option on the far left.
  4. Under Collection Analysis, select Super Summary from the list on the right.
  5. Choose the Options tab under the Super Summary report.
  6. Under Options, change the Format to Regular - Ignore Super Summary Call Numbers and specify your Inventory Start Date.
  7. Lastly, click Run!

(warning) Note: The Super Summary report specified above shows the state of your collection as it currently is. It does not reflect data from previous years.

 I just finished with inventory and all of my items are showing as lost! What do I do?

Oops! To prevent this in the future, remember to always use the correct start date and double check which items will be set to lost before completing inventory.

If you caught this quickly, you can restore from a previous archive (usually one from the night before). Please contact Customer Support so they can guide you through this process.

If your library had a lot of circulation or you made significant changes to Alexandria before catching this, you may need to plan a full inventory. You could use the Inventory Bookdrop Suppressed mode in Circulation to quickly scan items back in. This allows you to run your library as usual until you have time to do inventory again.

Run a Copies Not Inventoried report before setting anything as lost. That will give you a list of what will be set to lost, and you can correct any mistakes before making a big change.

Also be sure to run the Lost Copies report and Discarded Copies report before permanently removing lost or discarded copies. 

Reports FAQs

 What types of reports can I run in Alexandria?

Alexandria has a wide range of reports to both assist in getting the proper information to those that need it such as Overdue Lists and Notices, Patron and Item Details, Charges and Fines, Item Barcode Labels, Patron Library Cards, and other such things for the day to day running of a library.

See the Complete Reports List for more information.

 How do I see my report after I run it?

After you select Run, click the wrench icon in the upper right corner of your screen.  Once your report is complete, you will see your report ready to Email (letter icon), View (info icon), or Download (PDF document icon). 

 How can I find the right report quickly?

When it comes to finding reports in Alexandria most are clearly labeled, but you will want to get into the proper category (list on the left) to give you a smaller list to view. Though, to really find something quickly, I recommend using the search feature in the upper right hand corner.

 Do I have to create the report from scratch every time?

Not at all. Any time you customize a report to perform a specific search, you can always click Create Saved Report to save your changes and make it easier to find in the future.

 Why isn't my report keeping the selections I used before?

You probably used a quick report last time! Quick reports are used for running one-time reports and do not save selections. However, saved reports are frequently-used reports with saved selections and options that can be favorited, shared, and scheduled. If you want to save a report, select a report and click Create Saved Report at the bottom right-hand corner of the window.

 Any reports only able to be printed, or are there other delivery options?

When you run reports in Alexandria the most common process will be to print off the paper copy or save a digital copy on your desktop. However, there are additional options for delivery in the case of features like the Email Notices option and the ability to have the PDF report sent directly to the person that requires the information.

 Why do I have to download a PDF before I can open and view the report information?

Because Alexandria v7 is a web-based app with no local installation on your computer, all of the reports are created and generated on a separate server and need to be downloaded to your local computer to see them in full. We strongly recommend modifying your browser settings to automatically open any downloaded files, which will save you a mouse click after you've download it.

 Can I get a Report in a format that I can open in excel?

Currently, all reports in Alexandria are PDF only because the various template and layout requirements require more controlled formatting. You can, however, export information into a tab-delimited file that can then be opened in Excel and sent to whomever needs it.

 How do I print and align barcodes?

See our Alignment Troubleshooting tips. Specifically, make sure your scaling is set to 100% or Actual Size in your PDF reader. Also, you'll want to make sure you're using the correct type of labels for the barcode report you're using.

 What barcode symbology does Alexandria use?

Code 3 of 9 or code 39, with no check digit. See Barcode Your Collection for more information on barcodes.

 Where can I find the report for Unused Labels/Barcodes?

Go to Tools>Reports>Special>Unused Barcodes. Under the Options tab, specify if you are running the report with the Range Information, Barcode List, or Barcode Labels (3x10) format. Read our Tip of the Week on Unused Barcodes, or refer to the documentation for additional details.

 How do I use the Weeding List report to see books my library got a long time ago?

Use the Copies added selection to see copies your library attained at a certain point in time (enter the date range or relative date). Note that you are selecting the date you want to see, not the date you don't want to see. For example, to get a Weeding List of books your library has had more than 5 years, you would use the date range of March 1990 (or some earlier date) to March 2016.

 Which reports can help me with end-of-year tasks?

Which reports can help me with end of year tasks?

 Do you have any tips for using the Loaned Items Information report?

Get a list of loaned items (including temporary items) along with their due dates with the Loaned Items Information report

Turn on Page Break on Major Sort if you're sorting by level (grade) or location (homeroom) and using the Detailed or Complete formats. Then you won't need to run a separate report for each.

 How do I stop email reports from going out during the summer?

Go to Reports > Saved. Scheduled reports will have a calendar icon  to the right. Select a report you want to pause, go to the Scheduled tab, and turn off Schedule Report. You may want to keep a list of these reports so you can remember to re-schedule them when school resumes.

Also see our instructions in the End-of-year prep—Disable emails tip if you have automatic email notifications turned on in Circulation Preferences.

 How are reports in Version 7 different from Version 6?

Many reports were combined and streamlined in Version 7. See Reports Conversion for instructions on converting your saved reports.