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Last Updated: Dec 01, 2022 15:48

Inventory is a survey of the items and materials you have in stock, so you know what you have, what's missing, and what needs to be replaced, reordered, or discarded. It can help you organize your materials and update all of the catalog listings in your database to match the physical items in your library. You can even generate reports for statistics, missing items, and more. In short, inventory is a critical part of library management.

We've made performing inventory quick, easy, and extremely efficient. Learn more in these articles:

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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.

Check your session overview and take a look at your Call Number Range. Make sure the "From" and "Through" fields have the same number of characters. 

  1. For example From: 000.000 AAA

                                Through: 299.999 ZZZ

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.

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.

We recommend completing all of your inventory sessions when you are finished with your whole inventory. This will ensure any items that may have been misplaced on a different shelf will be found and scanned.

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

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.

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

Go to Tools > Inventory, then select Session at the top. Click on either the + in the bottom left, or Create Session. Give the session a name and set the Inventory By to be how you want to split the sessions. If you use call numbers as the Inventory By, you will need to make sure that in both the From and Through fields, there are the exact same number of characters–for example, From 222.222 Through 333.333, and not from 222 through 222.999.

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.

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.

No, they act the same on both interfaces.

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.

  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

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. 

See Collection Statistics for the reports we recommend for gathering statistics. 

Nope! When running inventory either through the circulation screen or inventory management, the info is stored in the copy information. Basically, your inventory info is saved each time you scan an item!

Yes you can! Inventory Management sessions will allow you to run reports on anything that has been inventoried in that session range. Exceptions will only show for items scanned in the inventory window, however, you can see exceptions for your transaction script when you import it > Operations > download the summary file.  

Usually this is not necessary. The session start date is set when you scan your first item. You'll only want to adjust the start date if you scanned an item elsewhere or in the wrong session, to ensure all your items are counted correctly in this session. For that reason we recommend waiting to complete sessions until you are finished with your whole inventory.

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