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The Purpose of a Complete Inventory

It is critical to account for items and materials that are loaned from your collection at regular intervals.

Reasons to periodically inventory your collection are: To correctly update the catalog listings of all the items in your Alexandria database so that they appropriately correspond to the items that can be physically located in your collection. Your patrons rely on the catalog to locate items. If the catalog listing is outdated, then items that are no longer in the collection will still be shown as available, and patrons will waste valuable time searching for them. To determine what materials are missing and need to be reordered. To evaluate the physical condition of your materials and discard or repair damaged items. To appraise the significance of your materials and then archive or discard those items which are no longer relevant. To generate a complete list of existing materials for insurance purposes. To sort out, tidy up, and place all materials in their proper order.

To summarize, performing an annual inventory will ensure that materials can be found in the correct location within your library, provide information on items that are missing from the collection, allow you to assess the physical condition of the items in your collection, and allow you to accurately estimate the value of your collection. The inventory process insures that your database is tidy and organized along with your physical collection.

Inventory Methods
  • Inventory through Circulation. We recommend that most Alexandria users perform inventory by using the Inventory Management module. However, if you use call numbers in a non-standard way, or if you have a process in place where you have used the Circulation window for inventory in the past that you don’t want to change, using the Circulation window to perform your inventory may be a better option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions
 Can I use an iPad to do inventory?

YES! 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.

 Do I need to update Alexandria?

For the web Inventory module, update to v6.22.6 or later. If you can’t update, perform your inventory through the Circulation window.

 Which inventory mode should I use?

Most of you will want to use either 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. Note: 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 what items have been inventoried?

Both the Inventory module (Review step) and the Reports module (> Inventory category) have Inventoried and Not Inventoried reports.

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

Don’t forget about items that aren’t on your shelves! Items in classrooms, bookrooms, or On Display can be easy to overlook. Inventory these items before you Declare Missing Items Lost. If you are 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.