End-of-year prep—Inventory

March 30th, 2020

It's time to inventory! What exactly do you have in your collection? What needs to be reordered? Which items are damaged and need to be discarded? All of these questions can be answered by performing inventory.


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.

Version 7
Version 6

You can continue regular circulation while doing inventory. Each time a book is checked out or bookdropped, its inventory date is updated.

Before you go...

Is your library closing early or going remote? Check out our new Unexpected School Closures article and video for tips on making this transition. And feel free to contact our 24/7 Support team at 1-800-347-4942 or support@goalexandria.com if you need additional help or have questions. We wish you the best and hope you stay safe!


End-of-year prep—Due dates

March 23rd, 2020

One of the first things you'll want to do in preparation for the end of the year is check your library's calendars. With Alexandria, you can set Period Due Dates and Hard Due Dates.

Alexandria calendar


A Period Due Date is a date by which all items should be returned to the library. The circulation period before this date will be shortened so things are returned on time. Meanwhile, a Hard Due Date is a special date assigned to some item policies. It overrides all other due dates, including Period Due Dates, and allows items to be checked out for an extended period of time.

If your due dates for the end of this year are already set, consider setting them for the following year while you're there.

Version 7

Read through the Due Dates tab of our End-of-Year Procedures for instructions on how to check and set Period and Hard Due Dates. You can also see Calendar Preferences for more information. And don't forget about the End of Year Procedures Workshop as a helpful resource!

Version 6

See the Calendars & Period Due Dates and Hard Due Dates sections of the End-of-Year Procedures. For more information, look through the Calendar Preferences page or consider watching the super helpful End of Year Procedures Workshop for v6.

Before you go...

Is your library closing early or going remote? Check out our new Unexpected School Closures article and video for tips on making this transition. And feel free to contact our 24/7 Support team at 1-800-347-4942 or support@goalexandria.com if you need additional help or have questions. We wish you the best and hope you stay safe!


March 9th, 2020

Miss Honey likes sending her students their Patron Details every now and then. That way, they know when their books are due, the status of their holds, and more. But individually sending or printing everyone's Details through Circulation can take a lot of time... Luckily, Alexandria has a new report that lets you email all patrons their Details at once!

Patron Details email

The Send Patron Details Email report is simple and easy to put together. Use the Selections tab to choose who will receive the report, and use the Options tab to add optional information like an email subject, body (in addition to Details), and who it displays as the sender. Check out our documentation for more information.

Save and schedule this report to automatically go out weekly or monthly.


Have you sent out Details using this report yet? If so, let us know what you think about that and other recent updates.


This report is only available in Alexandria 7. Still on version 6? Learn about switching! 

March 2nd, 2020

Have you ever wondered how a particular utility worked? Or maybe you've found a certain option to be confusing... Well, we have good news! Our Support Center now has documentation for each utility.

It's true! For every single utility, you can now read about exactly what it does, in which situations you might use it, and how some of those tricky selections and options work.

There are two easy ways to search for a specific utility:

Use the Category List

Find a certain utility by its Alexandria category and subcategory (Patrons, Items, Copies, etc).

  1. Start on the Complete Utilities List page.
  2. Click on the utility's category.
  3. Click on the utility's name in the category's table.
  4. You will land on the page with that utility's documentation.
Use the Search Bar

Not sure which category the utility is under? No problem! Use the search bar instead.

  1. Start on the Complete Utilities List page.
  2. Type the utility's name into the page's search box and hit Search.
  3. The page with that utility's documentation will be the first or second result. 
  4. Click on the appropriate result and you will land on the page with that utility's documentation.
For example...

If you wanted to find the Change Series Volume utility, you would click on the Titles category before clicking on the utility's name under the Catalog subcategory. Don't know the category? Simply type "Change Series Volume" in the search bar and hit Search. The page it's on will pop up as the first result.


Which utilities do you use most often? What do you use them for? Share with us in the comments!


The new utilities documentation is most relevant to Alexandria 7. Still on version 6? Learn about switching! 

February 24th, 2020

Going along with last week's tip, did you know that the reservations interface also changed in Researcher? Check out the updated dialogs and train your patrons on how to place reservations!



Version 7

Go through our simple steps on placing a reservation in Researcher with your patrons. It's very similar to placing reservations in Librarian, with an easy way to select dates.

The amount of reservations a patron can have and whether they're restricted by site is determined by Patron Policies, and the maximum amount of reservation days and the number of days required between reservations are determined by Item Policies.

Version 6

The reservations interface in v6 hasn't changed, but do you need a refresher on how it works for your patrons? Read through our instructions on how to place a reservation in Researcher.


The updated reservations interface in Researcher is only available on version 7. Still on version 6? Learn about switching! 

Improved Reservations interface!

February 18th, 2020

We've revamped the way reservations are placed with an easier way to select your date range. Take a look at the updated dialogs and instructions!


Place Reservation dialog part 1

Place Reservation dialog part 2


Version 7

Check out our simple instructions for placing a reservation in Librarian, which includes information on shortcuts you can try out.

The amount of reservations a patron can have and whether they're restricted by site is determined by Patron Policies, and the maximum amount of reservation days and the number of days required between reservations are determined by Item Policies.

Version 6

The Reservations interface hasn't changed in version 6. But do you need a quick refresher on how it works? Go through our instructions on placing reservations in v6.

If you place a reservation on a single copy and use Search for Item by Title, enter the "=" command in the command line afterwards to bring up the Place Reservation dialog.


Let us know what you think and how the updated interface is working for you!

The improved Reservations interface is only available on version 7. Still on version 6? Learn about switching! 

February 10th, 2020

Miss Honey is searching for a student in Patrons Management to update their email address. But wait... she notices there are two different records for the same student. Luckily, Alexandria now provides a quick way to deal with situations like this: merging patron records.


Merging two patron records is easy! First, you'll need to decide which record contains the most information you'd like to keep and consider a few merging rules. Then, follow our step-by-step instructions on using the new Merge Record by Barcode function in the Patrons Management  Actions menu. 

There you have it! Now you only have to deal with one record.


The merging patrons feature is only available on version 7. Still on version 6? Learn about switching to Alexandria 7! 

February 3rd, 2020

Miss Honey likes to consistently remind her students to return overdue books, which is why she sends out an Overdue Items Notice report each week. However, she finds setting up the report each time to be tedious... But there's a better way: scheduling your overdue notice reports.

Scheduling overdue notice reports in Alexandria is simple:

  1. There are a variety of overdue notice reports: Overdue Items Notice, Overdue Items and Unpaid Charges Notice, and Severely Overdue Items Notice. Take a look at each and decide which best fits your needs.
  2. Go to the Reports module and select the report you want to schedule.
  3. Click Create Saved Report in the bottom right-hand corner.
  4. Type a name for the report and click OK.
  5. The report will move to the Saved tab, where there are additional settings. Fill out the Overview, Selections, Options, Schedule, Notification, and FTP tabs as necessary.
    1. Be sure to fill out the Schedule tab to determine the report frequency.
    2. If you would like notices to be emailed directly to students, choose the Email format on the Options tab.
    3. If you use paper notices and want to be emailed a link to the downloadable PDF each week, check the Enable Email Notification checkbox on the Notification tab and add your email to the Email Notification and Download Link To field.
    4. If you want a confirmation each time the report runs, check the Enable Email Notification checkbox on the Notification tab and add your email to the Email Notification To field.

      Email Settings need to be configured for email notice reports to work.

  6. Click Save.


And there you go! The notices will be emailed or generated automatically each week or month, and students will—hopefully—start returning their overdue items.


January 27th, 2020

Do your library cards have expiration dates? If so, we have a handy new report that will make your life a little easier: Card Expiring Notice.

The Card Expiring Notice report sends out an email notice to all patrons whose cards are expiring in the next 30 days. That way, you and your patrons can stay ahead of the game and quickly take care of card renewals.

You'll need to have your Email Settings configured to use this report.

Also, all of your patrons will need an email address on their record. Want to see who doesn't have a listed email? We've got a report for that, too.


For now, you can try it out in the demo! The Card Expiring Notice report will become available on your own system whenever you update to 7.19.8. 


Automatically Open Report PDFs

January 21st, 2020

When you run a busy library, time-saving shortcuts can make a world of a difference. One way to save a few extra clicks is to set up your internet browser to automatically open downloaded PDFs, such as Alexandria reports.

Check out our new Managing PDFs article to get quick instructions on how to set this up in Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. 


View Hidden Items in Researcher

January 13th, 2020

Ms. Boyle hides all teacher-only materials in Researcher so they won't show up in students' search results. But how do her teachers now view these hidden items? With Alexandria, searching for these when you need to is a breeze.

You can train your teachers to find hidden items in Researcher using these easy steps:

  1. Go to the Search module.
  2. Type in your search term(s) (e.g. "projectors") and add any other search criteria.
  3. Hold down Option / Alt on your keyboard while hitting the Return key.
  4. Hidden items that match your search criteria will show up in the results!

You can also search for hidden items by adding && (hidetitle::1) to a search string. For example, to search for projectors, you would type ((smart::projectors) && (hidetitle::1)).

To hide an item in Researcher, pull it up in Items Management , unlock unlocked lock the record, and check the Don't Show in Researcher checkbox on the Publication tab of the Title record. Be sure to hit Save when you're done editing the record.


And there you go! Now your teachers can easily find what they need.

This feature only exists in version 7. Still on version 6? Learn about switching to Alexandria 7! 

January 6th, 2020

Winter break has come to an end and it's time to get back to work. You find out a bunch of overdue fines accumulated over the break when the library was closed. Whoops! No need to worry, though. Alexandria has a utility to fix that!

Forgive Charges utility Options tab

Use our Forgive Charges utility to take care of accidental fines that accumulate over a break or unexpected snow day:

  1. Go to Tools > Utilities > Patrons > General > Forgive Charges.
  2. On the Selections tab, make any necessary selections (policy, grade, homeroom, etc).
  3. On the Options tab, choose Overdue Fines Only

    The Other Charges/Fees option forgives everything but lost fees and overdue fines.

  4. In the Transaction Date Starting field, enter the date of the first day of winter break.
  5. In the And Ending field, enter the date of the last day of winter break.
  6. Click Run.

And there you have it! All of those fines will disappear and you can return to normal circulation.


Get your items back before break!

December 16th, 2019

Winter break is just around the corner, which means it's time to heckle your patrons about returning their stuff on time. How can you notify patrons about coming due and overdue items at the same time? We've got a report for that!

Using the Coming Due Items Notice report for both coming due and overdue items is a breeze:

  1. Go to Tools > Reports > Circulation > Notices > Coming Due Items Notice.
  2. On the Selections tab, click on the arrow to the right of the Patrons with Items Due selection. Then click on Date Range.
  3. Leave the first date field blank. (This way, overdue items will be included as well.)
  4. Enter your ending date in the second date field. We suggest making this the last day before break.
  5. Make any other necessary selections (policy, grade, homeroom, etc).
  6. On the Options tab, choose in which format you'd like to send the notices. 

    Check out our documentation on the Coming Due Items Notice report to see what all of the different formats look like!

  7. If needed, customize the chosen format's checkboxes and notice text.
  8. Click Run.

If you chose to email the notices, you don't need to do anything else but wait for those books to come in! However, if you chose a paper format, you will need to download the notices from Operations Management wrench icon with red dot before printing and distributing them.


Happy holidays!

We hope you and your patrons have a wonderful break! Just as a reminder, Customer Support will still be available 24/7 to help you during the holidays. Simply give them a call at 1-800-347-4942 or send an email to support@goalexandria.com.


Help!—Training your patrons

December 9th, 2019

We know that training patrons on library software and answering constant questions can be time-consuming. Maybe your library is new to Alexandria, or your patrons just aren't super comfortable using Researcher yet... Whatever your situation, you should check out our new training videos for patrons!

Patron-Facing Search (2:17)

Each 1-2 minute video shows patrons how to do a basic function in Researcher, such as using Scout, placing holds, creating lists, and more. 

These videos can be viewed in two places:

  1. Go to the Alexandria University: Patron-Facing Interfaces playlist on our YouTube channel. 
  2. Or find them in the "Patron-Facing Interfaces" section of our Video Directory's Alexandria University tab.


Show the videos in a group setting, or give everyone the link to watch on their own time. Either way, your patrons will feel more confident navigating your catalog.

Help!—New reports documentation

November 25th, 2019

Which report shows the day of the week your library gets the most activity? How do you use the Title Information by Series report to see which titles you're missing in a particular series? We know navigating Alexandria reports can sometimes be a bit tricky. That's why we're thrilled to announce new reports documentation in our Support Center!

That's right. For every single report, you can now look up what it does, read about situations in which you might use it, and view PDF examples of each format.

This documentation is organized exactly like the reports section in Alexandria, with the same categories and subcategories. Start on the Complete Reports List page and click on a category icon or type the specific report's name in the search bar. Once you're on a subcategory page, click on the report's name to expand that section. 

For example...

If I were trying to find the Patron Balance report, I would click on the Circulation category icon, then the Charges and Information subcategory, and then Patron Balance. Or, if I didn't know which category icon to click on, I would simply type "Patron Balance report" in that page's little search bar and click on the subcategory that pops up in the results. Voilà!


Which reports do you use the most, and what do you use them for? Share with everyone in the comments!