Find out about our Alexandria Makeover, coming early 2023! Betas are available now. 

December 5, 2022

Winter break is coming soon, and that means it's time to make sure books are returned before students leave for the holidays. 

You can send email notices to your patrons for an easy way to remind them to bring those books back.

Learn more about Alexandria's Integrated Email Services, for hassle-free email service, all managed by us. Call 1.800.347.6439 to discuss if this is the best option for your library.

The Loaned Items Notice and Send Patron Details Email reports are both good options for notifying patrons to return their checked out items. In the Options tab, you can change the body of the email to let patrons know they need to bring the items back. 

See Winter (break) is coming! Are your period due dates set? for another great tip on preparing for winter break. 

Want to read more about using emails in Alexandria? Check out some of our past tips. 


Pasha is ready for winter break–and a long winter's nap!

As always, reach out to our support team at 1-800-347-4942 for any questions. We're happy to help!


Follow @COMPanionStatus on Twitter for hosting updates on Alexandria, Textbook Tracker, and KeepnTrack.           

November 28, 2022

Transaction Scripts are often used for inventory, but did you know you can also use a transaction script to perform circulation? In the event that you lose connection or access to Alexandria, a transaction script is a simple way to keep track of circulation which can then be imported when connection is restored. 

How to:

First, review the step-by-step instructions for creating a Transaction Script. You can also download an Alexandria-generated transaction script during an Offline Mode session.

Then:

  1. Drop an import script onto the Circulation window.
  2. The file will be added to the Operations Management queue for automatic import.
  3. Once completed, your data is now imported into the Alexandria database.
  4. From here, you can go to Operations Management to access the original import file, review the operation summary, or email the summary to anyone you'd like.


Need help? No problem! Contact our amazing support team at 1-800-347-4942.


Follow @COMPanionStatus on Twitter for hosting updates on Alexandria, Textbook Tracker, and KeepnTrack.                                                            

Searching by Subject

November 21, 2022


November is Native American Heritage month. Want to easily look up books about it, or any particular subject for a themed display or class project? You can search by Subject in Alexandria. 


In the current Alexandria, go to Items, select search, then the ISBN/LCCN drop-down, then select Subject. 

In the Alexandria Makeover, you'll find Subject in Items > Advanced Search > Publication. 


Check out Missing the MARC? and Labor of Love—Cleaning up Your Subject Tags for additional reading.

Have any questions about Items, Search, Subjects, or anything else in Alexandria? Contact our Support team at 1-800-347-4942. 


Follow @COMPanionStatus on Twitter for hosting updates on Alexandria, Textbook Tracker, and KeepnTrack.                                                            

November 14, 2022

Ever been in the middle of setting up a genre-based book display and realized not all of the books had that genre assigned? You can use the Assign Keywords Circulation Command— it's a quick and easy way to add a MARC tag with the specific keywords to item records without having to go in and individually edit each record. 

The Assign Keywords command is V, followed by a code letter specifying what kind of MARC tag you are applying the keyword to. Alexandria's Circulation has 11 different codes to choose from, but the three most common are: E - Series _v SeriesVolume, G - Genre, and S - Subject.

Let's put this in action and go through the steps of assigning the subject keyword "Magic" to a stack of related books:

Not sure about assigning keywords, or anything else in Alexandria? Pasha recommends reaching out to our support team at 1-800-347-4942. 


  • Enter V S Magic into the command line and hit <enter>. The V is for the Assign Keywords command, and the S is for Subject (check out more options here). 
  • You will see S Magic show up to the left of the command line.

  • Scan or enter the barcode for each item you're assigning that keyword to.
  • When you're done, use the X command to clear the keyboard and go back into checkout mode.

The release of the Alexandria Makeover is around the corner. Take a look at the Circulation Videos for the makeover, or our Youtube channel!

November 7, 2022

The Holidays are here, and you are probably getting some fun themed displays together in your library. Want to easily keep track of which items are on the display? Here's how.


You can mark items as on display a couple of ways, depending if you want them to be allowed to be checked out or not.

For displays where you don't want the items to get checked out:

  1. Navigate to Circulation.
  2. Make the "For Library Use" system patron current (barcode 3). 
  3. Check out the items on display. 
  4. When you're ready to put away the display, just bookdrop the display items.

For displays where items can be checked out: 

  1. Navigate to Circulation.
  2. Enter the CH command into the command line, then enter On Display into the Copy Location or Copy Shelving field and click OK
  3. Scan the items to modify their location/shelving, then use the X command when you're finished to go back to Checkout mode.

Or, change the Copy Location using a Utility.

  1. Navigate to Utilities > Change Copy Location.
  2. Under Selections, check the Show Additional Selections box. 
  3. Fill in the Copies with Barcodes field with the barcodes of the display items. 
  4. Under Options, fill in On Display.
  5. Run the Utility. 


Pasha can't believe it's the holiday season already. 2023 is coming fast–hang on!

Have questions about this tip, or anything else in Alexandria? Reach out to our stellar Support team at 1-800-347-4942.


The release of the Alexandria Makeover is around the corner. Take a look at the Circulation Videos for the makeover, or our Youtube channel!

October 31, 2022


The Alexandria Makeover betas are in full swing, and we are getting closer every day to the release. Want some extra help learning the new interface? We've got you covered.

We're making NEW videos for the Makeover interface, and we started with the obvious: Circulation. You can see all the Circulation videos here.

Stay tuned for more videos coming soon, and make sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel to never miss a video! 

Have questions about the Alexandria Makeover, or Circulation? Reach out to our stellar Support team at 1-800-347-4942.

Pasha is very excited to be featured in the new Alexandria videos.


Alexandria Engagement+ is able to enhance your measurement of all student online reading, learning, and engagement. Contact Sales at 1-800-347-6439 for more information. 

A note about patron notes

October 24, 2022

Imagine it's a busy day in your library, and a parent asks if there is any way to ensure their child doesn't check out any books about mummies, because they have been having nightmares. A quick way to see to this is by adding a patron alert note!


With the patron current, type "! No books on mummies" into the command line and hit <enter>. This adds the note as a patron alert. Patron alerts show up whenever you bring that patron current in Circulation.

We have lots of different commands to quickly add general or alert notes for the current patron or copy, or add a note to the Transaction Log. The basic commands are listed as the top five on Circulation Commands. You can also look at Circulation > Command Help for more information. 

Have questions about Patron notes or circulation commands? Reach out to our stellar Support team at 1-800-347-4942.


A reminder from Pasha to use circulation command shortcuts. Save time for naps! 

Introducing Integrated Email Services for Alexandria and Textbook Tracker. Leave behind the headache of managing your own server—we can send all of your Alexandria emails for you. Call us today at 1.800.347.6439 for more information.


Shortcut to vendors

October 17, 2022

Do you know about the vendor menu in Circulation? It's a quick-access hub to all your vendors that level up your library. 

The vendor menu is great for when you're going about your day at the library, and you get a book request from one of your patrons for the next book in a popular series. Instead of having to look it up the vendor separately, you can just open your vendor menu and click on the one you need to get to their website. 

Vendor menu in the current interface


Vendor menu in the Makeover interface

Set Up your Vender Menu

To make your vendors show up in the circulation vendors menu, you will need to go to Preferences > Services and select the box to enable the vendor. Then, enter the Vendor URL in the provided space, and click Save. 

As always, feel free to reach out to our stellar Support team at 1-800-347-4942 for help with any questions you might have about Alexandria. 

Want to see which integrations or add-ons might be right for your library? See our Alexandria Add-ons page, and contact Sales at 1.800.347.6439 to find out more information!

October 10, 2022

With everything else you have going on in your library, spending time balancing your receipts for fees, fines, and payments is the last thing you need. That's where the Cash Drawer report comes in! 

Running the Report

To run the report, go to Circulation, and click the Action Menu. 

(In the current interface, the actions menu is on the left. In the Makeover interface, it's on the right.)

Click Cash Drawer Balance, enter the date range and starting balance, and click OK. It's that easy!

You can read more info on the Cash Drawer HERE, under the Actions Menu section.

Have questions about the Cash Drawer report, or anything else in Alexandria? Reach out to our Support team at 1-800-347-4942. 

Pasha finds balancing receipts super frustrating. He should use the Cash Drawer report!




Introducing Integrated Email Services for Alexandria and Textbook Tracker. Leave behind the headache of managing your own server—we can send all of your Alexandria emails for you. Call us today at 1.800.347.6439 for more information.


Build better bulletins

October 2, 2022

Bulletins got a makeover! Not only does it look snazzier, but it's mobile friendly and works better with Google forms. Time to break out the newsgroup signups and book quizzes! Are you having a book fair? You can make a special bulletin for the fair, and add a Google form to easily let patrons and volunteers sign up.

How to Add a Google Form to your Bulletin

  1. Create the Google form you want to include in your bulletin.
  2. Go to Tools > Bulletins and click the icon in the bottom left to create a new board. 
  3. In your finished Google form, click the Send button in the top right. This will open the top window shown on the right.
  4. Click the < > section, then select and copy and HTML show under "Embed HTML."
  5. Paste the HTML into the Bulletin Text box in Alexandria. 
  6. Make sure to click Save when you're done!

Got a more in-depth form to share? Link to them using html: <a href="http://form.url">form name</a>

Bulletins is currently accessed through Tools in Alexandria, but soon Bulletins will be listed under the new Builder section of the Alexandria Makeover

A book fair isn't the only way you could utilize the new bulletin features. 

  • Create bulletins for specific teacher assignments or projects
  • Volunteer sign-ups
  • Track reading challenges for patrons.
  • Help student-run clubs and school teams
  •  Inform your patrons about special events at your library.
  • And more!

Have questions about Bulletins? Reach out to our Support team at 1-800-347-4942


Alexandria Engagement+ is able to enhance your measurement of all student online reading, learning, and engagement. Contact Sales at 1-800-347-6439 for more information. 

Level up your searching 

September 26, 2022

Did you know that Researcher has four different ways to search? Empower your patrons to level up their searching game and utilize your library.

1. Explore 

Explore is the easiest search level, because it is completely click-based–no typing or spelling needed. Explore is fully customizable through Explore Builder, where librarians enter the search terms and determine what topics are highlighted. We have a selection of icons and images you can download to customize Explore for the needs of your library.

Browse is a great way for patrons to look through titles by genre, reading level, or even a specific study program. See Let's browse–it's time to study Genre for more information!

2. Scout

Explore is ideal when the kids can't type yet. When they are ready to type, show them Scout. It's cute, easy to search, and the results are straightforward. Kids can still place holds or see the map to find the item in the library, or they can just check the call number and find the book themselves. 

Did you catch last week's tip? Check out Missing the MARC? for more tips on making your search kid-friendly.

3. Search

Search lets you use the search bar to specify what you're searching for by using filters and utilizing tags. Patrons can click a tag to go to the tag menu, or hold ALT (option) + click the tag to automatically perform the tag search. 

4. Advanced Search

Advanced Search allows for more specific, complex searches using Boolean Operators

Have questions about Search, or want help customizing your Explore? Reach out to our Support team at 1-800-347-4942

Pasha prefers to search using Explore. He's a visual learner. 

Did you know Mitinet EnhanceMARC has a "Kid Friendly" subject heading option? For example, you can add "spider" to items with the subject "arachnid." Want to find out more? Contact our Sales team at 1-800-347-6439 for more information.

Missing the MARC? 

September 19, 2022

Are your patrons missing out on search results because of common misspellings? We have a solution! You can add commonly misspelled words to your MARC tags.

How To:

Use the MARC View Editor to add alternative terms and/or common misspellings for author names (700_a) and subjects (600 - 651). For example, for The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, you could add "Susanne Collins" in a 700_a tag. Then, if your patrons type in a common alternative or misspelling when searching by author name or subject, related results will still pop up! 

See Researcher Best Practices for more tips on improving and customizing Researcher for your library.

Want more help with spelling? Check out "Elehpants?"—Spell Check for Researcher for instructions on enabling Chrome spellcheck on your library computers. 

Cats are notoriously bad spellers! Read more about our mascot, Pasha, here

Have questions? As always, feel free to reach out to our Support team at 1-800-347-4942. 


Did you know Mitinet EnhanceMARC has a "Kid Friendly" subject heading option? For example, you can add "spider" to items with the subject "arachnid." Want to find out more? Contact our Sales team at 1-800-347-6439 for more information.

September 12, 2022

You can introduce your students to the genres in your library in a variety of fun ways–like having them select a genre and read a book in it, present to the class about it (and even dress up to match!). But how can you make your catalog easy for genre searching?

Clean up your Genres 

Start by ensuring all the genres you library needs are set up and ready to have items assigned to it. Review Mystery, fantasy, classics—Adding genres for more information about adding genres to your catalog. 

If you have duplicate Genres, the quickest way to clean those up is with Authority Control.

Navigate to Tools > Authority Control > Titles > Genre. From here, you can double-click on any entry to edit it. You'll want to clean up this list so genres are easy for your patrons to understand and use. For example, do you have Sci-fi and Science Fiction? You don't need both. 

Lastly, you'll want to make sure all the items assigned to each genre are in the right place. You can review the titles by searching for a genre in Items Management using the advanced search function. (Currently genre is listed under ISBN/LCCN, but in the Makeover it can be found in the Publications tab.) Alternatively, run a Title Information by Subject/Genre report. Update genres as you go, or use the Change a MARC Tag utility to make changes across multiple titles.

Make your collection even more discoverable with Mitinet Add-ons. Contact Sales today at 1.800.347.6439 to ask about your options!

Show your students how to use Browse

In Researcher, your patrons can Browse by Genre. They can pick the exact genre and any similar genres; e.g. folk tales and fairy tales. 

Patrons can also Search and then filter the results by Genre

Let's get genrefying! As always, contact our Support team at support@goalexandria.com with any questions. 

Meet Pasha, the Alexandria mascot! Read more here


The Makeover betas are here! Look in Circulation, Items, and Patrons for a purple alert button  at the top of your screen. That will take you to the Makeover beta in our demo where you can play around recklessly.

We're on top of topnav! 

September 6, 2022

Here at Companion, we're really busy getting the Makeover betas ready to launch into full service. But we aren't too busy to improve the Researcher Topnav and Bulletins for you. Take a look at some of the exciting updates to help your patrons navigate Researcher. 

Scout, Browse, the Researcher hub, Bulletins, Slideshow, and Patron Status have a completely reorganized topnav with some new features. 

New Menus!

In the new topnav, check out the handy Researcher drawer—no more ‘going back’ to Researcher in order to switch from Scout to Browse!

Also check out the user menu, where your patrons can see quick stats like how many items they have out, and any holds they have.

Bulletin Boards

Bulletin boards got a facelift! You can change the colors, and bulletins are now mobile friendly. Plus, you can incorporate Google forms and calendars on your bulletins. It's in beta now, but it will be released next month, and you can view it now by clicking on the bulletin icon in the topnav. 

Have any questions, or need help navigating the changes? Reach out to our Support team at support@goalexandria.com. 


The Makeover betas are here! Look in Circulation, Items, and Patrons for a purple alert button  at the top of your screen. That will take you to the Makeover beta in our demo where you can play around recklessly.

August 29, 2022

When your physical collection is separated by call number, you can use maps to point patrons to the right place in your library. But what about when the call number doesn't indicate the location, or the book has been put in a special spot temporarily? Using the Copy Location and Copy Shelving fields allow you to include additional information for specific copies. As an added bonus, patrons can filter search results in Researcher with Copy Location!


Uses for Copy Location and Copy Shelving

  • Even if your account only has one site, you might still have your collection stored in separate rooms or even buildings! Assign a Copy Location to help users pinpoint where the item they are looking for resides. 
  • Equipment like projectors or chrome books often have to fit wherever you have space, which means things can get separated. Use Copy Shelving to add some extra context, so teachers know where to look for those pesky power chords. 
  • Call numbers are for every day use, but what if it's Dinosaur month, and all of your dinosaur books are on a special display? Use the Change Copy Location and/or Change Copy Shelving utilities to let patrons know where the new temporary location is, and clear it all back out again at the end of the month when the dinosaur books are back in their usual spot. 


In Search

After an initial search, patrons can select the filter option, then use Copy Location to narrow the results to their specific location (copy location is specifically looking at 852_b MARC tag). 

Note the number at the end of Copy Location's line. The '1' tells you that one title in your search result has a Copy Location. If none of the results use Copy Location, the filter will not have a number next to it.



Additionally, patrons can find both Copy Location and Copy Shelving information in the Copies tab of an item's details under the Loc – Loc2 column.

In Circulation

Did you know Copy Location and Copy Shelving information appear in the Copy List dialog for copies that are at your site?

Now you don't have to worry that you told a patron to look in the wrong place for the last remaining copy of the book!

Customization

Did you know that Copy Location and Copy Shelving are both terms you can customize? Simply go to Preferences > Setup > Terminology and change either field to something that makes more sense for your library system. Are you using Copy Shelving to hold instructions on where the electronic accessories like mice and power cords are located? Change the term to Electronic Parts Location. Using Copy Location for all your displays around the library? Maybe Display Location is a better fit. The sky is the limit!

And don't worry–when you rename the fields, it will change all across Alexandria. Now you'll be using a Change Display Location utility instead of Change Copy Location!


As always, feel free to reach out to our Support team for any questions you have at support@goalexandria.com. 


The Makeover betas are here! Look in Circulation, Items, and Patrons for a purple alert button  at the top of your screen. That will take you to the Makeover beta in our demo where you can play around recklessly.