Blog
eBooks—All the resources

June 8th, 2020

With the increasing popularity and need for eBooks, we're popping in with a quick summer tip on how to use them with Alexandria. If you've been wondering how they're imported, how to add the cover art, what they look like in Researcher, and more, don't worry—we've got the answers.


Here are some several recently updated eBook resources for you:

  • Cataloging eBooks: Learn how to add eBooks through Items Management and get information on some optional strategies, such as adding eReader groups as a subject heading.
  • Import eBooks: Get step-by-step instructions for importing eBook files.
  • New Capstone titles?—Hooray!: Get access to 24 free eBooks from Capstone.

Happy eBook catalog-ing!


Before you go...

Have you heard that Alexandria and Textbook Tracker are getting a makeover? It's true! In addition to a new, modern look, we will be adding responsive design and some exciting features. Sign up to receive special Makeover announcement emails and beta access.

Also, we invite you to apply for our very first User Research Group. Essentially, we're looking for librarians willing to be our "first users" and give us feedback on big changes we're making to our systems. Sound interesting? Fill out an application today!


Still on version 6? Check out the Ebooks section of the v6 Support Center, and learn about switching to Alexandria 7! 

Help us help you!—Page ratings

May 18th, 2020

If you've poked around the Support Center recently, you may have noticed our new page rating system. Yep, that's right! Now you can rate pages to let us know whether or not they were helpful. Your feedback will help our team understand what's working well and identify areas for improvement.


Did a page answer your question? Great! Give it a good rating to tell us it was helpful. On the other hand, if a page didn't answer your question or was difficult to understand, let us know with a lower rating.

Rate a page

To rate a Support Center page, find the rating block on the left-hand side of the page. Under Your Rating, click on the amount of stars you'd like to give that page. Then, your rating will be added to the Results, which shows the average rating in addition to the total.

Give us more details

After rating a page, you also have the option to give us more details by clicking Tell us what we can improve. This short survey will let you elaborate on your rating and—optionally—leave your email so we can follow up if needed (don't worry—your email will be kept private). We appreciate the feedback!


Despite the unusual end to this school year, we hope you have a wonderful and safe summer! Consider bookmarking our Beginning-of-Year Procedures so they're at the tip of your fingers when you need to start getting ready for fall.


May 11th, 2020

Alexandria Researcher has a lot of capabilities and interfaces that together create a powerful library experience for your patrons. While learning how to use these tools may feel overwhelming at first, it's a piece of cake with the right resources... A little while ago, we released some Researcher training videos for patrons. Now we have the same thing for librarians!

Researcher Overview (1:05)

Whether you need to train new librarians over the summer or help those returning brush up on their skills, these short videos are an awesome resource.

You can view them in two places:

  1. Check out the Alexandria University: Researcher playlist on our YouTube channel.
  2. Head to our Video Directory and look through the Researcher for Librarians section on the Alexandria University tab.

Watch the videos together in a group training or individually. Either way, we hope they bolster your confidence in using and optimizing Researcher for your library!


These videos are for version 7 users. Still on version 6? Learn about switching! 

New Capstone titles?—Hooray!

May 4th, 2020

Yep, that's right. We have some new ebook titles for you! We're proud to partner with Capstone, whose ebooks provide encouragement for all readers through useful tools like text highlighting, audio support, customizable book lists, and more.



Get 24 free ebooks by downloading the MARC file and cover art and importing them into your Alexandria collection.

If you already have a Capstone account and want these books added, contact Capstone at 800-747-4992 to avoid any authentication issues.


Did you add the last set of free Capstone Interactive ebooks to your collection? You may have noticed some of those titles went out of print last year, so you'll probably want to remove them from your collection. Be assured this usually doesn't happen—if you purchase Capstone books, they will be maintained! In Alexandria, you can either remove individual titles in Items Management or use the Remove Titles utility to remove more than one at once.


April 27th, 2020

You're almost there! The last step of our End-of-Year Procedures is creating a secure backup of your Alexandria data. Backups bring peace of mind and provide a way for your library to recover lost data when human errors, hardware malfunctions, and other unexpected events strike.


Version 7 and Version 6

Check out Back Up Your Data for information on backup strategies and instructions. Remember that backups, unlike archives, are saved to an external source and preferably moved to a secure location.

Only Self-Hosted users need to back up their data. If you're Cloud-Hosted, COMPanion does it for you! Learn more about the benefits of going Cloud-Hosted.

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!

Also, take our new survey and let us know which Alexandria resources have helped you prepare for library changes due to COVID-19.


April 20th, 2020

One of the last steps in getting your library set for summer includes managing your patron records. Advancing grades, removing graduates, changing policies—all those fun things. While it's recommended to do most patron management at the start of the school year, here are some things you can do now to get a head start...


Patron Grade Table

Version 7

Follow the steps on the Advance Patrons tab of our End-of-Year Procedures. This will take you through advancing patrons, removing graduated patrons, and changing patron policies.

Version 6

Check out the Advancing Patron Grades, Remove Graduated Students, and Update Your Patrons' Policies sections of our End-of-Year Procedures.


Do you import patron information yearly or use the saved import option of the SIS Integration package?

For both v6 and v7 users, following these steps will make it easy to identify records later on that need to be deleted or manually modified after your import:

  1. Identify a commonly used field in your patron records that's also included in the import file, such as the Grade field.
  2. Use the corresponding patron utility (such as the Change Patron Grade utility) to modify the chosen field to a term that stands out, like “Last Year” or “Transferred.” Note that if staff/teacher records aren't imported at the beginning of the year, you will need to exclude them from this utility or manually modify their records.
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!

Also, take our new survey and let us know how Alexandria has helped you prepare for library changes due to COVID-19.


End-of-year prep—Item clean up

April 13th, 2020

So, you're mostly done with inventory! You've finished all sessions and taken full stock of your library's collection. Whew! There are just a few last steps before you can start celebrating: check what wasn't inventoried, declare items lost or discarded, and remove those items.

Declare Missing Copies Lost utility Selections tab


Version 7

See the Remove Copies section of our End-of-Year Procedures. There you'll find information on running a Loaned Items Information report, declaring missing copies lost, and removing lost and discarded copies.

Version 6

Check out the Loaned Item Reports, Declare Missing Items Lost, and Remove Lost and Discarded Items sections of the End-of-Year Procedures.


V7 and V6

Read through Let's weed—Pulling discards during Inventory for instructions on simultaneously performing inventory and weeding items.

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!

Also, take our new survey and let us know how Alexandria has helped you prepare for library changes due to COVID-19.


End-of-year prep—Disable emails

April 6th, 2020

Whether you're preparing for the end of the year or need to close your library early, turning off email notifications is an important part of that process. 

Version 7

Go to the Circulation Settings tab in Circulation Preferences and uncheck Enable Automatic Email Notifications. Remember to turn this back on once school resumes.

If you have saved reports, you'll also need to follow these steps:

  1. Check for saved reports by going to Tools > Reports. Make sure you have the All Reports category selected before clicking on the Saved tab. If you only need to check email notices to patrons, then click on the Notices subcategory within the Circulation category instead.
  2. Scheduled reports will have a calendar icon to the right of the saved report's name. Check the Options tab of each one.
  3. If the scheduled report shows a format of "Email" on the Options tab, then click on the Schedule tab, unlock  the page, and uncheck Schedule Report. Click Save.
  4. Once saved, those scheduled emails will stop going out. Just be sure to remember which ones need to be turned back on later once school resumes.
Version 6

Go to the Circulation Settings tab in Circulation Preferences and uncheck Enable Automatic Email Notifications. Remember to turn this back on once school resumes.

If you have saved reports, you'll also need to follow these steps:

  1. In the Reports module, make sure you have the All Reports category selected before clicking on the Saved tab. If you only need to check email notices to patrons, then click on the Notices subcategory within the Circulation category instead.
  2. Check the Scheduled column to see whether or not a report is scheduled.
  3. Click on each scheduled report, unlock it with the padlock icon at the top of the window, and go to the Schedule tab.
  4. Clear the Run next on field, change the Repeat dropdown to Never, and uncheck Send Email Notification.
  5. Click Save All when you're done.
  6. Once saved, those scheduled emails will stop going out. Just be sure to remember which ones need to be turned back on later once school resumes.

You can only modify saved reports in the v6 installed client.

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—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!