The following is an illustration of the operations checkout/check-in actions flow at a circulation desk, from the creation of a request through its fulfillment. See Requests in Alma.
Requests are created by staff or patron-driven from an external discovery system.
Circulation Desk Operations Workflow
The following is a detailed description of the steps within this workflow (with the numbers corresponding to the numbers in the diagram):
- The workflow process begins when a request is created:
- The request can be created by an external discovery system and sent to Alma.
- The request can be initiated by the Fulfillment Services Operator, who searches for an item in the repository of the local institution (see Searching the Repository).
- A request can be one of the following:
- A booking request
- A request to move permanently or temporarily
- A request for a physical item
- A request to convert a physical or electronic item into a digital copy (digitalization)
- A general hold request
- A return request, to return an item to its permanent location
- The Requests Operator views the requested item on the task list and prints a pickup slip (see Managing Requests and Work Orders). Requested items can also be picked up from the library shelf (see Pickup at Shelf).
- Internal staff perform operations according to the type of request (see Resource Requests or Managing Requests and Work Orders). If the requested item is sent to the Circulation Desk Operator/Manager, the workflow continues with step 4. Otherwise, it follows the Resource Requests workflow (see Resource Requests Workflow).
- The Circulation Desk Operator/Manager manages the following patron services:
- Loans - The Circulation Desk Operator/Manager loans the requested item to the patron from the hold shelf (see Loaning Items). Alternatively, the Patron may retrieve the desired item directly from its permanent location (that is, without having ordered in advance), and arrive at the circulation desk with the material already in hand. The barcode is scanned at the circulation desk (see Loaning Items).For information on handling lost loans, see Lost Loan Management.
- Returns - The Patron returns the loaned item to the circulation desk. The barcode is scanned upon receipt of the item (see Returning Items).
- View Requests - The Circulation Desk Operator/Manager views a list of requested items (see Requested Items), including the request status.
- Loans - The Circulation Desk Operator/Manager loans the requested item to the patron from the hold shelf (see Loaning Items).