ILS Training & Documentation: Advanced Fulfillment

This guide will serve as a central portal of essential and supplemental documents, videos, and links to prepare Vanderbilt University Library Staff for the upcoming ILS implementation.

Advanced Fulfillment Tasks:

In Alma, the opening and closing hours that you specify affect loan due dates and times. Hours are set up in the "Opening Hours" utility under the Advanced Tools menu for Fulfillment. IMPORTANT NOTE: Opening Hours applies only to due dates. It does not change the hours on the library website or set restricted door hours for your building.

You need "Circulation Desk Manager" role to be able to configure library hours. 

Applied changes to the Opening Hours>Calendar Management calendar trigger a job (A scheduled or on-request process that runs in the background) which will update item due dates so that they fall on open days and adjust to times of closing.  The job to update due dates runs once per day, so plan ahead.

Your calendar may include dates “inherited” from the institutional calendar (the Alma institution being Heard Libraries).  For example, we may choose to add Thanksgiving Day as a closed day to the institutional calendar.  The closing exception for Thanksgiving Day would be inherited by every Alma library’s calendar.

Three types of records can be created:

  1. Events: Events have no effect on due dates. Events only serve as Alma calendar reminders for staff.
  2. Standard opening hours: Your academic year opening or service hours for each day. A Standard opening hours record should be created for every day of the week you are open. All of your exceptions will be made in reference to your Standard opening hours.
  3. Exceptions: Exceptions made in reference to your entered Standard opening hours. Exceptions will be your most commonly created record

Here is an example of what Standard Opening Hours look like in Alma:

Creating Standard opening hours in Alma is straightforward. From Calendar Management, select Add Record, and choose Standard operating hours from the drop-down menu. Once you have added the week day and hours, click on the blue Add and Close button.

Exceptions are created in reference to Standard open hours. You will create exceptions for holidays and breaks, but also for summer breaks. When you add a record, select Exception from the drop-down menu.

Don’t forget to Apply Changes to the Calendar when you are satisfied with the records you’ve created! Also, select Save in the top right corner for good measure!


If you need to adjust your library hours, please try it out in Sandbox before applying it to production.   Here are few additional tips:  

  • Remember to "apply changes" after you adjusted hours for your library.
  • Install the "calendar widget" on your homepage to check and make sure your library hours are set correctly.   
  • When you are satisfied with the hours in Sandbox you can export the settings from Sandbox, then import into Production, so you don't need to do the same work twice.
  • Also remove no longer needed exceptions (such as 2018 exceptions) from your calendar to keep it short and clean.


What Is a Work Order?

A work order is an internal library request to route physical materials to a specific department for internal processing. The work order type indicates the type of library process to be performed on the item, such as binding or cataloging. A work order removes an item from circulation. 

To place a work order, look up an item by barcode or call number, and click on "Work Order:"

A work order places an item in process. The Process Types and Managing Departments will vary based on user roles and your Current Location (e.g., your Circulation Desk). If you have the item in hand, check the "Do not pick from shelf" box; otherwise, the item will show up on a Pick from Shelf List. Once you have made the appropriate selections, click on Submit.

When an in-process item is received by the appropriate Managing Department, it must be scanned in by a staff member designated as a Work Order Operator for that department. Alma treats all work order departments as if they are physically located in separate buildings.  When the work order is complete, it must be marked "Done," and scanned in to put the item back in transit to the home library's circulation desk.


To remove the item from transit, it must be scanned-in by the owning library.

The Scan In Items function is used when you need to record an in-house use:

Scan In Items also allows you to make  changes by using the Change Item Information tab. The options that you see will depend upon your roles and location, but include the following:

  • Create a temporary location for an item, with an expiration date.  When the temporary location expires, it will appear on your Pick from Shelf list, but will stay in the temporary location until you Scan In an Item.
  • Change the Call Number type or assign a new Call number (be sure that you know what you are doing).
  • Add the item to a course reserve reading list to place the item on reserve, and change the item policy while you are at it.
  • Check requests will generate additional columns in the item list, it can also generate a letter when a location or item type is changed.
  • The Restore Change type reverts any temporary changes to an item, including reserve status