A fulfillment network defines a relationship between two or more Alma institutions that agree to provide fulfillment services to each other's patrons. It lowers the library involvement for configuration, maintenance of supplier lists, and staff mediation of requests. The fulfillment network can be set up regardless of whether the fulfillment network partners work with a Network Zone.
Unlike the classic resource sharing model, in which a patron’s home library serves as an intermediary in providing access to resources it does not own, fulfillment networks allow for direct interaction between patrons of one library and another library in the fulfillment network. Fulfillment networks provide support for the following scenarios::
- Walk-in loans
- Direct requesting
- Return anywhere in the network
- Pick up anywhere in the network
- A network patron card in Primo
In a fulfillment network, the resource owning library is the patron’s service provider. The resource owning library directly manages all aspects of the loan cycle with the requesting patron, including loan management (overdue, lost, renew etc.) and fine/fee related issues. The patron directly requests the resource from the library that owns the resource. The patron may request that the resource be picked up at the patron's home institution, the resource owning library, or another library within the fulfillment network.
Primo configuration may be required if a single PDS installation is not shared between the member institutions that would like to allow direct requesting.
A fulfillment network has the following additional attributes:
- Limited patron information is shared between the institutions in the network.
- The inventory of each fulfillment network member institution is discoverable by patrons of all fulfillment network members.
Watch the Fulfillment Networks Resource Sharing video series (7 sessions).
For information on configuring a fulfillment network or Pick Up Anywhere/Return Anywhere, see Configuring Fulfillment Networks.
Viewing Network Activities
Activity across all linked institutions can be viewed from the Patron Services page. The Network Activity tab contains the loan, request, and fines and fees balance data for the linked accounts for view purposes only. It is visible only from the patron's home institution, if the institution is part of a fulfillment network, and the staff operator has the consortial services privilege as a part of the following roles: Circulation Desk Manager, Circulation Desk Operator, Circulation Desk Operator - Limited, User Manager, User Administrator. A filter allows the user to select transactions for a specific institution or all institutions that have a linked account for this user. All active loans and requests will automatically be displayed with no option to filter the view for this session only.
Patron Services Network Activity Tab
Watch the Tracking Patron Resource Sharing Activities video (2:00 mins).
Pick Up Anywhere Workflow
Creating a request within the fulfillment network, whether for pickup at a patron's home institution, the resource owning library, or another library within the fulfillment network is essentially the same process as a regular fulfillment process. The pages involved in creating and fulfilling the request stay the same, with just a variation in options offered in various drop-down boxes and check boxes. The process may be just between the patron's home institution and the resource owning institution, or the pickup of the requested resource may also take place at a third institution within the network. This is all handled within the standard workflow. For information on configuring Pickup Anywhere, see Configuring Pick Up Anywhere/Return Anywhere.
Requesting an Item for Pickup Anywhere in the Network
The scenario below describes the workflow where a patron from one institution in the fulfillment network requests an item belonging to another institution in the fulfillment network, to be picked up at yet a third institution in the fulfillment network. This workflow demonstrates the cross-institution request, loan and return action.
For more information about pickup anywhere in fulfillment networks, see the Enhancements to Fulfillment Network video (1:41 min).
In order to request a pickup from a different institution, the patron signs in to Primo, searches for a resource and selects from a list of institutions that have the resource available. The patron selects from the list of allowed pick-up institutions and submits the request.
Primo Request - Pickup Location
The patron's user information and resource request are copied to the library that owns the resource. Staff operators at that library see the requested pickup library in their task lists and pick slips.
Task List for Resource Owning Institution
Pick Slip for Resource Owning Institution
The item is scanned by the institution that owns the resource, the pick-up destination is shown and the item put into transit from the institution that owns the resource to the pick-up institution.
Scan In Item at Owning Institution
The item is received and scanned at the pick-up institution with the owning institution selected.
Scan in at Pickup Institution
The patron's user information is automatically retrieved by the pick-up institution and the patron is informed that their request is available for pick up. When loaning the item to the patron, the staff operator at the pick-up location circulation desk selects the owning library in the Patron Services page and checks out the item to the patron. The remainder of the loan life cycle is a standard process.
Loan at Pickup Institution
When the patron returns the resource to the pickup institution, the item is scanned as usual with the resource owning institution selected on the Manage Item Returns page. The Manage Item Returns interface indicates that the next step for the item is to transit back to its owning institution.
Manage Item Returns