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    Requests in Alma

    This page describes requests in Alma including the different types of requests, the pages in Alma from which requests can be accessed, the request queue, resource sharing requests and request jobs. For the requests workflow starting from the different ways a request can enter into the Alma system through to scanning and final processing, see Resource Requests Workflow.
    For links to all the main fulfillment documentation pages see Fulfillment.
    A resource request (or just "request") is for the acquisition, manipulation, movement, or processing of inventory. Requests are entered into Alma before they are fulfilled: an active request is one that was entered into Alma and is at some stage of processing; a completed or expired request is no longer in process. An inactive request is one where no items are available for processing the request, although It is still in the queue.
    Both active and inactive rejected requests appear in reports, although inactive requests cannot be retrieved in the Alma UI. For more information, see Filtering Results Using the Active Request Flag.
    Requests can be entered by patrons using a fulfillment system, such as Primo. Requests can also be entered manually into Alma by librarians or generated internally by Alma. Many requests create a workflow process and/or a task in the Tasks list (see Tasks in the Tasks List).

    Request Types

    Alma handles many types of requests. Some request types described below may not be available at your institution, and additional ones (work orders) may be defined by your administrator. The following table describes all the types of requests that you may encounter in the course of handling fulfillment.
    Request Types
    Request Type Description
    Acquisition Technical Services A work order request to perform some kind of technical service, for example copy cataloging.
    Booking A patron request to reserve a resource (such as a room or a book that cannot be checked out) for a specific time period.
    Borrowing A resource sharing request placed by a local patron and fulfilled by another institution. Implemented as an ILL outgoing request.
    A work order request for digital copies of a physical or electronic resource. This is typically used to make a copy of a book chapter or an article for a patron or a group of students, and may require copyright clearance. The types of digitization requests are:
    • Electronic - A digitization request for an electronic resource.
    • Physical - A digitization request for a physical resource.
    • Library Physical - A digitization request for a reading list citation associated with a physical item. The request is initiated by library staff. The librarian is asked to fill out copyright clearance information.
    • Patron - A digitization request made on behalf of a patron. The patron may have been asked to sign a copyright declaration.
    • Staff - A digitization request (unrelated to a reading list citation) that is initiated by library staff. The librarian is asked to fill out copyright clearance information.
    General Hold A patron request to reserve a resource for pickup at a certain location (for bibliographic records with holdings but no items). 
    Lending A resource sharing request placed by another institution’s patron and fulfilled by the local institution. Implemented as an ILL incoming request.
    Library Any internal request, typically generated by another request. For example, a borrowing request might generate a move request, which is a type of library request.
    Purchase A request to acquire a physical title or a license to an electronic title. See Purchase Requests.
    Resource A generic term for any fulfillment or resource sharing request. This may be for a item that can be checked out, like a book, a technical services request to bind an item, or a request to reserve a room or a piece of equipment.
    Resource Sharing A request by a patron in one institution fulfilled by another institution, as opposed to a fulfillment request.
    Restore A move request to return an item in a temporary location to its permanent location.
    Ship A request to ship an item, either physically or digitally (by email).
    Transit for Reshelving A restore request for an item that was returned after a lend request.
    Work Order
    A request to perform an action on a physical item, such as digitize or bind (fix) the item. A work order sends an item to the work order department that can handle it, which then returns it to its location when it is done.
    Work orders are defined on the Work Order Types page. A work order can go through several stages; in each stage, the work order has a status, called a process type. For example, a binding request can have the process types Sent to Bindery, Binding Prep, In Process, and so forth. Process types are defined on the Work Order Type Statuses page; see Configuring Work Order Type Statuses. Also see Configuring Request Task Names.

    Booking Requests

    Booking items in Alma reserves resources for a patron that are to be used during a specified time frame. For example, if a researcher has located important resources in a library's catalog and can be at the library only during a specific time, the researcher can create a booking request to reserve those resources for that time. This provides exclusive rights to the materials reserved while the researcher is physically at the library, thereby making maximum use of his or her limited time frame.
    Booking resources can also be used for high-demand items with a limited number of copies. For example, resources moved to a course-reserved area can be configured to be requestable using booking requests, usable for a set time period before the item must be returned. For more information, see Booking.
    For more information about Booking, see Booking Requests in the Alma Essentials Training Kit.

    Pages for Managing Requests

    You can search for many types of requests using the persistent search box that appears at the top of every page; see Searching in Alma.
    For more information, see Move and Create Requests. (3:17 min)
    Alma includes several pages that display or enable you to work on requests:, depending on your user role and your department. To change your department, see Library/Desk Selector in The Persistent Menu. Many of the pages below can also be reached by selecting a task in the Task List; see Tasks in the Tasks List.
    Alma Pages for Managing Requests
    Page Path Request Types Roles Description More Information
    Active Hold Shelf Items Fulfillment > Resource Requests > Active Hold Shelf Items Physical Item Requests Operator
    After an item that was requested by a patron is picked up from the stacks, it is sent to the hold shelf at the circulation desk. From the moment the item arrives at the hold shelf until the request is removed, it is considered to be on the active hold shelf of the circulation desk.
    On this page, you can:
    • Change the order of multiple requests for the same item using a queue
    • Cancel the request
    • Extend the request to a later time or date
    • Mark the item as missing
    Managing Active Hold Shelf Items
    Approval Requests List Fulfillment > Resource Requests > Approve Digitization Requests Digitization
    Fulfillment Services Operator
    Fulfillment Services Manager
    You must approve or reject digitization when digitization rules determine that approval is required or when a copyright approval task is specifically requested, such as for a citation.
    On this page, you can:
    • Add copyright clearance information
    • Approve the request
    • Reject the request
    • Extend the request to a later time or date

    It is possible to have open approval tasks linked to completed and inactive requests.

    Approving/Rejecting a Request for Digitization
    Create Request Several ways. For example: search the repository and select Request beneath a physical item or title in the results.
    Physical Item
    Fulfillment Services Operator
    Fulfillment Services Manager

    Circulation Desk Operator/Manager

    Requests Operator 

    You can create a request on an item, typically on behalf of a patron or a staff member.
    On this page, you can:
    • Create a request
    Expired Hold Shelf Items Fulfillment > Resource Requests > Expired Hold Shelf Items Physical Item Requests Operator
    After an item that was requested by a patron is picked up from the stacks, it is sent to the hold shelf at the circulation desk. When an item’s expiration date is reached, the item is listed as expired. If it is not collected by a specified time, it should be removed from the hold shelf and returned to its permanent location.
    On this page, you can:
    • Extend the request to a later time or date
    • Mark the item for reshelving
    • Mark the item to send to the circulation desk
    • Mark the item to send to another library
    • Activate the next request waiting for this item in the queue
    Managing Expired Hold Shelf Items
    In Process Items
    Fulfillment > Resource Requests > Manage In Process Items
    Acquisitions > Post-Receiving Processing > Receiving Department Items
    Acquisition Technical Services
    Physical Item
    Receiving Operator
    Receiving Operator Limited
    Work Order Operator (digitization)
    After you receive physical material, it may be necessary to perform work on the material before it can be made available to the library. In addition, a work order request may require you to perform work on material before other requests can be made on it. You process new material or work orders on this page.
    This page appears differently in a digitization department and in any other department (such as an acquisitions technical services department).
    In a digitization department, on this page, you can:
    • Cancel the request
    • Indicate that the request will be fulfilled using an electronic item rather than a physical item, or vice versa
    • Attach the digitized item to the request
    • Deliver the item to the requester(s) by email
    • Save the digitized item
    In any other department, on this page, you can:
    • Indicate that processing has moved to a new stage or is complete
    • Edit a physical item's information
    • Extend the request to a later time or date
    • Print a slip containing information about the item
    • Write the item's information to RFID
    • Un-receive the item (in a receiving department)
    Post-Receiving Processing
    Pick Up Requested Resources Fulfillment > Resource Requests > Pick From Shelf Physical Item Requests Operator
    Physical items are picked up from a shelf in the stacks (the general shelves of the library). If requested by a patron, the item is transferred to the hold shelf.
    On this page, you can:
    • Print a call slip for the item before going to look for the item
    • Cancel the request or have it picked up by another location
    • Extend the request to a later time or date
    • Mark the item as missing
    • Convert the request to a resource sharing borrowing request
    Pickup at Shelf
    Resource Request Monitoring Fulfillment > Resource Requests > Monitor Requests & Item Processes
    This page also appears when you search from the persistent search box using Request as the search type. See Searching in Alma.
    General Hold
    Physical Item
    Transit for Reshelving
    Fulfillment Services Operator
    Fulfillment Services Manager
    Requests Operator
    Most workflow requests appear on this general information page.
    On this page, you can:
    • View the history of the request
    • Cancel the request
    • Extend the request to a later time or date
    • Mark the item as missing
    • Print a call slip for the item before going to look for the item
    • Convert the request to a resource sharing borrowing request
    Resource Request Monitoring
    Resource Sharing Borrowing Requests Fulfillment > Resource Requests > Borrowing Requests Borrowing
    Fulfillment Services Operator
    Fulfillment Services Manager
    Patrons can locate resources at other institutions and ask that they be delivered to the local institution. This creates a borrowing request at the local institution and a lending request at the partner institution.
    For physical items, the item is received by the local institution, picked up and returned by the patron, and (typically) returned to the partner institution. Electronic items can be delivered digitally or physically from the partner institution.
    On this page, you can:
    • Add a new borrow request
    • View, edit, copy, cancel, or reject a request
    • Ask the patron for more information
    • Edit the physical item's information
    • Recalculate the rota (see Resource Sharing Partners and ROTAs)
    • Send the request to the partner institution
    • Mark a request as recalled by the partner institution, received, returned by the patron, or completed (remove the request)
    • Renew a request or request a renewal of a request
    Resource Sharing Borrowing Requests
    Resource Sharing Lending Requests Task List Fulfillment > Resource Sharing > Lending Requests Lending
    Fulfillment Services Operator
    Fulfillment Services Manager
    Patrons at other institutions can locate resources at your institution and ask that they be delivered to the other (partner) institution. This creates a borrowing request at the partner institution and a lending request at your institution.
    For physical items, the item is picked up at the stacks and sent to the partner institution and then received back from the partner institution and (typically) returned to the stacks. Electronic items can be sent digitally or physically.
    On this page, you can:
    • Add a new lend request
    • View, edit, copy, cancel, or reject a request
    • Locate the item and print a slip for it
    • Fulfill the request, physically or digitally
    • Extend the due date for the request
    • Communicate with the borrowing institution
    Resource Sharing Lending Requests

    The Request Queue

    When multiple requests are placed on the same item, the requests are queued. The list of requests can be viewed on the Request Queue page (Fulfillment > Resource Requests > Monitor Requests & Item Processes; select the Place in Queue value in one of the items).
    The summary box presents the title, current location, call number, and maximum requests that can be active for the item (which is generally equal to the number of copies of the book).
    The following information and options appear for each request:
    • Request Type
    • Destination - The location where the item is expected as a result of this request
    • Current Activity - The current workflow step
    • Priority - The request priority. See Request Priority.
    • Barcode
    • Material Type
    • Request Date - For completed requests, the request date will show the date that the request was completed or canceled. 
    • Interested Until - An expiration date for this request
    • Requester
    • Description
    • Requester Group - The user group of the requester
    • Activate - Move this request to the top of the queue. This option appears only if an item is not on loan. Selecting this option overrides the priority of the other requests in the queue and will move the request to the top of the queue and make it active (see Request Priority below). This option is not available if the item is in transit.
    • Edit - Edit the request information. This option also enables changing the request's priority.
    For title requests, only requests for the preferred title appear in the request queue.

    Request Priority

    The request priority for each item in the queue determines which request in the queue is active. By default, library requests, such as move requests and work-order requests, take priority over patron requests, and patron requests are fulfilled in the order in which they were created. The priority setting impacts requests only before their workflow processing has started; once their processing has begun, it is not interrupted even if higher-priority requests are added.
    The default handling of request prioritization can be modified by editing the Request Priority fulfillment policy, which can change priorities for a group. For information on this policy, see Configuring Fulfillment Policies.

    Changing the Priorities of Individual Requests

    To change the priorities of individual requests, you must have one of the following roles, and the Prioritize Requests Privilege must be activated for that role.


    • Requests operator
    • Fulfillment services operator
    • Fulfillment services manager
    • Circulation desk manager
    • Circulation desk operator
    • Circulation desk operator - limited


    If the Prioritize Requests Privilege is not activated for a role, as required, contact Ex Libris support to activate it.

    The request queue for a specific resource can also be modified, by increasing or decreasing the priorities of individual requests in the queue. This can be done by editing the Manual Priority field of the request. Manually set priorities override those that are set automatically by the Request Priority fulfillment policy and by the terms of use. The type of request (Patron Physical Item Request, Work Order, etc.) and the level of the request (title, item, etc.) do not limit the manual setting of priorities. If two requests have the same priority, the one created earlier is given precedence. 
    • If you do not have the required privileges, the Manual Priority field still appears for each request, but it is disabled, and the priorities are set according to the Request Priority fulfillment policy in the Terms of Use (TOU), which define policies for patrons (see Physical Fulfillment).
    • Information about who and when the prioritization of requests in a queue was modified, either by selecting Activate for a request or by manually changing its priority, is not recorded in Alma.
    The following priority values can be selected for the Manual Priority field:
    • First (priority level 1)
    • Prioritize (priority level 2)
    • Highest (priority level 3)
    • High (priority level 4)
    • Medium (priority level 5)
    • Low (priority level 6)
    • Lowest (priority level 7)
    • Last (priority level 8)

    The values are arranged in order of priority from highest to lowest, i.e., First is the highest priority and Last is the lowest. For example, if there is an existing request with the priority of Prioritize, and another request's priority is changed to First, then the request with priority First will take precedence. (These values are not exactly the same as those used in the TOUs - see Request Priority under Adding Fulfillment Policies.) Note that using the Activate action for a request will always result in that request moving to the top of the queue and becoming active, regardless of the request priorities currently set for the other requests in the queue. 

    Watch the Change Order of a Title's Request Queue video (1:20 minutes).

    Resource Sharing Partners and Rotas

    A partner is an institution, other than yours, that is willing to fulfill a resource sharing request or that may ask you to fulfill a resource sharing request. A rota is a list of partners that are queried to see if they can fulfill a particular resource sharing borrowing request. A rota can be ordered, where the partners are queried in a specific order, or random. You can have multiple rotas, each defined by a rota template.
    When you create a borrowing request, you can manually assign one or more partners to the request, either directly and/or using one or more rotas. A rota is also assigned automatically if it matches a rota assignment rule.
    To configure partners, see Resource Sharing Partners. To configure rota templates, see Configuring Rota Templates. To configure rota assignment rules, see Configuring Rota Assignment Rules.

    Resource Sharing Requests with Multiple Items

    Resource sharing requests may be fulfilled by one or more items. When multiple items have been shipped for a request, multiple line items will be displayed in the following places:
    Additionally, the Resource Sharing Task List indicates the existence of multiple items with a Multiple Barcodes link (see also Receiving or Shipping Multiple Items for a Single Request).
    In contrast, the Primo My Account request list shows only one line item per request. This is because Primo displays only the resource sharing request, regardless of how many items shipped to fulfill the request, while Alma displays all the items to the operator that are on shelf or in transit.

    Request Jobs

    Alma provides several jobs that can be used to manage requests in bulk. Manual jobs can be used to create or delete requests on physical items or titles. See the relevant page or entry to see details and configuration information about scheduled jobs.