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    Booking Workflow

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    A booking request reserves an item for a specific time period. This can be helpful for managing the usage of in-demand items. Booking requests can also be used to reserve study rooms, equipment, and other resources. For more information, see Booking Requests.  
    The workflow outlines the configuration tasks necessary to implement booking requests, as well as the procedure for booking items in Alma.
    Booking Workflow
    The following is a detailed description of the steps within this workflow (with the numbers corresponding to the numbers in the diagram):
    1. Invoke the relevant Booking configuration settings, as follows:
      1. Policies – Create booking policies to enable parameters for booking requests (see Configuring Fulfillment Policies).
      2. Terms of Use – Create booking terms of use to invoke the configured booking policies (see Configuring Terms of Use).
      3. Rules – Create rules that indicate which booking terms of use are to be applied for the specified fulfillment unit locations (see Editing a Fulfillment Unit).
    2. Create a booking request using one of the following methods:
      1. Repository Search – The booking request is performed by the Fulfillment Services Operator on behalf of a patron.
      2. Primo – The booking request is created by the patron.
      The following booking configuration settings can be set:
      • Booking release time – Indicates the amount of time after the booking request takes effect that the institution cancels the request if the resource has not been collected.
      • Is item bookable – Indicates whether booking is allowed for the specified item.
      • Maximum allowed booking length – Indicates the maximum permitted duration of the booking request.
      • Preview period – Indicates the amount of time prior to the booking period that the requester can borrow the item and fulfill the booking request. During this period, the booking request is considered active, and an item cannot be borrowed by another patron during a configured preview period. Similarly, a patron who borrows an item reserved for booking must return it by the configured preview period.

        Even if no preview period is configured, if the requester borrows the item (which he/she has reserved for booking) as a regular loan which is to be due during the booking period, the requester is allowed to keep the item until the end of the booking period.

        Items for which the preview location is different than the owning library should extend their preview period to include both the preview time and the transit time between libraries.

      • Pickup locations – Indicates from where the item can be picked up.
      • Future limit – Indicates how far in advance an item can be reserved through a booking request.
      • Back to back booking – Indicates the minimum amount of time required between consecutive bookings (booking requests for the same resource & requester).
      For details on configuring booking policies, see Configuring Item Policies.
    3. Alma verifies the availability of the item, as follows:
      1. If the item is on loan, it is unavailable until the item’s due date is reached.
      2. If the item is on the hold shelf, it is unavailable until the hold shelf period is over and the item’s due date is reached.
        If the item is being processed by a work order, it is unavailable before the work order’s end date.
        If the item is neither on loan nor on the hold shelf or processed by a work order, it is available and the booking request can be processed and completed.
    4. The booking request is processed and submitted – see step 3 through step 11 in Creating Booking Requests.
    5. The submitted booking request enters the standard request workflow for processing at the shelf. This includes steps for picking up booked items from the shelf and placing them on the hold shelf. If a preview period has been defined in the booking request's terms of use, the workflow process begins from the preview time and is available on the pick from shelf list at that time. Otherwise it begins with the booking time. The booking request is considered active at the point that its workflow process begins. At that point the request will show up in the relevant Pick From Shelf task list if the resource is available, or be activated when the item is scanned in or returned if the resource was not previously available.Requests are considered expired when their booking request end time arrives.
    Booking requests participate in the standard request workflows and can be seen in the Pick from Shelf and Hold Shelf task lists. It is not possible to update the expiration of booking requests; the expiration is the booking end time. A booking request may be placed for pickup at another location if the booking terms of use allows that.
    Items with running processes cannot be booked during the duration of the process’ running time. For example, an item that is on loan can be booked only after its due date, and an item that is on the hold shelf can be booked only after its hold shelf period is over and its loan due date has passed. Items with running processes that do not have an expected end time cannot be booked. Additionally, items that are reserved for booking cannot be placed on loan or on the hold shelf.
    A booking request has higher priority than a hold request. If a hold request cannot be completed considering the hold shelf period and the loan period, it will not be activated until after the booking request is completed.
    Alma prevents a hold request from activating (entering the Pickup from Shelf list) if there is a booking within the hold shelf period + loan period.
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