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A Very Basic Introduction to Alma
Fulfillment Units, Rules, Policies and
Terms of Use
ELUNA 2014
May 1, 2014
Doris Munson
Eastern Washington University
Alma Advanced Policies are used in
Terms of Use, which are used in
Fulfillment Unit Rules, which are in
Fulfillment Units
How Alma TOUs, Advanced Policies, and Item
Policies relate to Alma Fulfillment Unit Rules
Fulfillment Configuration Menu*
*You’ll get access to this menu
after Certification Training
Advanced Policies
• There are Advanced Policies for Due Dates,
Overdue Fines, Lost Item Replacement Fees,
Grace Periods, Pickup Locations, etc.
• An Advanced Policy can be used in multiple
• Create an Advanced Policy for every variation
• Example: different fines for different types
of items
• Helps standardize what is used because they
become drop down menu choices in TOUs
If you edit a policy, the change shows
up immediately in any TOUs where the
policy is used
The change is also reflected
immediately in any Fulfillment Unit Rule
that uses a TOU with the changed policy
Select Advanced Policies from Fulfillment
Configuration menu
• Policy Type drop down to
filter for different Advanced
• Good idea to select the policy
type you want to work with
Example: Add an Overdue Fine Policy
• Give the policy a name
• Policy description is optional
• Value Type = Other
• Value is in Dollars
• Unit of Measurement – what
days/hours to calculate the fine
The new policy has been added to the list
Next, Create Terms of Use
Terms of Use (TOU)
• Terms of Use (TOU) do not do anything by
themselves – you can have a TOU that is not
used anywhere
• Terms of Use are applied in Fulfillment Unit
• This presentation focuses on Loan TOUs, with
some mention of Requesting TOUs
• There are also TOUs for Booking, User
Registration, Lending Resource Sharing, and
Borrowing Resource Sharing
Once a TOU is created, you can
Edit, View, or Delete it
If you edit a TOU, the changes show up
immediately in the Fulfillment Unit Rules
where the TOU is used
The drop down menus display the Advanced
Policies available. The “Test 2.00 day”
Overdue Fine Policy created earlier is listed.
Creating a Loan Terms of Use
Select the type of TOU you want to create
Select what policy to use from the drop down
menus for each line, then Next and Save
You’ll probably need to create at least two
Request TOUs –
Requestable and Non-requestable
Example of a Request TOU that allows
Example of a Request TOU that does not
allow requesting
Item Policy
Item Policies
• Millennium equivalent is Item Type
• Unlike Millennium, the item policy is
optional in the Alma item record
• Item policies can be used in Fulfillment Unit
Rules but are not required
• Decide if the item policy is really necessary
in order to create the Fulfillment Rule
• At EWU, Location is preferred in the
Location Unit Rule
• Item policy is used for exceptions
Item Policies – Warning!
Circulation and Cataloging need to agree
on how and when item policies will be
Don’t assume that Cataloging will decide
to put an item policy in every item record
example: when receiving serials, you have to
close the record and reopen it to add an item
policy, extra work for cataloging staff
A Quick Overview of Locations
• Subdivisions within and defined for libraries
• Places where physical library materials,
collections or distinct ‘areas’ of material reside
• Linked to circulation desks and fulfillment
Fulfillment Units
Where Locations, TOUs, Item Policies, and
Patron Types come together
Fulfillment Units
• A Fulfillment Unit can have one or many
• A location can be in only one Fulfillment Unit
• Fulfillment Units group locations by how
they circulate
• Do not mix library use only / non-circulating
locations with circulating locations
• Primo display issues if you mix the two
• There are times you have to – EWU Riverpoint
Library Periodicals is an example
The Actions Button allows you to edit a
Fulfillment Unit
Fulfillment Unit Details is where you can change
the Name and set the On Shelf Request Policy
Fulfillment Unit Locations tab
• You can move locations from one unit to another
(Attach existing location button)
• Attach New Location button to create a location
• Attach the location to the correct Circ Desks
Fulfillment Unit Rules tab – where you tell
how Alma how items in the Fulfillment Unit
locations can be requested, circulated, or booked
Fulfillment Unit Rules
• Are read from top to bottom
• Put most specific at the top, most general
at the bottom
• Each Fulfillment Unit can have different
Default loan and request rules
• Do not put circulating items in a library
use only Fulfillment Unit or you will have
display problems
Fulfillment Unit Rules, cont.
• Input parameters tell Alma what to look at to
see if the rule applies
• can be any combination of user group, item
policy, location, material type, process type,
or job category
• You do not have to add an input parameter
• Output parameter is a Terms of Use
• Fulfillment Unit Rules only apply to locations
in that Fulfillment Unit
To Add a Fulfillment Unit Rule
Ex: Library Use Only items in the main
1. Select Rule Type
2. Click Add Rule Button
Give the rule a Name
Description is optional
Select which Input Parameters you want to use
Things to know about Input Parameters
• The InList operator lets you choose multiple
options from the Value drop down list
• Use the <Ctrl> button to select non-adjacent
• Click Add Parameter button after selecting values
• You can use any combination of Input Parameters
• Multiple Input Parameters use the “AND”
• All must be true for the rule to apply
In this case, we added
Item Policy = Library Use Only
After entering the input parameters,
select which TOU (Output Parameter)
to apply to the rule
The Library Use Only TOU was selected
Do NOT click Add Terms of Use button!
It will prompt you to create a new TOU
Click on TOU Details button to see if you’ve chosen
the correct TOU
Click Save to finish creating the new rule
The new rule was moved to the top of the list
so it will be applied first
Loan Rules for Equipment at EWU
All use an Item Policy as an Input Parameter
Request Rule for Equipment at EWU
EWU has one Fulfillment Unit that mixes
library use only and circulating material
• Riverpoint campus circulates the current
periodical issues but not the bound issues
• JFK does not circulate any periodicals
Guest login Display in Primo for a Noncirculating JFK Periodical
Guest login Display in Primo for a Non-circulating
Riverpoint Library Bound Periodical
If the library mixes non-circulating with circulating
materials, one way to get around the Primo display
issue is to require patrons to login right away
Some Alliance libraries that require a login to
Some Alliance libraries default to the guest account
and only require a login for holds require patrons
to login when they want to view their records or
use a service.
After you get access to Fulfillment
 Decide how you want to use item
 Look at your Fulfillment Units
• Create Fulfillment Units as necessary
• Create or Edit Fulfillment Unit Rules
as needed
• Create TOUs and Advanced Policies as
Troubleshooting Fulfillment Unit Rules
• Is the location in the correct Fulfillment Unit?
• Check the Input Parameters
• If using item policies, does the item have the
correct item policy? (Migration issues)
• Is the item getting caught by an earlier rule’s
input parameters?
• Is the rule using the correct TOU?
• Is the TOU set up correctly?
• Is the rule specific and before more general rules?
• Why do you want to do it? Was it originally a work
Doris Munson
Eastern Washington University
[email protected]

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