Q. How do I manage the calendar and open hours for my libraries?

Answer

For the most part, calendar management is done at the Library level. Each system administrator should be responsible for their library's open hours and any centers or affiliated libraries in Alma. The lead system administrator should maintain the semester events and may apply other exceptions if needed. 

The instructions below pertain to Los Rios Library calendar management. To learn more, view the Alma documentation

Open Hours and Exceptions

To manage a library's open hours, go into Configuration, select the library from the top drop-down menu, and select Fulfillment, Library Management, Opening Hours.  

Alma configuration menu with arrows to select library and opening hours

In this table there are: 

  • Standard opening hours: The usual dates/times that the library is open. 
  • Exceptions: Specific dates or date ranges that the library is closed or has a modified schedule. 
  • Events: Currently the events are only used for the End of Semester date that applies the due date for semester loans. 

Records with a checkmark as "inherited" are setup on the district level for all libraries. These can be edited by selecting Los Rios Community College District from the "Configuring" drop down. 

Calendar menu with arrow to inherited event and caption

Note: Events can only be edited within their "valid dates". (Meaning, you will get an error if you try to edit an event that has already past). 

Annual updates

Responsible: Each system administrator for their library(ies)

At least once per year, the library's system administrator should go in and set up the calendar events for the year including standard operating hours and holidays that the library is closed. This must be done for each library and center that the system administrator is responsible for. 

To add holidays or closed dates, add a record, include a description and the applicable dates. 

Calendar exception for Thanksgiving break

After adding exceptions or modifying hours, save, and run the apply calendar changes job. 

Semester updates

Responsible: Lead system administrator

Prior to the start of a new semester, the lead systems librarian should update the "End of Semester" event for the upcoming semester. This will ensure that any semester loan items receive the applicable due date. (Reminder: Patrons will also need a valid expiration date for semester loans to work correctly.)

Select Los Rios Community College District from the configuration dropdown. Select Fulfillment, Library Management, Open Hours. 

Configuration menu at the institution level

Use the more actions menu to Edit the event. Change the event date to the upcoming semester's last day. Do not add a time as this is determined by the library. (Note: avoid deleting and recreating the event since the TOU's that use end of semester are tied to this specific event title.)

Event edit screen in Alma Open Hours configuration

Save, and run the apply calendar changes job. 

Timing: It's helpful to update the end of semester event after the last day of the prior semester. This event should be updated no later than two weeks prior to the start of a new semester (for those libraries who lend to special programs early). 

Considerations when managing the calendars:

Other calendar exceptions may be added as needed. Here are some considerations: 

  • Calendar exceptions may be added to show a library as closed. This is useful to avoid fines accruing, but should be avoided if lending is happening. (Note: this was used for early pandemic closure exceptions). 
  • If performing bulk due date changes:
    • A library must show open in the calendar for a due date to fall on a specific date. If a library is closed, then the "closed library due date management" terms on the TOU will go in effect possibly pushing the due date forward or backward. 
    • If a bulk due date update fails, check to make sure that no closure exceptions in the calendar are interfering. 
  • Avoid adding closure exceptions too far in advance becuase of the due date considerations above. 
  • Even the "Open Hours" have valid dates. Check annually to make sure that these are in the future to avoid problems. 
  • Remember
    • The Library's open hours relate to lending (due dates, fines, etc.). 
    • Patrons will also need a valid expiration date for due dates to fall correctly. If trouble-shooting a due date issue, check the patron expiration, the calendar, and the TOU (using the Fulfillment Configuration Utility).
    • Events can only be edited within their "valid dates". (Meaning, you will get an error if you try to edit an event that has already past).

 

  • Last Updated May 04, 2021
  • Views 7
  • Answered By Emily Bond

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