How does auto-renewal work?


Locations in our libraries that allow items to be renewed also provide auto-renewals. Unless there is something that would prevent renewal, loans will be renewed automatically.

So, how does it work?

Three days before the due date, Alma runs a job. If the item is ok to be renewed, it is renewed automatically. If it isn't, the user receives a courtesy notice (current subject line: "Your Library Materials are Due Soon")

This means that if the user has received a courtesy notice, the loan will not be automatically renewed.

Why would a loan not be renewed automatically? Here are some reasons:

  • Another user has requested the item. The item needs to be returned so that it can be loaned to another user.
  • The user has a block on their account. Blocks are placed when loans go overdue by a certain period, and are removed when the user returns their overdue items. Users should resolve these issues by returning items or paying a replacement fee. (Blocks may be overridden by circulation staff for particular situations.)
  • The renewal would take place after the user's account expiration date. Accounts of students, adjunct faculty and temporary staff expire at the end of the term. In appropriate circumstances, staff can implement a workaround to extend the due date.
  • The item has hit its maximum renewal date. This might happen if an item was checked out in a previous semester.

Currently, users do not receive an email notification that their loan was automatically renewed. So if a user wants to make sure their renewal has taken place, they need to go to their library account. If they have a block on their account, they will see it there.

It is possible that a situation was in place when Alma tried to automatically renew the loan that is no longer active. For instance, perhaps someone else had put in a request for the book the user currently has, but has now canceled the request. Or perhaps the user had a block when the job ran, but then returned their overdue items and the block has been removed. In such cases the user would be able to manually renew the item from their library account.

Most reserve locations do not allow renewals. The longer-term reserve locations, which allow requests, also allow renewals. Note that these things go together. You wouldn't allow renewals on items that couldn't be requested, because if you did, the item would no longer be available to anyone other than the person it was originally loaned to. (This is why we generally also don't allow people to immediately check out non-requestable items that they have just returned.)

The best way to resolve issues that are not clear is for the user to contact their library's circulation desk.

  • Last Updated Feb 01, 2023
  • Views 24
  • Answered By Jeff Karlsen

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