Tech Blog

RoboReturns, a program to bulk return items in Alma

It sometimes happens that libraries need to return large numbers of items in bulk. Scanning each item one-by-one is always an option, but not practical for large numbers of returns.

Alma’s ability to do such a task using APIs is well documented, but this process involves scripting and is beyond the reach of those who don’t code.

Enter RoboReturns, a GUI-based application that takes a file of barcodes (XLSX, CSV, or tab-delimited TXT) and returns them one-by-one.

If there is an error, the item will be marked in red with any pertinent output from Alma. If the item needs to be routed to another department or patron, the item will be marked in yellow. If all is successful, it will say “Returned”.

An CSV output of the results can also be exported to use as a worksheet.

Technical Specifications

RoboReturns in a windows program that can be run on either 32 or 64-bit systems. It is also a portable app that can run locally on your desktop or else a usb flash drive.
RoboReturns also includes detailed documentation and can be downloaded from my github page here.

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