Tech Blog

Using Alma Work Order to Manage Search and ReAcquisition of Missing/Claimed Returned Items

At the Colorado School of Mines we require three searches of missing/claimed returned items before sending them to acquisitions for consideration to be replaced.

We defined a new work order of “Search” with statuses of “First,” “Second,” “Third,” and “Reacquire” to track each search (exact status names are not significant). Having the searches grouped like this allows staff to track the searches in Alma. After a search, staff work from the “items in department” to select all items in each status and increment them as follows:

1) Select all items with a status of “Third” and update the status to “Reacquire”

2) Select all “Second” items and update to “Third”

3) Select all “First” items and update to “Second”

Note that the order is important to roll over items properly through each subsequent status and increment them properly.

When items are flagged for reacquisition, they can have an acquisitions technical services work order queued on them and then the Search work order completed.

To implement this, set up a new work order of “Search” with the appropriate first, second, third and reacquire Search Statuses.

Optionally an additional status can be set up in the acquisitions technical services work order for “reacquire” (or “missing” or whatever will prompt evaluation for acquisition. Doing that is beyond the scope of this blog post.

We set up scheduled Analytics reports for staff to use in the Search and Reacquire steps. Screenshot examples of those reports are provided below.

This was fairly simple to set up and implement.  Training of staff and discussions as to the best approaches to handling of items and handing off items for acquisitions will need to take place.

The following are some screenshots that hopefully will be helpful.  In most browsers you should be able to right-click on the image to see it in its full-size.

Please note:  This workflow was developed with the assistance of the Alma Expert Optimization Service (See: There may be other workflows that you could develop and implement which would work better for your Library.  This one worked for us.

Also note: I had problems creating this blog post.  The software is not easy to use.  The captions for each of the following screenshots are below the image.  I had some issues formatting the spacing.

Configuration of Work Order of “Search”


Search Work Order and Statuses


Example: Request/Process Type of “Search”


Example: Workflow Status First Step Search


Example: Workflow Status Second Step Search


Example: Workflow Status Third Step Search


Example: Workflow Status Acquire Step Search


Example: Monthly Analytics Report Sent to Acquisitions Staff


Example: Monthly Acquire Spreadsheet from Analytics


Example: Weekly Search Analytics Report Sent to Circulation


Example: Weekly Analytics Spreadsheet for Circulation


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