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

Author’s Note:  Please be aware this workflow was devised around 2016.  The author retired in 2018, no longer has access to Alma, and posted this after-the-fact because of a request by another customer.  It is possible “old” workflows like this will no longer work due to changes in Alma.  Caveat emptor.

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 an Optimization Premium Service (Link:

(For a presentation on the Mines’ experience with the Optimization Premium 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

3 Replies to “Using Alma Work Order to Manage Search and ReAcquisition of Missing/Claimed Returned Items”

  1. Are the items in the Missing process type when you begin these work orders? When we try to place a work order on a missing item, we see the error message “No items available for the request due to policy”.

    Or have you used these work orders to entirely replace the Missing process?

  2. I am not Laura, but I think they must have entirely replaced the Missing process. An item can only have one Process Type at a time, so they can’t both be Missing and simultaneously in a work order (which is what the error message means).

  3. Hello. Thank you Lisa!

    I retired three years ago and no longer have access to Alma. It is very possible what you see here is obsolete, and I apologize. Perhaps I should delete it.

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