Allow retention of original holdings record when the last item is moved to a different holdings record
As a user who is changing locations in item records, I would like the ability to retain the original holdings record when the last item gets moved to a different holdings record.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM TO BE ADDRESSED: When an item is moved from one holdings record ("holdings A") to a different holdings record ("holdings B"), AND the item being moved is the last one (leaving holdings A bereft of item records), there are two different ways that Alma treats holdings A:
If the item is moved by selecting from a list of items and clicking on the "Move" button, holdings A is retained.
If the item is moved by changing the permanent location field—either directly in the item record via the Metadata Editor, or by using the Change physical items job—then holdings A is deleted.
Another aspect of treatment 2 is the contents of holdings B. If the combination of call number, copy number, and new library/location already exist in a holdings record for the same bib, then that existing holdings record is "holdings B"; nothing is done to holdings B itself, except for attaching the items. But if a new holdings B needs to be created because that call number, copy number, and new library/location don't already exist, then that new record is an exact duplicate of the original holdings A.
This is a very serious problem, because in those cases where an exact duplicate of the holdings record is not created as part of the job that moves the items, holdings data is lost. That situation can be quite common in mass move projects, where work may be done in stages; or when there is a rolling retention policy (e.g., current volumes in one location, older volumes in another). There may be very important public and/or staff information in the holdings record, include retention policies, acquisition information, donor information processing instructions, etc. And for large runs of serials, there may be a massive amount of detailed holdings information in many separate 866 fields. Once a holdings record is deleted, it is gone forever.
SUGGESTED SOLUTION FOR THE PROBLEM: Allow for the retention of the original holdings record when the last item is moved to a different holdings record. This option could be chosen as one of the specifications in the Change physical items job. It may also be helpful to allow the Suppress from Discovery flag to be set during the job.