Waitlist functionality for short-term loans
It would be helpful to have a waitlist functionality for short-term loans (i.e. for reserve items). This would allow patrons to put their name on a list to be next in line once a short-term loan item has been returned. Alma would send an email/text to the patron when the item is returned telling the patron they have a specific window of time (e.g. 5 minutes, configurable by the institution) to check out the item. During that window of time no other patrons can check it out. After the window of time has expired the next person on the waitlist receives an email/text from Alma saying they can now check out the item.
For the circulation desk operator it would be helpful to have a waitlist page in Alma that displays which items are currently on the waitlist, how much time is left in each one before the window of time expires. This will help operators to know at a glance where all the waitlisted items are in the waitlist process. This waitlist system is different from a booking request because the waitlist does not require a patron to select the date and time of when they want an item. Instead, it is simply a list of names of patrons who want to be next in line when an item arrives. The waitlist functionality would only be available when an item is checked out; a patron can't put their name on the waitlist if the item is on the shelf.
Ideally the waitlist function could be done by both staff and patrons, but this should be up to the Alma institution. The institution can decide whether to turn waitlist function on at all. If they turn it on, it will at a minimum be administered by staff. Additionally, they can decide to turn on a patron-facing side that allows patrons to add their names to the waitlist. Ex Libris has also developed an embargo period on loans, which means items can't be checked out to the same patron within a specified window of time. This is very helpful, but it is not the same thing as a waitlist functionality. We need a system that will let patrons get in line for a loan.