Fulfillment Network: when a patron loses a book from another institution, allow for automated blocking of that patron at all institutions
So in other words, when a patron from institution A checks out a book from institution B and then Alma marks it is lost, it would be great if Alma could automatically place a consortial block on that patron so they are unable to check out books from any institution. We currently have this working as a custom integration using the Alma API, but it would be great if this were native functionality in Alma.
Randy Oldham commented
Semi-related is the ability to pay fines across partners in a consortium. For example, Patron from Institution A incurs a fine/charge for an item borrowed from Institution B (a member institution in the same FN). The fine is owned on the linked-account for that Patron at Institution B. If the Patron presents at Institution A wishing to pay their fine held at Institution B, while the staff at Institution A could click the NETWORK ACTIVITY tab on the patron account in Alma to see the amount owing, the staff member cannot actually reflect the fine payment owned by Institution B. So while Institution can SEE the fine amount, and physically accept payment, they cannot reconcile the charge within ALMA. They've have to manually contact Institution B and let them know that the fine was collected at Institution A and the payment should be reflected on their user account. Also important to note: Institution A would have extra cash/debit/credit in their cash drawer at the end of the night which would be unaccounted for.
Debbie Campbell commented
Yes, I agree, this functionality would be very valuable for consortia using Alma, especially Alma's AFN functionality.
Voyager (the system we are migrating from), had "Universal Policy Definitions" in which we could determine cumulative totals of delinquency a patron could assess across the consortium, before they were blocked from further circulation activity.
For example, we could set it so that a the patron could have no more than 3 lost items total from any/all of the other institutions in our consortium. If they reached the consortial aggregate threshold (whether that was three items lost at one institution, or one item lost at each of three institutions), they were blocked from further circulation activity in ALL of the other consortial member institutions, with the option for them to also be automatically blocked at their home institution as well.
With Alma's Consortial Block functionality currently only being one-directional-- a patron blocked at HOME with a network block is blocked at the other network member institutions, but not the reverse-- it will be significantly more difficult for our institutions to encourage and monitor appropriate patron behavior.
Michael Voss commented
This functionality should exist not only in the fulfillment network. This functionality should exist for normal fulfillment also.