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Best Practices - Homerooms

Homerooms and Circulation

Using homerooms to facilitate the circulation process works well in an elementary school library situation; however, it may also be useful for secondary school libraries that have students brought to the library regularly by the language arts teachers.  There are two methods that use homerooms and you will need to consider whether you are a "mouse" person or a "scanner" person and the amount of speed that these two methods provide for you.  Obviously, these methods are for use when the student does not present a library card with barcode and you do not wish to use the "L" (locate a patron by the last name) command.

Using the Homeroom Subtab "Mouse" Method) 

  • This method mainly uses the mouse.

  • It is slower than the "scanner" method because you must switch between using the mouse and the scanner.

  • It works best when Alexandria is not run in the "full screen" mode so you have room on the screen for both Alexandria and the Homeroom Selection window if you want to detach the Homeroom subtab (or the Transaction Log subtab) so that you can see both the Transaction Log and the Homeroom pane.

To use the Homeroom Selection Window:

1.      Click on the Homeroom subtab of the Circulation tab.  If you have entered the teacher's name as the homeroom, this list will be alphabetical; if you have entered the room number, then the list will be numerically organized.  

2.      Click on the desired homeroom.

3.      Double click on the desired name or highlight the name and click on Select.  The patron will be made the current patron. 

4.      When you are ready to change patrons, double-click on the name of the next patron that you want to make the current patron.

To detach a subtab:

  1. Have the subtab you want to detach in focus.

  2. <Ctrl> click on the subtab.

  3. From the menu that appears, select Detach.
    Type Type HWD and press <enter>.

No additional maintenance is needed if a new student is added to a homeroom in order to have the student's name show in the list. 

NOTE:  If you want the organization on the Homeroom Selection window to be by grade or by day of the week that you see that class, put a designator before the homeroom name in the patron records such as 1 Jones (to sort by grade) or TH Jones (to sort by library day).

Using the Patron Homeroom Pages Method (Scanner Method

·       This method uses the scanner only.

·       It is faster than the "mouse" method because you are not switching between using the mouse and using the scanner.

·       Alexandria can be run in the full screen mode since there is no other window that needs to used at the same time.

Using this method requires a bit of preparation.  You will need to prepare homeroom pages that are really sheets of barcodes.  You will be printing these pages on a homeroom-by-homeroom basis in order to have the teacher's name or the room number show on each student's barcode thus giving you a visual check as to what homeroom page you have in front of you.

To print the homeroom pages:

  • Go to Tools on the menu bar and select Reports.

  • Click on the Patrons tab and, then, the Labels subtab.


    • Set up the report window as shown above entering the homeroom designation for the first homeroom you want to print in the Starting With and the Ending With fields.  Enter the teacher's name in all uppercase letters in the Custom Text field. Click on Print.

    • Put the printed pages in plastic page protectors in a notebook in the order that best suits your needs.

    To use the homeroom pages, simply open your notebook to the page for the homeroom you need, then, scan the barcode for the patron.  It's as simple as that!  If a new student is enrolled in a homeroom, just run the report again and substitute the new page for the old one. You can even Save the report so that you are able to run the report any time you want so without having to take time to set up the report again.

    "I've been pleased with Alexandria ever since we bought the program. Tech support has been great and I like the fact that I can call at all hours, even when working late and get a human to help me."
    —Vicki Reed
    San Diego County Office of Education
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