Tip of the Week

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- We've Moved -
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Visit Tip of the Week in our new Alexandria Support Center

Tip of the Week

Tip for: 04.23.18

Help!—Announcing the New Support Center

This is the last time Tip of the Week will be posted on the old Support Center.

For many years, the venerable Alexandria Wiki has served as a reliable source of documentation for all we offer at COMPanion. It’s carried out its mission well, but we've recently decided that it’s time to move on.

Drumroll, please…

Announcing the new v7 Alexandria Support Center, featuring improved navigation, comprehensive searching, dynamic content, and more. We’re still applying some polish here and there, but we couldn’t wait to unveil it for you. We’re continually updating content to make sure it contains exactly what you need.

Support Center.png

There are a few ways to open the Support Center from Alexandria. Click Librarian Support Center.png in the Librarian navigation bar (or command/control-0) to open the Support Center home page, or click Help.png in the top right corner of any module to open documentation for that area.

Note: The new Support Center will open from these links as of version 7.17.11.

Please update your bookmarks! The old wiki will remain online, but it’s no longer being updated.


Your life will change in oh so many ways….

Customer Support



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Tip of the Week Archives

Double-check—Inventory Exceptions

You’ve spent a long day doing inventory, and are ready to close out your sessions. Wait! Have you checked your Exceptions reports?

Get some help—Inventory Aides

Do you have any student aides helping you with inventory? Set their Security.

Color Alexandria—Crash Course in Browser Web Tools

Sometimes you are working with Circulation windows open for multiple sites, and you are having trouble keeping track of which is which...

From Me to You—Update Notices

We are excited to share what’s new, so there are a number of ways we let you know about updates.

Spring Cleaning—Authority Control

When your patrons go to look for items in the Researcher, they might search or filter by Medium or Genre. ...What do your lists of these tags look like, anyway? It might be time to do some spring cleaning!

Not Yet—Change Due Date by Homeroom

Sometimes a class can’t make it to the library to renew their books because of a field trip, an assembly, or so on. Can you renew all of their books at once? Certainly!

Return Your Items Before Graduating!—Send Email Report

One of the ways you can reach out to graduating students is by using the Send Email report in v7, or the Account Information - Email report in v6.

Put Your Logo in Researcher

Did you know you could use your school logo in the Researcher?

Print Your Library Cards with Alexandria

Did you know you could print library cards using an Alexandria report?

Switch Sites from Preferences

Sometimes you need to customize a Site preference for multiple sites. Can you switch between them?

Icons—Bookmarking Alexandria

If you like saving Alexandria bookmarks to your desktop for quick access, you probably want to change the icon!

Equal—The fast checkout shortcut

Do you know about the = shortcut? It’s probably the most useful command in Alexandria.

What do I have checked out?—Email Patron Details

“What do I have checked out?” If you hear that question a lot, you are probably familiar with Patron Details.

Copies In Processing?—Report!

How can you find In Processing copies later in order to process them?

May I Check This Out Just for Today?—Same Day Checkout

Sometimes, patrons need an item for a very short period of time or the item is one that you only want to check out for an hour or so.

Save for later—Reordering and Removing Holds

Patrons change their minds all the time, right? You may both change the order of a hold request and remove it.

Who owes what?—Charge and Fine Reports

If you use fines and charges in your library, you may want to see outstanding charges so you know whom you need to contact about getting them paid.

Could I have a little more?—Changing Due Dates

Sometimes the loan period isn’t enough time for your teachers. How can you go about quickly changing due dates for multiple teachers and multiple items?

Keep it straight—Title vs Copy Call Number

You just changed your Title Call Number, and noticed that the copy call numbers did not update. What’s going on?

Multiple fines? Now in one easy payment!

Darla owes 25¢ for one overdue book, 50¢ for another, and $1.25 for a third book from the week before. She comes in with two $1 bills to pay her fines. How do you tackle it?

Advanced Search & Boolean Logic

How does Boolean logic in Alexandria work?

Explore Icons—Gotta catch ‘em alls

We created hundreds of new Explore icons—and you have access to all of those icons to build your Explore Panes!

Tell them about it—Explore Messages

Do you have something to say to your patrons as they peruse the Explore Panes you have made? Turn one of your Explore buttons into a popup message.

Shortcut to Preferences

If you enjoy keyboard shortcuts, you will love to know there is one to open Preferences from Circulation.

What date format do I use?

There are a lot of places to enter dates in Alexandria. How should you enter those dates?

Removing Items from a List

You create lists to keep track of the books you want to read—here’s a quick tip for removing items from your list.

Relative Dates

If you want to find items coming due next week, and schedule this report, then a specific date range wouldn’t work so well. In that instance, you would use Relative Dates.

Custom Label Reports

Imagine a world where you could customize the information on your barcode labels… if that is easy to imagine, it’s because that’s the world we live in: Alexandria already lets you customize your labels!

Make Checking Items In/Out Easy for Volunteers

Several years ago, a librarian shared his method of making it easy for volunteers to check books in and out.

Tip of the Week Archives

Are you new to Tip of the Week, or looking for more Alexandria tips? Take a look at our Tip of the Week archives.

Help!—Support Center, Wiki, Video Directories

Finding yourself baffled as to how to perform a function in Alexandria, or how to use a particular feature? We have online resources for you.

Back Up That Data

How are you backing up your data?

The Unread—Finding unused books

It’s time to do some weeding—or some really good book-talks—and the best place to start is to find books that aren’t being used.

Card Expiration Dates

Do you want to let teachers check out items during the summer, but not patrons? How would you do that in Alexandria?

End-of-Year Procedures

We maintain an End-of-Year Procedures workflow for you!

Command Line Shortcuts—Advanced

Did you know some Command Line shortcuts can be paired with barcodes? This is especially useful if you don’t want to leave your current mode to perform an unrelated action.

Command Line Shortcuts

In Alexandria, you probably spend most of your time in the Command Line. Checking items out, renewing, placing holds, etc—this can all be done through the Command Line… and done faster with keyboard shortcuts.

New Researcher icons!

Introducing these Researcher icons for an older audience.

Last Inventory Date

You have a book missing from your library. How can you find it? The first step is to see when it was last inventoried.

Keep your data safe—Password Required!

How strong is the password you use to log in to Alexandria? You aren’t going to have any mischievous 7th-grader guessing it and wreaking havoc on your collection, are you? Let’s take a look at some good password tips.

Your Receipts Are Numbered!

A patron comes in with two payment receipts of 25¢ for the same overdue item... is this the same receipt twice, or did something go wrong? The best way to figure that out?—Receipt numbers.

Make it Easier to Find—Add Bibliographic Terms

Have you ever had the student who searches for “cup cake” instead of “cupcake”, or vice versa? ...there is a way you can deal with the variable-search-term problem.


If you don't want a hold to come in until later, there’s a simple solution: Suspend the hold for a few months.

Inbound—Pickup Location

Starting in 7.16.2, you and your patrons can specify a Pickup Location when placing a hold.

In-Stock vs On-Shelf—New holds procedures

Both In-Stock status and you, the librarian, are in for a treat—in 7.16.2 we’ve introduced On-Shelf holds, to share some of the burden.

“How do I see my...”—Patron Status

Everything went well the last time you processed an overdue fine. But I can see there are a few more ‘What if’ questions you are dying to ask.

Extra $$? Add Credits

What if Mark brought a $1 bill to pay the 50¢ fine and you don’t have change?

Ka-Ching—Financial Processing

Last week we looked at the different kinds of charges in Alexandria. Now I’ll take you step-by-step through what happens when a patron is charged a fine….

Fee, Fine, Foe, Um?—All About Charges

What are the differences between a charge, fee, and a fine—and how do you use them?

‘Shelving’ eBooks

Are your students more likely to browse your shelves than your catalog? If so, how can you get them interested in all those eBooks in your collection that don’t have a space on the shelves? Make them a space!

New Books Lists and the Bulletin Board

Have you thought about using a Bulletin Board to publish a list of the new books you have received?


Tip of the Week Date Archives

Tip of the Week Categories