Thursday, January 23, 2014

Alma and ILLiad some Partial Integration...

Decided we wanted to try and streamline the ILLiad item creation as much as we could until their is actual NCIP messages from ILLiad to the ExLibris' Alma system.

When we first got Alma we were creating Resource Sharing Borrowing Requests by hand, and then receiving them at the Circulation Desk. Okay, although our volume is pretty low you still had to key in some of the information.

In a conversation with Jeremy McWilliams at Lewis & Clark College library he mentioned they were working on trying to do something with creating the their temp ILL items at a point in the ILLiad processing where you can generate an excel spreadsheet of incoming items.

That got me to thinking, if I could read through that Excel spreadsheet and create MARC records that might to the trick.

So are workflow now is basically this:

  1. Receive/check items in within ILLiad.
  2. Click on the ILLiad menu where it shows Borrowing items which are Awaiting post receipt processing.
  3. Export the sheet and save it to a shared drive with a file name of loans.xsl.
  4. We the run a web php script, that uses pear MARC.php and PHPExcel to read through the excel file, as it reads each line it builds a MARC record, so when done you have a file of MARC records:

foreach ($sheetData as $row) {

   $marc = new File_MARC_Record();
   $count = $count + 1;
   $barcode = $row['A'];
   $marc->appendField(new File_MARC_Data_Field('900', array(
        new File_MARC_Subfield('a', $barcode),
    ), null, null

   $author = $row['D'];
   $marc->appendField(new File_MARC_Data_Field('100', array(
        new File_MARC_Subfield('a', $author),
    ), null, null

   $title = $row['E'];
   $marc->appendField(new File_MARC_Data_Field('245', array(
        new File_MARC_Subfield('a', $title),
    ), null, null

   $policy = 'ILL';
   $marc->appendField(new File_MARC_Data_Field('901', array(
        new File_MARC_Subfield('a', $policy),
    ), null, null

  5. Once we have the file of MARC records we can run an import of the records into ALMA and the items are set to checkout to the patrons with the correct item policy.

  6. We then check them out to the patrons with the correct due date. 

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