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Guided Setup

In progress

This page is very much in draft, thank you 🙂

Did you just get started with Alexandria? There are some important steps to take to set up your system so that it works best for you and your library.

We highly recommend getting a personalized session with one of our trainers.

You’ll find printouts, video links, and more resources on the Getting Started page.

How does it work?

These setup questions are designed to direct you to more information. Click on an expand section for the relevant links and resources.

Note these questions are made with schools in mind but they work for everybody 🙂

These setup questions can be used together with the Getting Started Guide (GSG) found on the Getting Started page.

How are you hosting your data?

“Cloud-hosted” means COMPanion will host your data and you don’t need to worry about hardware or backups.

“Self-hosted” is where you host your own data—this option is used by, for example, correctional facilities that don’t allow constant outside (internet) access.

Are you hosting your data with us? (Cloud-hosted)

Ok great! You really don’t have to do anything particular for this option. Be sure to reference our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.

Are you hosting your own data? (Self-hosted)

Learn more:

What is your catalog distribution like?

Read about our Setup Options.

Single Site = Standalone sites who operate on their own, without a central/district catalog

Centralized Catalog = central union district catalog; all items are in one database that everyone can access
Distributed Catalog = keeping your data separate with the option to access other sites in your district

I’m a Single Site

This is easy! There’s nothing special you have to do.

We’re a Centralized Catalog

Make sure operators and settings are specified before you begin.

We’re a Distributed Catalog

You’ll operate mostly like a single site.

I’m a Resource Center

Who will have access to Alexandria, including potentially private student information?

Just me

That makes it easy! Make sure that you are a patron with a security level of 0 District Administrator. That is the level that has permissions for everything. You may want to create yourself a backup operator with a backup email/password, just in case!

Read our Password Management Best Practices

Multiple people

It’s important that you establish who is going to have access to what, and set up Security appropriately. Also, make sure that somebody is designated as the 0 District Administrator level person with the highest level of access!

Most rules in Alexandria are set via Policies. Start by setting your Standard Patron Policy and Standard Item Policy to the general rules of your library. If your patrons have different rules among them, for example how many items they can have checked out, then you should create Policies for each of these different groups. Similarly, if different types of items can be checked out for different lengths of time (e.g. books for 3 weeks, movies for 1 week), you’ll want to create Policies for the items with different rules. Why You Need Policies.

Do you allow holds in your library?

Here are just a few things you’ll want to look at in order to get holds running smoothly….

  • set up Holds > Policies, security
  • Holds Best Practices
  • Holds tab in Circulation
  • Hold reports
  • Teaching patrons how to place holds?
Do you allow reservations in your library?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Set up Reservations > Policies, Security
  • Reservations tab in Circulation
  • Reservation reports
  • Advanced Bookings
Do you charge fines and fees?

Whether the answer is yes or no, you’ll want to review each of these areas—either to set the fine rate, or to change it to $0.00!

Alexandria has a lot of reporting options. Let’s figure out where you need to start first.

Are you required to provide periodic reports of your library?

See our Complete Reports List to pick the report you need—but here are a few commonly-used reports:

  • Super Summary by Call Number
  • Circulation statistics…

If these reports are required frequently, you can set them up to run on a schedule. You can even send them directly to the administrator who requested them.

Are you printing your own barcode or spine labels?

See Labels.

& Custom label reports

We can print them for you!

Will you be printing or emailing notices (e.g. overdue) to your patrons?

See our Complete Notices List to pick the ones you need—but here are a few commonly-used notices:

  • Account Introduction
  • Coming Due Items notice
  • Overdue Notice
  • Overdue Charges or Unpaid Items Notice
  • Loaned Items Notice
  • Patron Details

Your next step is to schedule these notices. See Schedule Your Overdue Notices.

You may also want to set up Letters.

How do you anticipate you’ll be adding patrons to Alexandria?

Importing from an SIS or other source

GG4L, Clever, FTP Import

See our Patron Import Best Practices.

Manual import:

Adding manually

That’s easy! See our Patron Import Best Practices > Manual tab. And learn more about Patrons.

What options have you chosen, or what options might you need to run your library the way you need to?

Check out our Add–ons page.

Ebooks | Supplemental Title Resources | Catalog Maintenance | Reading Programs | Reservations | Email | SSO | SIS Integrations

Let’s set up Builder!


That’s all for now….