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Email Notices Best Practices

Communicating with everyone is essential when running a busy library, and email is usually the easiest route! Whether it’s notifying patrons about holds that are ready to be picked up or letting a librarian know about upcoming reservations, Alexandria and Textbook Tracker offer a variety of notices.

There are two different kinds of email notices: those that are automatic and those that can be set up in Notices. Depending on the needs of your library, you can use one or both. 

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In order for any email notice to work, you need to make sure several things are set up:

  • Configure your Email Preferences. These can be accessed through Preferences > Setup > Email.
  • Add an email to your site record
  • Make sure your patrons and operators have a Primary Email on their record so they can receive notifications and messages. Run a Patrons Missing Information report to see who still needs to have an email added.
Use GG4L or Clever to automatically update patron information, such as email addresses.

Some notices go out automatically when certain events happen in Alexandria or Textbook Tracker. Here are a few things to note about these:

  • In order for patrons and librarians to get these notices, you must have Enable automatic email notifications turned on in Circulation Preferences.
  • Several notifications also require additional preferences to be set. 
  • Some notice text can be customized and some can’t. Those that can be customized are managed in Circulation Letters or Advanced Bookings Notices.

Alexandria only

NOTIFICATIONRECIPIENTadditional preferencescustomized notice text
Queue Hold: Librarian places a hold on an unavailable item through Circulation Patron places a hold on an unavailable item through Researcher PatronN/AN/A
On-Shelf Hold: Patron places a hold on an available item through ResearcherLibrarianTurn on Circulation Preferences > Circulation Rules > Email librarian when an on-shelf hold is placed through Researcher.N/A
In-Stock Hold: Librarian bookdrops an on-shelf hold or hold queue item through Circulation, making it in-stockPatronN/AIn-Stock Hold
Expired Queue Hold: Expired pending hold is automatically removed during daily maintenance Expired in-stock holds are not automatically removed. They stay until the item is bookdropped.PatronSet hold expiration dates with the Days to keep a hold in the queue preference in Patron Policies.N/A

Alexandria only

NOTIFICATIONrecipientadditional preferencecustomized notice text
Reservation Placed: Librarian places a reservation through CirculationPatron places a reservation through ResearcherPatron, Librarian (at site that owns the reserved copy)Turn on Circulation Preferences > Circulation Rules > Notify Librarian of new reservations for the librarian to get a notice.Patron Notice: Reservation Notice and Reservation Placed
Librarian Notice: N/A
Reservation Upcoming: Sent when there are a certain number of days before the reservation start datePatronTurn on Circulation Preferences > Circulation Rules > Notify Patron of upcoming reservations.
Use Circulation Preferences > Circulation Rules > Days in Advance to Check for Reservations to modify the number of days Alexandria looks ahead before emailing upcoming reservation notifications.
Reservation Removed: Librarian removes reservation through CirculationPatron removes reservation through Patron Status (Researcher)PatronN/AReservation Removed
Reservation Return Request: Sent when there are a certain number of days before an Advanced Bookings reservation is duePatronUse Advanced Bookings Preferences > Settings > Days Before Item Is Due to Send Out Notice to set the number of days before items are due to send the notice.Reservation Return Request

Alexandria + TT

NotificationRecipientAdditional PreferencesCustomized Notice Text
Overdue Item/Textbook: Checked out item or textbook becomes overduePatronSet transaction periods and hard due dates in Item PoliciesCirculation Letter
Lost Item/Textbook: Overdue item or textbook is declared lostPatronUse Item Policy > Overdue > Declare Lost When Overdue to set the time period after which overdue items will be declared lost.N/A

Alexandria + TT

notificationrecipientcustomized notice text
Charge Incurred: Charge is incurred on the patron’s account (overdues, overdue continuing to accrue, item being declared lost or discarded, manual charges from Circulation)If you make the charge manually in Circulation, you must check the option to email a receipt; charges made with the F and DL commands won’t send a receipt/notice.PatronN/A
Charge Paid: Charge is paid from Circulation and librarian checks the option to email a receiptPatronN/A
Charge Forgiven: Charge is forgiven from Circulation and librarian checks the option to email a receiptPatronN/A
Charge Refunded: Charge is refunded from Circulation and librarian checks the option to email a receiptPatronN/A
Credit Added: Credit is added from Circulation and librarian checks the option to email a receiptPatronN/A
Credit Refunded: Credit is refunded from Circulation and librarian checks the option to email a receiptPatronN/A

Some notices are set up and sent through Notices. With these, you can:

  • Send a notice once or save and schedule it to go out on a regular basis.
  • Use selections to be more specific about which patrons get a notice.
  • Customize the notice text. Some notices have default text that’s determined by Circulation Letters, but it can still be edited while setting everything up.
Alexandria and Textbook Tracker
Account IntroductionGive patrons their login credentials and other important library informationAccount Access Information
Account Expiring NoticeNotify patrons whose accounts are expiring in the next 30 daysN/A
Send EmailSend out a customizable email to a selection of patronsN/A
Send Patron Details EmailEmail Patron Details to selected patronsYou can also email or print Patron Details from Circulation.N/A
Overdue Items Notice *Notify patrons who have items that are overdueCirculation Letter
Alexandria Only
Coming Due Items NoticeLet patrons know their items are due soonCirculation Letter
In-Stock Hold NoticeNotify patrons when an in-stock hold is ready for them to pick upIn-Stock Hold
Lost Items Charge NoticeNotify patrons who have unpaid lost items chargesCirculation Letter
Overdue Items or Unpaid Charges Notice *Notify patrons who have overdue items and/or unpaid chargesCirculation Letter
Unpaid Charges Notice *Notify patrons who have charges that haven’t been paid yetCirculation Letter
When using the Email format for these notices, you can choose whether to send the notice to only the Primary Email or all emails on selected patron records. This allows you to notify both patrons and parents/guardians if necessary.
If there are emails you want for reference but don’t want to use for notices, we recommend putting them in the General Notes of patron records.
For automatic notices and other email notices, emails send to only the first email in the patron record (the Primary Email). 

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