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    How do I perform an inventory of my collection using Horizon's Inventory tools?

    The Horizon inventory module runs from a live client--that is, the scanning process is done directly into a PC which has the regular Horizon staff client on it.  This allows you the following options:

    1.  You can bring books to a Horizon PC on carts and scan them there, 2.  You can put a desktop, or, better, a laptop PC on a cart and take that into the stacks.

    Note that in both cases a network connection is necessary.  This can be accomplished by either using a very long network cable (we have a 100 footer available), or in the case of a laptop, using a wireless network card and a wireless hub.


    Inventory is taken according to COLLECTION CODE;  that is, the items that you scan should all come from the same physical shelving area that has the same Horizon collection code--adult fiction, easy readers, etc.  While you are scanning, you have the option at any time to view a report of "inventory exceptions"--items that were scanned, but shouldn't have been there--for example, items with a different collection code, items with a "checked out" status, or items from other libraries.  That report can be printed at any time during the inventory and cleared, or allowed to append throughout the whole collection.

    When you have told Horizon that you have finished scanning an entire collection code, it will compare the results to those items that should have been on the shelf (i.e. they were not checked out or with a "lost" status).  It will then actually change the item status of any item that should have been, but was NOT there, to "mi"--Missing in Inventory.  You can then get a list of those items in a jiffy by using a basic EasyAsk query to list all items from a particular collection with a status of "mi"--for example, "show items item status mi item collection aufic."  There is no longer any need for interaction with ALS to "upload" things, run special processes, etc.

    Let's Take an Inventory

    In the Horizon client of the machine you are taking inventory with, open up the folder "Inventory" on the left hand pane.  The choice we want to make is "Workstation Inventory"--double click it.  You will then be presented with the inventory scanning window.  The location code of your library should show by default in the "Location" window.

    Now, in the "Collection" window, choose the Horizon specific collection code that will be covered by this inventory (use the Codes button to the right if you forgot the codes).  When you do so, "Call No. Type" will be filled in automatically.

    The last three boxes are optional.  If "Display Misshelved" is checked, every time a book is scanned that is out of call number order, you will get a window pop up on the screen--I recommend you do NOT check this.  Most people don't care during an inventory if something is misshelved, only if it missing or shouldn't be there.  If "Display Exception" is checked, a window will pop up every time you scan an item that should not be there--however, I strongly recommend you do NOT check this. You don't want to be constantly watching the screen while scanning, and scanning over the message window often results in an incomplete next scan.  You can generate a report of these items when you're ready to take a break.  If "Override Call No. Checks?" is checked, you will not be bothered with reports of misshelved items cluttering up your exceptions report--so, I recommend that you DO check this box.

    **NOTE:  If you DO want to see misshelved items listed, contact the Application Support Librarian before running your inventory, as changes to your collection code parameters also need to be made.

    Now, hit the "OK" button, and it's SCANNIN' TIME...  You will see a new window come up, ready to take a scanned in barcode number.  Double check that the collection code displayed is the one you are in, and scan away.  If you need to manually enter a barcode number, you can do so--just hit enter after typing it in, or the rather redundant "Accept" button.

    When you are done scanning for the day, or ready to take a break, hit the "Complete" button at the bottom of the window.  This just says, "I'm backing out of the inventory process for a while", it does NOT mean that you have completed the entire collection.

    After you hit the "Complete" button, you may be presented with a "session ID" number.  This can be used later when you look at your Inventory Exception report, if you want to view the report so far for JUST THAT SESSION, not ones you did before or after.  Because the report appends itself, this is not really necessary--keep track of the number if you want.  You can then just cancel out of the Workstation Inventory window that you are then returned to.

    The Inventory Exceptions Report

    At any time during your inventory of a collection code, you can check the Inventory Exceptions Report, and use it to act upon items found so far that don't belong there for some reason.  You can do this by double clicking the "Report Inventory Exceptions" choice under the Inventory folder in your client.  In the window, enter the collection code you have been working with, and, if you want a report for only one particular session number (see above), enter that number in the "Session ID#" window-- otherwise, just leave that window blank, if you want to see everything you have done so far.

    Hit OK and you will see the exceptions report.  Each "exception"--an item that should not have been there--will appear listed under the previous item scanned, an attempt to help you locate it later.  The previous item scanned will have "previous item" under its call number;  the exception item follows, with the problem listed below ITS call number--"invalid item status", "invalid collection code", etc.

    You can print the report at any time with the print button on the menu above.  After you have either printed it, or finished looking at it for now, you have two important options at the bottom of the screen- -if you hit the "Cancel" button, you just exit out--the list you just saw is preserved, and will continue to be added to as you scan.  If you hit the "Clear" button, the list will be ERASED--never to appear again!  Be sure you know what you want to do.  The button marked "Display" gives you the option to include more data elements in the lost display if you choose, or change the font.

    What Happens When I'm All Done Scanning a Collection Code?

    Once you are sure, and I mean sure, you have finished scanning the entire collection code location in your library, it's time to tell the system that, and have it change all the items it didn't find but weren't checked out to "missing in inventory" status.  Do this by first double clicking the choice "Find Missing Inventory" under the Inventory folder.  Then, insert the collection code you have completed, and hit the "OK" button---you will then be presented with a "Are you SURE you want to do this??" choice. The reason this is such a big decision point, is that you are about to make a change to the whole collection database--changing every item status to "mi" of every item that was expected to be found, but not scanned.  If for example you only did half of that collection, but said YES DO IT, the entire other half you didn't bother to scan will be changed to "missing in inventory."  So--proceed with caution.  If you're sure you're done, agree to the scary message, and BANG---the change has been made!  By the way, the "Stats Only" button is just a harmless way to just check the current "stuff not found" status without actually making any changes to the database--but it's pretty useless actually.

    Now What?

    NOW, you have to get a list of all the items in that collection code that have been changed to "mi" status, so you know what's missing.  There are two ways to do this.  One is to double click the choice "Report Missing Inventory" in the Inventory folder.  What this actually is though is just a shortcut to the "Compound Search" feature of the normal staffpac catalog search.  It assumes you will now do a compound search for collection code AND item status, with the latter defined as "mi."  This works, but it's a pain and not easy to "deal" with once you've got the results back, because they'll look like just the results of a normal staffpac search.  The best way to get your missing report is via EasyAsk.

    With EasyAsk, all you have to do to get your report in nice savable, manipulatable Excel format, is paste in the following query, which assumes we did the collection code "algen" for this example:

    List items item collection algen, item status mi, sort by call

    This will give you a nice list sorted by call number of all the "mi" items from that collection. Remember, the status "Missing in Inventory" (code "mi") is NOT the same as status "Missing" (code "m").  Do not confuse the two when you run a report.  You want only "mi", not "m" status.  "M" as you recall is a system-supplied status that is assigned a certain length of time after an item reaches "Lost" status.

    Now, you can start trying to figure out where those missing books are--and start scanning a new collection code...

    Mark Koukol 01/07/05

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    Last Updated: 2011-09-01 16:18:35