Automatic change of department for floating items

IMMS can be configured so that floating items automatically change department when they move between branches.

Normally when a floating item changes branch, IMMS will just update the current branch for the item and the exact placement (location, transport unit, or item grouping) assigned to the item at the new branch. The other item properties remain unchanged.

However, in certain cases it may be desirable for the item’s department to be contingent on the branch where it is located. This is common in situations in which different branches assign items to a varying number of departments - e.g., more departments in the main library than in the smaller branches.

Configuration of a change of department

If you want to use automatic change of departments, you need to activate this for more one or more float codes. It may be necessary to create supplemental float codes in the LMS in order to keep items with different rules for change of department separated.

With respect to a branch’s relationship to the float groups, each branch’s float configuration specifies the branch’s membership in each available combination of float code and department type. For float codes that use change of department, the department the items belong to in a specific branch must be specified in the float configuration for each individual branch. Only departments with a matching department type may be selected.

The department type plays an important role in the float configuration of the branches. Both the member relationship and the new department should be configured individually for each department type. This means that it is unnecessary to separate children’s and adult items into different float codes even if they need to be treated differently on a departmental basis. Moreover, the system ensures that an automatic change of department is unable to change the department type of an item, which could affect its calculation of width.

The use of float configuration in the system

For a given item, the item’s department type is based on the item’s current department. This department type is used for queries in the branch’s float configurations.

When registering an item relocation, where the item is changing branch, the float configuration of the new branch is used to determine what the item’s new current department should be. If the float code indicates a change of department, the item’s current department is changed to the department specified in the branch’s float configuration. If the float code does not apply a change of department, then the item’s current department is retained.
If the item is registered as “shelved”, the item is paired up with the branch’s item groupings following a change of department, if applicable, when determining where the item is located at the branch. However, if the branch is not a member of the float group, then the item is always illegally placed at the branch.
The item’s new department and placement must be reported to the LMS.

Since the department of an item can have an effect on which item grouping the item matches, the intelligent distribution algorithm must take into account the departmental change that may be applied once the item arrives at the branch. If the item’s float code uses automatic change of department, then it is consequently not the item’s current department that is used to calculate a match with the branch’s item groupings. Instead, the department - designated by the float configuration - the item will be assigned to at the applicable branch is used. If the float code does not use change of department, then the item’s current department is retained.