RB: Issuing and returning items (loans)

Jan 23, 2018

Firstly we should stress that SOBS is firstly a booking system and secondly an issue/return system.  This option will not have all of the functionality of a library system, in fact it is focused very much around having a booking in place before an item is issued.


The purpose of the Issue/Return system is to enable tracking equipment that is booked through SOBS.  As such it will work well with Digital Cameras, Video Cameras, Tablets, Laptops, Phones, and perhaps even Vehicle keys.   SOBS will maintain a list of current and overdue loans to enable tracking the equipment.

Configuring an item for loan

To enable the Loans module:


  • Go to the ‘School Settings’ page
  • Click on the ‘RB’ tab
  • Click the ‘Edit’ button in the top right of this page to edit the contents
  • Check the box to enable the Loans module
  • Click the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the screen


In the resource management area, edit the resource.  Scroll down to the ‘Fixed location’ option, ensure this is not checked (you can’t issue/return a fixed location item).  Record the usual location, this could be a room or a shelf location where the item lives when it is not on loan.  You can also record a barcode value against the item if you are using barcode numbers.  Save these changes.

While in the resource management area you should also configure the security for a staff member who will be responsible for issuing and returning these items.  Click the grey bar in the ‘Managers’ column to expand the list of resource managers.  Ensure you have a Resource Manager here with the ‘Loan’ security enabled.  This will need to be the staff member logged into Sobs when the item is being issued.  You might want to configure a special login such as ‘Circulation’ specifically for this purpose.

Items can only be issued to registered members of staff (i.e. they must exist in the Staff list).  SOBS also supports the use of barcodes for staff members.  If your staff carry a security card with a barcode on it you could use this to identify the staff member.  In the Configuration menu click on the ‘Staff’ link to view the list of staff, locate the staff member and ‘Edit’ their record. You will find a Barcode field on the Staff record where you can record their barcode value.

Issuing an item

To issue an item select ‘Issue/Return’ from the Main Menu.

By default the system will assume you are wanting to ‘Issue’ an item – therefore the first tab is selected.  If you are wanting to Return or check Current or Overdue items then select the appropriate tab.

With the cursor in the ‘Resource’ field you can scan the barcode from the item being issued.  If you don’t use barcodes you can type any information from the title of the resource AND PRESS THE <ENTER> OR <RETURN> KEY.  We capitalise this as it is the normal step that people miss.  The barcode scanner will typically send through the barcode value followed by an automatic <RETURN> key, so if you are typing information we ask you to do the same.  Similarly if you don’t have a barcode scanner you can type in the barcode value and press the <ENTER> or <RETURN> key.  The system will search for the resource – if it identifies more than one resource a list will be displayed – select one resource from the list.

At this point SOBS will search for the next booking for the identified resource.  Let’s assume that a booking exists for the resource we selected – the system will complete the staff member details, the issue date & period and the anticipated return date & period (based on the booking in SOBS).  When the screen returns you should only need to press the <ENTER> key or <RETURN> key to complete the issue.

If SOBS fails to locate a booking then the item can be issued to another staff member, the system will prompt for the staff member’s barcode.  Enter the staff member’s barcode or type in their first name or surname (not both).  If multiple staff are identified the system will prompt you with a list of staff to select from, select a staff member from the list.  Then confirm the issue period and return period.  Click the ‘Issue’ button to complete the loan.

The screen will return to prompt for the next resource to be issued.

Returning an item

The system will prompt for the resource being returned.  If there is a barcode then scan the barcode to return the item.  If there is no barcode then type in some term from the title, SOBS will search for resources that match this search, select an item from the selection list.  The identified item will be returned and the system will prompt for the next item to be returned.

Overdue notices

You can specify the content of your overdue notices:


  • Click on the ‘System Settings’ link in the Configuration menu
  • Click on the ‘RB’ tab
  • Click the ‘Edit’ button in the top right of this page to edit the contents
  • Fill in the ‘Loans – grace period’ – this is the number of minutes the item can be overdue prior to the first overdue notice being sent
  • Update the contents of the overdue notice 1, 2 and 3 as required
  • Click the ‘Save’ button at the bottom of the page


The overdue notices 1 and 2 are scheduled to automatically be sent to the staff member if the item has not been returned.  Notice 1 is sent at the end of the loan period if there is another booking for this resource immediately following.  Notice 2 is sent after the grace period has passed after the end of the loan period.

The overdue 3 notice is then sent at the beginning of each day until the item is returned.