Adventures in Alma – Issue #12

One week to go before we are Live in Alma! In this issue we will look at where we are in the timeline and acknowledge a couple more of the working groups who have helped get us to where we are today.


May 9: Disable holds and patron function in Aleph
As you know we have been in a freeze of Aleph technical services since April 15. On May 9 we added patron functions like holds to the freeze. This is to give your Access and Doc Del staff time to process and fill any holds in advance of the full Aleph shutdown on May 11. Once we shut down Aleph on the 11 at 5 pm, Ex Libris will do one final extract of the Aleph Circ data and load it into Alma in preparation for going live with Alma on the morning of May 17.

May 9 – 16: Release of institution Alma instances for final testing
Over the next few days Ex Libris will be loading institution data in Alma and releasing them to the various sites for testing and final sign off. They will be doing this on a rolling basis, releasing them as they get each one is finished. Staff at each institution, organized by your Steering Committee member, will have two days to perform some high-level data checking to ensure the final load is correct. We had five released today, mostly the smaller institutions, the rest will trickle in over the next couple of days.

May 17: Go Live!
Around 8 am on the 17th we will be up and running with Alma.

Salute to the Working Groups and Committees

Alma Analytics Working Group
We all know that reporting in Aleph was not very robust (read ‘sucks’). Alma comes with a full-fledged analytics tool (Oracle Business Intelligence) that promises to make reporting in Alma much much better.

The Alma Analytics Working Group is responsible for identifying reports currently being used at Novanet Institutions and re-creating them in Alma.

Margaret Vail (StFX) (Chair)
Sarah MacDonald (StFX Co-op student)
Stan Orlov (MSVU)
Kirsten Huhn (Dal)
Trish LeBlanc (NSCC)
Vincent Grovestine (Acadia)
Brad Dewar (Novanet)

Activities include:

  • Learning Alma Analytics
  • Identifying reports that are currently being used at Novanet Institutions
  • Creating reports in Alma Analytics
  • Create Training material/offer online training sessions on how to fetch reports in Alma

Electronic Resources Management (ERM)
Like reporting in Aleph, ERM functionality was sadly lacking. Alma is configured from the ground up to handle electronic materials.

The Electronic Resources Management (ERM) Working group is responsible for identifying and planning for possible issues across functional areas. Currently, people from various library units work within the realm of ERM, from IT to cataloguing and access services.


Margaret Vail (StFX) (Chair)
Amy Lorencz (SMU)
Robert Martel (AST)
Alison Holmes (AST)
Jason Lee (CBU)
Stan Orlov (MSVU)
Ann LePage (MtA)
Carol Wilson (MtA)
Terri Winchcombe (SMU)
Brenda McKenna (StFX)
Leigh Gagnier (NSCC)
Denise Parrott (NSCC)
Pamela Maher (USA)
Roni Fenwick (Acadia)
Rebecca Young (NSCAD)
Densie Irving (Dal)
Andre Richard (Dal)
Pamela Chase (Novanet)
Bill Slauenwhite (Novanet)
Brad Dewar (Novanet)
Alaina MacKenzie (Kings)

Activities include:

  • Identifying best practices for ERM
  • Identifying ERM workflows that need to be replicated in Alma
  • Investigating License display in Alma link resolver (Mondo License Grinder)
  • Creating a document of vendors who need to have their OpenURL/Base resolver URL updated to the new resolver URL in Alma

As I’ve said many times before: Thanks to all!

Thanks for reading.