Adventures in Alma – Issue # 1

Welcome to the inaugural Novanet Adventures in Alma! I’ll be crafting these missives on a regular basis and posting them on our website blog. All things Novanet and Alma can be found at the Alma section of our website:

I’m going to cover a few things in this post:

  • Overview of the Timeline and where we are now
  • Org chart for the implementation teams/working groups
  • Novanet Alma Day
  • Other resources

For those of you lucky enough to have attended my Alma Roadshow, you already got a sneak peek at the high level timeline. For those of you who missed it (especially U Sainte-Anne and Mount A – sorry guys, I’ll get there!), the slide show including the timeline is on the Novanet Alma site. Right now we are kinda in the middle between starting the process and actually starting the implementation. As you know, Novanet time often runs slightly slower than normal time, so even though the timeline says we are starting the first major task – Aleph cleanup – in January … well, in case you haven’t noticed, its February. Not to worry, we will catch up.

So, back to the timeline: we are in the Aleph cleanup stage. We, the Novanet staff, based on the input from other sites recently migrated from Aleph to Alma, have developed a list of Aleph data cleanup jobs that either are crucial to have cleaned up before we migrate or are going to make our migration easier. Now we just need to get the people in place to do the cleanup. Which leads us to the …

Org chart for the implementation teams/working groups
The org chart, as approved by the Novanet Board, is available on the Novanet Alma site. We’ve basically created a Steering Committee and a set of implementation specific working groups that will augment our current set of Service and Working groups. The intent of both the Steering Committee and the implementation working groups is to have a set of small teams that will be able to deal with tasks associated with the fluid nature of the implementation while drawing on the expertise of the current Service and Working groups and other library staff.

Let’s start with the Steering Committee. This is the group that will be responsible for the day to day management of the Alma Implementation, assign tasks to the implementation working groups and attend the weekly project meetings with Ex Libris, once those begin. These people will also need to take the full Alma Certification course. Obviously the members of the Steering Committee will be committing to a significant amount of time and effort over the next 2 years. The team will consist of the Leads of the Acquisition/ Serials/ERM, Fullfillment/Access/Resource Sharing, and Metadata/Cataloguing Implementation Working Groups; the three Novanet Office staff and a Board Liaison. We’ve been recruiting for this team for some little while and I’m very happy to announce them here:

Board Liaison: Dianne Keeping, Mount Allison
Acq/Ser/ERM: Terri Winchcombe, SMU
Fulfillment/Access/Resource Sharing: Corinne Gilroy, MSVU
Cat/Metadata: Ian Fraser, NSCC
Pam, Brad, Bill

On to the Implementation Working Groups. We’ve identified nine groups based on input from other Alma implementers. I won’t list the groups here, but I will apologise in advance for the long names of some of them. It’s an effort to start equating Aleph terms and Alma terms. These teams will consist of four library staff and one Novanet staff. The groups will be responsible for working with the existing Service Groups and other library staff to carry out tasks assigned by the Steering Committee, identify policy and workflow issues and recommend solutions. A future blog post will flesh out the responsibilities for each group and ask for volunteers. I hope and expect that we will have more volunteers than spots for each group. The Steering Committee will work to balance the expertise and institutions across the groups when choosing volunteers for the groups. If you are at all interested in volunteering, please have that discussion with your supervisor soon.

Novanet Alma Day
We are in the initial planning stages for an Alma-centric Novanet Day.  Mark your calendars for May 21. As with previous Novanet Days we will be dividing up the available seats amongst Novanet libraries based on the Novanet formula. Much more information to come but at this point we are planning sessions on the cleanup, an Alma demo by Ex Libris, and an Alma Implementation Q&A with a panel of people from other Alma sites.

Other resources
First and foremost is, of course, the Ex Libris Alma site: Running a close second is the Novanet Alma site, where you can find this excellent blog, the org chart, a FAQ based on the questions asked at the Roadshow and any other documentation we create or distribute during the project.

And I think that’s enough from me, even I’m tired of hearing from me. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or Brad or Pam at

Next up: More on the cleanup and the implementation working groups. Stay tuned!


This entry was posted in Alma. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.