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CUNY Aleph Catalog Optimization Projects: Collection Code & Circulation Policy Sync


A collection in Alma is a group of items in the same location that generally circulate in the same way. Collections in Aleph that require multiple circulation policies should be divided before migration in order to preserve circulation policies.

Recommended Target Date for Completion

Each new collection should have at least one item by July 1st, 2019.

We recommend that each collection and its associated Circulation policy please be reviewed by Access Services staff for quality control purposes before December 15th, 2019.

The recommended target date for editing of collection holdings records is before January 1, 2020.

Project Description

In the Alma Library Services Platform, circulation of materials is based on Collection code. Therefore, we will no longer apply circulation rules to individual items; rather we will apply them to collections.

A collection can only have one circulation policy. (A collection is a group of materials that generally circulate in the same way.The location description lets people know were the materials physically are.) The idea is to eliminate human error through greater automation. Collections in Aleph that require multiple circulation policies should be divided before migration in order to preserve circulation policies. (Note: Item Status 21 & 22 need not be split, as electronic items do not circulate.)

In order to prepare for migration, libraries have evaluated which Circulation policies need to be preserved. We have already completed several phases in this process, and those details are documented in the Cataloging Committee meeting minutes from the past year (for example, June 2018

Technical Services staff will be using the spreadsheets listed in the sidebar to  make corrections to both items and holdings records. When splitting Collections, the 852 $b & $c subfields must match an Item Record's permanent location information.

Access Services staff are being requested to provide quality control by comparing the XX_cltn_circ_policy.xls files with the most recent xx_cltn_count report for their library. Where needed, they can organize listings of items which still need to be moved by Technical Services staff into the appropriate collections. More importantly, the staff most familiar with how materials circulate are our best choice for confirming that each library is on the right path.

Most important is that items end up in the correct collection. Fixing an Item Status might be helpful but if it is wrong it has already been wrong.  For this project we are just concerned with items ending up in the collection that the library wants them in by the time we are live in Alma. 

New collection codes can be added as needed:

Note: Please be sure to keep equipment separate from non-equipment as fines for a DVD or paperback will be very different from a laptop.

Additional information:

This earlier phase would require repeating correction for duplicate records if we pursue a batch fix. Manual fixes for holdings are the recommended route:

Each library now has a clear listing of each collection with its associated circulation policy. Staff can reference this when making sure items are correctly set up. It will provide a mapping for the Alma LSP to make sure items circulate properly going forward.