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Alma Implementation

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this project all about?

In July 2020, CUNY will implement a new library services platform (LSP), Alma, which encompasses a suite of applications. Data in Aleph will need to be migrated to Alma and library staff will have to be trained in the new system environment.

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Why are we doing this project?

Our contract with Aleph, our current integrated libraries system (ILS), is expiring. Aleph was designed for libraries to manage their print collections. Alma (along with our existing discovery layer, Primo, branded as "OneSearch" at CUNY) will allow our libraries to better manage print materials, digital collections and other formats, and improve our efficiencies through shared services and cloud opportunities and provide local and system-wide analytic capabilities.

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Is there something we should be doing to prepare for this project?

In order to begin preparation for the migration, Kevin Collins has already been working with libraries’ technical services and circulation staffs about optimizing catalog data. Also, as this project will require input and commitment from across the CUNY system, if you are asked to serve on a committee, working group, or task force, please make every effort to do so and to be actively engaged in the group’s work.

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What is Alma?

An Ex Libris product, Alma supports library operating tasks including acquisitions, electronic resource management (ERM), cataloging, fulfillment, and assessment. Alma is used by library staff whereas OneSearch will remain the public interface.

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Will the old library catalog be available once we have implemented Alma?

No, Alma will be the staff-side version of the new library system and OneSearch will be the public interface of the new library system. Aleph will be available for reference purposes for one month after migration, as per contractual requirements.

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Will SFX remain?

Our installation of SFX, an OpenURL link resolver, will be decommissioned after the Alma implementation in July 2020. Alma has a built-in link resolver.

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Will we still need Serials Solutions?

Serials Solutions 360 Core, which manages each library’s journal A to Z list, will no longer be needed. Alma contains a built-in holdings management system.

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My library uses BrowZine with Serials Solutions. Will I still need Serials Solutions in that case?

No, BrowZine can work with Alma’s built-in holdings management system.

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What are the Institution Zone, the Network Zone, and the Community Zone?

The Institution Zone contains any bibliographic records not shared for editing purposes with the consortia members in the Network Zone. It also contains all inventory records (holdings & items) for the institution.

The Network Zone is a shared bibliographic database. One bib record can be shared for editing by all of the participating institutions.

The Community Zone is a shared repository for all Alma users. It includes authority records, bibliographic metadata, and an electronic materials knowledge base.

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If I have a question about the project, what should I do?

Please contact your library's representative on the LSP Communications Committee. If they can't help you, please open a work order by emailing and asking your question(s) there.

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