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Alma Implementation


updated 8.27.20







October TBD

Drawing up training plan

In tandem with the Training Working Group, OLS will develop an initial training program for early 2020 using a Sandbox instance of Alma (containing only dummy, non-CUNY data). More robust training will begin after the February 2020 provisioning of the CUNY Alma environment.

October 29, 2 - 5 PM

Alma Demonstration Day

This one-day event is a broad overview of Alma and how it works. It won't get too into the specifics but is useful for anyone who has yet to see Alma in action. To be held at John Jay in room L2.84. Space is limited, please RSVP.


December 16

Aleph back office configuration freeze

The Office of Library Services will suspend Aleph back-office changes in order to keep Aleph and Alma in-sync. For example, new collection codes or circulation policy changes. Campus-initiated changes will not be impacted by this freeze. For example, routine work in SFX and the acquisitions, cataloging, and circulation modules. (OLS will make an announcement when this freeze gets lifted.)

December 30

Test load data extraction

ExLibris receives a test load of CUNY data (ALEPH and SFX) which will be used to build our test environment.







January 6-7 (LaGuardia Community College)

Alma implementation kick-off/orientation event

This two-day event discusses the specifics of the migration project, explaining the project timeline and configuration options. Attendance is open to everyone, but we recommend at least two people, who will be involved in the migration, attend the kick-off. The campus member of the Communication Committee is also expected to attend. Space is limited, please RSVP. (Agenda available.)

January 9-April 18

ExLibris begins weekly virtual training.

These are open to all faculty and staff. They will all be recorded. The schedule and topics are on the LibGuide calendar.

January 14

ExLibris begins weekly functional calls with designated campus representatives.

These weekly calls are for the Communications Committee rep and one additional representative per campus. Calls will be recorded.

February 1

Test load extraction

ExLibris extracts sample of all CUNY data so we can see how it will render in Alma.

March 3

Delivery of working environment

This will let all of us see how migrated CUNY data looks and reacts in Alma and make adjustments for the final data extraction. CUNY will work with Ex Libris to check the data through June.

March 30-April 2 (online)

Ex Libris-led training

This multi-day, lecture-based online training is essential for anyone and everyone who will be working with Alma (faculty and staff). While CUNY is using a train-the-trainer model, the more people trained, the better. (Agenda available.)

April 8-10 / 8-16

Spring Break


CUNY-led training

The Training Working Group will launch the first wave of CUNY-led training which will teach the CUNY-centric aspects of Alma. The schedule is here.

May 30

Alma Go-Live Readiness checklist due

This will be explained in detail later, but the larger process is described here.

June 1

No new orders in Aleph.

After June 1, new orders must be held and entered into Alma after cut-over. Detailed instructions/explanations to follow.

June 12

OLS stops batch-loading records into Aleph.

Campuses will be able to batch-load their own records into Alma!

June 19

Last day for SFX activations.

Work orders must be submitted by June 18. Alma has its own link resolver, so new activations will take place after go-live.

June 19

Last day Coutts sends CUNY records until after go-live.


June 20

Last full patron load.

This is also the final barcode load.

June 24

Last day for loading Coutts records until after go-live.


June 27

Last partial patron load.

This is just newly-added patrons.

June 29, 4PM

Aleph Fiscal Year End run

This will be the final Fiscal Year End in Aleph. No one can use Aleph until June 30 at 4PM.

June 30, 12PM

Alma configuration freeze

The final step before CUNY's data comes over to Alma; no changes can be made to Alma at this time.

June 30, 12-4PM

Final review of Fiscal Year End

Corrections can be entered after 4PM.

June TBD

CUNY-led training

The Training Working Group will continue this CUNY-led hands-on training which will teach the CUNY-centric aspects of Alma.

July 1, noon

Aleph technical freeze

No more cataloging in Aleph!

Aleph circulation/fulfillment freeze

During this period, there will be no live circulation (or fulfillment, as used in Alma), including patron-initiated renewals; Alma offline circulation may be used (and the data eventually brought over to the live Alma instance).

July 2

Final data extraction

Ex Libris pulls over our data from Aleph and SFX.

All circulation privileges will be removed from Aleph staff/faculty accounts.  

July 26-28

Perform data testing.

CUNY tests the migrated data. Communication Committee representative accepts it if there are no major issues.

July 28

Aleph circulation/fulfillment freeze

During this period, there will be no live circulation (or fulfillment, as used in Alma); Alma offline circulation will be used (and the data eventually brought over to the live Alma instance).


August 3

Go-live, or our move to Alma for all day-to-day activities

There will be some system testing/correcting, but this begins CUNY's life with Alma. The Ex Libris team will be on-hand to handle any migration issues

August 4

Hold requests resume

Patrons can place holds again, and unfilled hold requests can be resubmitted.


August 10 Sandbox data refresh CUNY Premium Sandboxes, with CUNY data from QC,CC, and NZ, are available.
Continuous Ongoing training Faculty and staff continue to learn to use Alma, with established training practices as new employees join CUNY libraries. This will include effective workflows and best practices from a CUNY perspective.


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  task to be completed

Aleph Optimization Projects: Recommended Timeline


Holdings & Items Linking

June 26, 2020 - Phase 3: Correct holdings which are missing 852 $b & $c subfields.

Items Without Collection Codes

Each month – On the 4th of every month, review unassigned_items to assign collection codes to items temporarily assigned to UNKWN collection. (Done monthly, your list stays small.)

Closing Inactive Subscriptions

January 30, 2020 – Close inactive subscriptions that were left open in Aleph.

Holdings & Items Linking

December 31, 2019 – Phase 1: Fix holdings records identified as not linked to items.

March 01, 2020 – Phase 2: Link items to a holdings record which matches the item's permanent location.

Open Hours

April 1, 2020 – Enter Open Hours in Aleph.

Local Fields

April 30, 2020 – Verify and keep institution specific notes in local (59X) fields.


Suppressed Records Clean-Up

April 15, 2019 – Phase 1: Identify and unsuppress records of active items.

July 1, 2019 – Phases 2 & 3: Confirm records of inactive items and determine records should be removed or kept in Aleph.

P&E Records

May 1, 2019 – Print holdings to attach to print records; electronic holdings to attach to electronic records.

Acquisitions & Serials

July 1, 2019 – Close inactive PO records for serials.

Collection Code & Circ Policy Sync

July 1, 2019 – Add at least one item to each new collection.

December 15th, 2019 – Access Services staff should conduct a quality control review.

January 1, 2020 – Technical Services staff should edit new collection holdings records. 

Duplicate Holdings Records

November 1, 2019 – Merge multiple copies of the same title from multiple holdings (in the same location/collection) into one single holdings record.