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Alma Training: Home

Getting Started

What is Alma? An all-in-one system offered by Ex Libris that covers all library operations: selection, acquisition, metadata management, and fulfillment (a.k.a. circulation and e-resource access). Basically, all the back end operations.
Why Alma?

Cloud environment: the implementation of Alma means the vendor maintains the system and provides support, minimizing downtime and maximizing staff user experience & efficiency.

Consortia capabilities: shared metadata management and centralized e-resource management.

What are Primo and PCI/CDI?

Primo is the user interface. It is known as "OneSearch" at CUNY and has been in use at the CUNY Libraries since Fall 2015. It replaces the OPAC ("CUNY Catalog" or "CUNY+") since Alma does not come with a public-facing user interface.

The Primo Central index (soon to be replaced by the Central Discovery Index or "CDI") is a mega-aggregation of hundreds of millions of scholarly e-resources.

When is Alma happening? Now! We will go live with the new system in August 2020.
Who is affected by Alma?


  • Technical services staff will use Alma for their day-to-day operations vis-a-vis acquisitions, cataloging, processing, collection development, etc.
  • Access services staff will use Alma for their day-to-day operations vis-a-vis managing patrons, circulating items, maintaining holdings, sending courtesy notices, etc.
  • E-resources staff will use Alma for their day-to-day operations vis-a-vis acquiring e-resources, managing licenses, trialing databases, maintaining accurate holdings/links, etc.
  • Public services staff will use Primo for their day-to-day operations vis-a-vis information discovery. (There will be no Aleph OPAC to fall back on.)
Where can I find info. and learn about Alma?

Ex Libris Knowledge Center (no login required)

  • Documentation
  • Training (including Discover Alma, Alma Essentials, Implementation Tutorials, Extended Training, and more)

CUNY Libraries' Implementation LibGuide

  • Working groups
  • Calendar of events
  • Glossary

Major Differences: Aleph

Aleph Alma
Desktop-based software Web-based application
Location-based knowledge of information (what's in which module?) Search-based discovery of information
Separate modules Unified system
Updated irregularly via software version upgrades Updated monthly
Built for print collections Designed for print and electronic collections

Major Differences: SFX

SFX Alma
Point 1 Point 1
Point 2 Point 2
Point 3 Point 3
Point 4 Point 4
Point 5 Point 5