Zones in Alma

CARLI I-Share has three Zones in Alma:

Institution Zone - Your institution's Local Records and Inventory.

Network Zone - I-Share institution's shared bibliographic records.

Community Zone - Electronic Resource records available for all Alma users worldwide.

Institution Zone

The Institution Zone (IZ) is one institution's collection. It is where all resources held by the institution's library(ies) and their associated inventory exists. Bib records in the IZ can be IZ-only "local" records or they can be linked to the Network Zone (NZ).

These types of materials should be kept as local records in the IZ and should not be shared to the NZ:

  • Personal Copy Titles on Reserve
  • Equipment
  • "Short bibs" used for Acquisitions purposes
  • Temporary collections
  • Interlibrary loan bibs

Network Zone

The Network Zone (NZ) contains the collaborative I-Share catalog, which includes shared bibliographic records for the physical and electronic collections from member IZs, and for the electronic resources (e-collections, portfolios, and bib records) made available by CARLI in the network for all members. CARLI creates inventory groups at the network level that present the bibliographic records in each IZ as if the records were locally cataloged.

Community Zone

The Community Zone (CZ) is a set of resources shared across all Alma customers and maintained collaboratively by customers and Ex Libris. Libraries may find the following record types in the CZ:

  • Bibliographic records for electronic resources: Records are contributed by Ex Libris, by vendors, or by Alma customers. Records may be improved by catalogers following the Alma Community Zone Contribution Guidelines.
  • Electronic collection and portfolio records for electronic resources: Records are primarily provided and updated by Ex Libris, with contributions from vendor updates. Customer-contributed e-collections receive updates from those customers. 
  • Authority records: Ex Libris loads name and subject authorities from national agencies, such as the Library of Congress, as well as several large scale controlled vocabularies (e.g., Faceted Application of Subject Terminology, or "FAST").

Catalogers have the ability to use CZ resources by linking to those records directly or by copying those records to IZs and modifying further locally. With linked records, a library depends on community updates to keep the data updated. A record copied to the IZ for local use will not be updated with future changes from the CZ record.

Libraries may choose to use Community Zone data in full, in part, or not at all, as part of their electronic resource management strategies. A library using the CZ fully, activating e-collections and using the CZ bibliographic data, will receive the benefits of automatic updates to the bibs and to related portfolio metadata, when such updates are made. A library partially using the CZ may opt to use different bibliographic records than those in the CZ, but keep the bibs linked to the CZ e-collection/portfolio metadata so that portfolio updates are automated. Libraries may also choose different approaches based on the available metadata for an e-collection. In cases where CZ data is inadequate or non-existent for an e-collection, then a library may use bibliographic records and portfolios loaded to the IZ, or in some cases, to the NZ.