Related product I-Share

Alma & Primo VE Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Over the course of the Alma & Primo VE implementation project, CARLI staff will work with the Ex Libris implementation team to answer questions as they arise. If you have questions not represented here, please consult with your library's Alma/Primo Liaison and submit your questions to .

Page last updated 7/19/2019

Contents:


General Questions

What are the most recent updates on the migration?

Highlights on the migration project are posted on the Weekly Alma and Primo VE Project Updates page.

When will my library be migrated to Alma & Primo VE?

CARLI: The plan is to cutover all 91 I-Share libraries to Alma and Primo VE in June 2020. We may have to do some of the final implementation tasks in batches of I-Share libraries, but overall, the plan is to keep the consortium together and not prolong the cutover. We will have a complete test installation run before final cutover, which allows you to do your troubleshooting on the test installation and, hopefully, make the cutover to production a much quicker process than the test round.
Answered 2/21/2019

When will each library get access to documentation and training materials?

CARLI: Libraries have access now to the Ex Libris Knowledge Center which holds most of this material. CARLI and libraries will be advised about working towards product certification, which is intended for staff who will perform configuration duties, during the implementation process.
Answered 2/21/2019

Will library staff be expected to travel for off-site training or classes?

CARLI: The Ex Libris Knowledge Center contains several online training modules, including introductory videos and exercises that can be used with Alma sandboxes by any library staff. The site also includes online certification courses targeted at, “Administrators and system librarians, and those who are tasked with making system-critical decisions should plan on becoming certified Alma Administrators at their institutions.” Library staff do not need to be certified to use Alma or Primo VE.
CARLI has also contracted for 4-day, in-person training sessions with Ex Libris. The content, timing, and location for these sessions have yet to be determined.
Answered 2/21/2019

The Test Load Phase timeline states that we will fill out migration and configuration forms by August 2019. However the date to "go live" in Alma isn't until June 2020. Why is there so much time between migration activities?

CARLI: Ex Libris' migration model for moving to Alma involves a test load, followed by period when libraries can test their configurations and work on integrating Alma with other systems (e.g., authentication, student information systems, printers, etc.) and train on Alma using their own data. At the start of September 2019, CARLI will begin delivering libraries' data to Ex Libris for the test migration. We then expect that libraries will receive their test environments by late October.

Once libraries receive their test environments, they will begin a series of complementary tasks to get acclimated to Alma. This will start with data review, to understand how existing data from Voyager migrates to Alma, along with basic functionality testing over a couple weeks time. Then libraries will be able to train on the use of Alma using their own familiar data, understanding the implications of test load decisions. This understanding should improve the results of the cutover load, which will happen in Spring 2020.
Answered 5/23/2019

When we receive our test environments, will they contain sample data or my library's actual data?

CARLI: Alma test enviroments should be available around October 2019, after your library completes the migration and configuration forms. The test enviroments will contain your library's data as of the date that they were extracted from Voyager.
Answered 6/8/2019

My library uses a link resolver product other than the CARLI-supported SFX. Will my library be able to migrate link resolver data into Alma & Primo? Will there be a cost for this migration?

CARLI: CARLI has contracted for each I-Share institution to migrate their e-resources data into Alma. This includes link resolver data from sources such as ProQuest 360 Services and EBSCO Full Text Finder. There will be no additional cost for that migration.
Answered 3/15/2019

Will my library be able to use functionality in Alma that we didn't use in Voyager (e.g., course reserves, acquisitions)?

CARLI: Yes! Alma is a unified resource management system, which will allow I-Share libraries the ability to manage their print and electronic resources and services in a single environment. After migration, libraries may begin using workflows that they previously used other systems to manage.
Answered 3/15/2019

What are the system requirements for Alma? Will my library need to buy new hardware (e.g., barcode scanners, workstations, printers, etc.)?

CARLI: Alma and Primo VE are cloud-based solutions, which do not require specific hardware to run local clients. Institutions will need workstations that meet local system requirements and use an updated web browser on a display of at least 17 inches. You may wish to review Ex Libris' recommended display and browser specifications.

Printing from Alma will require new configurations. As a cloud solution, Alma is designed to handle printing via email. Institutions may need to invest in printers that have dedicated email addresses for printing notices or charge receipts. Alternatives, such as printer proxies, may be an option as well. Libraries and their technical support teams should review Ex Libris' technical requirements for printing.

Alma does not have any requirements for specific types of barcode readers. Most common point-of-sale model barcode readers should effectively scan library barcodes, which are typically CODABAR or Code 39 barcode symbologies.

Libraries and technical staff may view the complete list of Ex Libris' technical requirements in the Ex Libris Knowledge Center, which is open to use without a login credential.
Answered 3/15/2019

What is Alma Mobile? Is it included with the Alma service? What kind of devices are supported?

CARLI: Alma Mobile is included in the Alma service as a way for library staff to extend Alma functionality away from fixed service points. For more information, refer to the Introduction to Alma Mobile page in the Ex Libris Knowledge Center.
Answered 4/18/2019

We are a CARLI member institution, but we don't currently use I-Share. What would it cost for us to move to I-Share on Alma, and when could we make that move?

CARLI: CARLI does not yet have Ex Libris Alma Primo pricing or I-Share assessment estimates for libraries that are not currently in I-Share. We anticipate being online with Alma Primo in mid-2020 and our current expectation is that we would gather that pricing data in 2021 and potentially open applications for I-Share participation in 2022.
Answered 3/21/2019

Discovery Services

Where can I find more information about Primo VE? I understand it will be the public interface for the catalog, but is it also a discovery interface? Is there an extra cost for libraries to use Primo VE as a discovery interface?

CARLI: A good place to start reviewing Primo information is the Primo VE area of the Ex Libris Knowledge Center. Primo VE includes access to the Primo Central Index, which makes Primo a fully-implemented discovery service. This service is included in CARLI's Alma & Primo VE contract, and as such, will be covered by your library's I-Share assessment.
Answered 4/18/2019

What are the future plans for VuFind? Could my library continue to use VuFind after switching to Alma?

CARLI: CARLI is not planning to provide a VuFind interface to Alma. This is a major change that came late in our selection process as Ex Libris has changed the implementation of Primo. The new Primo, called Primo VE, uses the same configuration tools as Alma and also provides real-time item status information from Alma to Primo VE. Ex Libris is now bundling the two products and so our purchase of Alma includes Primo VE and Primo VE includes the central knowledge base of e-resource content that was previously provided through (old) Primo. VuFind does not and would not provide this e-resource content linking that will be available through Primo VE, so for that and other reasons, we will not be putting VuFind on top of Alma.
Answered 2/21/2019

My library uses a third party discovery service (e.g., EDS, Summon). Will we be able to continue using that service after migrating to Alma?

CARLI: I-Share libraries that are currently using third-party discovery services primarily chose those products to serve as alternatives to VuFind and/or the Voyager WebVoyáge catalog interface so that they could integrate e-resource discovery with their catalog search results. E-resource discovery was not an option in VuFind or WebVoyáge, but it is an integral part of Primo VE. We would strongly encourage libraries using third-party products to re-evaluate them in comparison to Primo VE, in terms of functionality, cost, and the ongoing effort your library staff would need to invest in the support of third-party products.

Primo VE will serve as the standard interface to the I-Share union catalog and the individual member institutions’ catalogs. Primo VE also serves as an e-resource discovery service. It makes use of a central knowledge base of e-resources and will take advantage of the e-resource management work you will do in Alma by presenting your users with access to the materials licensed by your library and CARLI. Also, the ongoing effort of making sure a third-party service is working with Alma will require more of your attention than it has with Voyager as Ex Libris performs monthly software updates to Alma and Primo, and all customers receive these software updates on this same monthly schedule. Also, the Primo VE product is included in the price CARLI will be paying for Alma and is not a cost that can be split out for libraries that choose not to use it.

Alma is designed to be an open product and has API’s that can be used to provide access to and from other discovery products. If after considering Primo VE, your library wishes to stay with another product, we encourage you to quickly begin working with the vendor of that product for advice on integrating it with Alma and to be prepared to do a considerable amount of product integration work and testing during the early spring of 2020 so that you are able to be ready for a June 2020 Alma deployment.
Answered 2/21/2019

Acquisitions and Serials

The timeframe for going live, Summer 2020, looks to be intertwined with the timeline for my library's fiscal year close. What approach do you recommend for doing both?

CARLI: We will keep Voyager and our reports environment available for at least several months after the anticipated Go Live date in June 2020. We anticipate doing a lot of planning as to how best to meet the Go Live date as well as our libraries’ needs to close out the fiscal year. This is something we will be planning in collaboration with the membership over the next several months.
Answered 2/21/2019

My library's Voyager Acquisitions client has a lot of old vendor data that we don't want to keep? Can I just start over with new vendors in Alma?

CARLI: CARLI has contracted with Ex Libris for each library to migrate their acquisitions data in full, so there is no additional cost for you to do so. There is also no requirement to migrate your acquisitions data if that is your preference; you may opt out now or later without penalty. However, a library may not opt in to migrating acquisitions data later without probably incurring costs from Ex Libris. You should choose the approach that works best for your operational needs and institutional data retention requirements.

If you choose to migrate acquisitions data, all existing data in Voyager will be migrated. Because of the dependencies among vendors, orders, and funds, it is not possible to migrate only one type of data but not others (e.g., migrate orders but no vendors). The migration process provides ways to declare older fund, order, and invoice records as closed.

If you choose to not migrate any acquisitions data and start over from scratch in Alma, you may still have some database maintenance to perform to prevent associated data from migrating.
Answered 3/15/2019

On the Migration Form Question 48 says "Indicate if you want to automatically close purchase orders that are single part, have been invoiced, and are older than N years”. Does this include purchase orders with line items that had not yet been received?

CARLI: Yes, it will close all line items on the purchase order, whether they are received or not. However, in Alma, line items that are closed or cancelled can be reopened and reused, so it is more flexible than Voyager in that regard.

If you prefer to not automatically close purchase orders that meet these criteria, simply input 0 in Question #48.
Answered 6/25/2019

Cataloging and Resource Management

My library performs routine authorities maintenance of name headings for our bibliographic records. Should we continue to perform this maintenance prior to the move to Alma? Will our efforts affect the Network Zone record?

CARLI: When we go to Alma, we will have a Network Zone that takes over the function of the union catalog. In Alma, the Network Zone is built using a first-in premise. That is, the first copy of a record that gets added becomes the "master record." This master record is a shared bibliographic record that will be linked to your local records in your Institution Zone. Linked institution and network zone records will be updated automatically when updates are made to either version; institution zone records may also have local fields to preserve locally-relevant bib-level data.
 
While we're still in Voyager, there remain benefits from continuing to improve bib records. Updating headings in bib records improves access to records and resources in both your library's catalog and the I-Share union catalogs. 
 
CARLI hasn't yet finalized how the Network Zone will be built. We are strongly considering the possibility of using the existing union catalog database to launch the Network Zone. In the event that we use our union catalog, then it will be vital to have the most up-to-date data possible for everyone.
Answered 3/15/2019; revised 5/23/2019

We are trying to prioritize our catalog data clean-up efforts in advance of migration to Alma, but we see that there are many records and projects needing attention. What is the most critical clean-up we should perform?

CARLI's Technical Services Committee has reviewed and prioritized the different clean-up projects into the order that will provide the best data moving forward. It's best to start at the top of the list and move down, even if you see that a project listed lower may have a higher record count. If your time and staff are limited to choosing only one project, then work on the project to Resolve conflicts when item records have permanent locations different from the location in the MFHD.

Answered 4/19/2019

Will records suppressed at the time of the migration come over as suppressed or will they potentially be converted as unsuppressed?

CARLI: The Alma migration process respects the existing state of record suppression. Bibliographic and holding records that are unsuppressed in Voyager will be unsuppressed in Alma. Records that are suppressed in Voyager will be suppressed in Alma.

If suppressed bibliographic and holdings records are included on a library's "P2E" list, the library will have to specify on the migration form whether to create electronic portfolios, packages, or databases for those records during migration. Choosing to make a portfolio will unsuppress the record(s). Choosing to not make a portfolio will keep the record(s) suppressed, but not create any electronic inventory.
Answered 4/18/2019

The Test Load Phase timeline states that we will fill out migration and configuration forms by August 2019. My library hasn't completed all the pre-migration tasks yet.

CARLI: The Test Load Phase will be the first time that all 91 I-Share libraries will go through the migration process together. The test load will create the Alma environment for each library using the data available when CARLI performs the data extractions. However, libraries may continue to perform database maintenance activities through the start of the production, or "cutover phase," which will begin in Spring 2020.
Answered 5/23/2019

What is the Physical to Electronic “P2E” Process?

CARLI: Alma is a Unified Resource Management System:  it can manage electronic resources side-by-side with print resources, without imposing the typical bibliographic-holding-item record structure onto e-resources. If there are MARC bib and holding records for electronic items in your Voyager database, the P2E process will convert these data (and any associated orders) into records that are more appropriate to electronic workflows (e.g., licensing, activation, access terms, etc.).

CARLI has run a report that identifies what we believe to be the bib records for e-resources you currently have in Voyager.  By July 9 you need to indicate which of these records represents a portfolio (title level), package (group of portfolios), or database and send the file back to us as described in the P2E Video. Then, during migration, the P2E process will transform the MARC records into active e-resource inventory (portfolios, packages, or databases). If these records have associated purchase orders, those will also be transformed into e order types during the process. This will also result in these resources being presented as e-resources to your patrons in PrimoVE. More information on P2E and the deadlines associated with it can be found on the main Alma Primo VE page.
Answered 6/25/2019

NETWORK ZONE

What e-resources will be active for all libraries in the Network Zone (NZ)?

CARLI staff will activate all CARLI licensed databases and ebooks and selected free/Open Access collections in the NZ.  More information on current and planned NZ collections is on CARLI website.

Patron Data and User Authentication

I see that Alma supports a single-sign on authentication method. If we implement single-sign on, will we use SAML attributes for identifying patrons, or will patrons still require barcodes?

CARLI: Alma does support, and in fact, prefer, that institutions go to a single sign on setup. Please don't stop using barcode numbers yet, though. I-Share resource sharing allows onsite borrowing and item pickup at any of the 91 I-Share libraries and that means the patron has to have some ID number that can be scanned or otherwise entered at the lending library. Technically, it should be possible to move away from the barcode ID number in the future, but we won't be able to do that until sometime after the Alma migration is completed and we have time to plan and test this kind of major change with all 91 libraries.
Answered 2/21/2019

I see that Alma supports "SIS Integration" for the exchange of patron data between an SIS (e.g., PeopleSoft) and Alma. How similar is this method to CARLI's current Voyager Patron Load process? Will libraries still file work requests and transfer patron files via secure FTP?

CARLI: Alma's student information system integration enables Alma to import user data from and export user data to a student information system. Files of patron data are still transferred securely with some degree of automation. We expect that some I-Share libraries will want to and be able to format, schedule, test and upload their patron file updates on their own in Alma. However, our members are very diverse and some may wish for CARLI staff to perform this work for them. We will be able to answer this in more detail in the coming months.
Answered 2/21/2019

When will my library and my institution's IT group be able to begin working on integrations to student information systems?

CARLI: Once your library receives its Alma environment, or Institution Zone, after the test load migration in Fall 2019, you will receive an account to the Ex Libris Developer Network. This account will enable your institution to use Alma APIs in conjunction with your Institution Zone.
Answered 5/23/2019

Does Alma support the authentication system used by my institution?

CARLI: Alma supports three protocols for use in authenticating library users--staff and patrons--to Alma and Primo VE: SAML, CAS, and LDAP. Many of the authentication systems in use by I-Share libraries now, including Shibboleth, ADFS, Azure Active Directory, and OpenAthens, are covered by these protocols. Library and information technology staff may review the requirements and configuration details on the Ex Libris Developer Network Institutional IDP page.
Answered 5/23/2019

My institution does not have an external authentication provider. When should I plan to have a provider in place?

CARLI: Ex Libris requires that libraries have external authentication in place and configured by the time a library goes live on Alma. External authentication is used to enable library staff to work with Alma, and used to provide patrons with single sign-on access to Primo. Library staff should work with institutional IT teams to put an external identity provider in place by June 2020.
Answered 5/23/2019

Reporting

Voyager provides back-end reporting capabilities via Oracle and ODBC. Will we have a similar reporting interface for Alma?

CARLI: Alma will include the Oracle Business Analytics service for data analysis and reporting. Because of the differences between client server and cloud hosted architectures, the functionality is not the same was with our current reporting setup. This is standard in Alma for all customers.
Answered 2/21/2019

Implementation/Migration Form

Q5. Do you currently allow digitization/photocopy requests from patrons?

CARLI: This is a "planning ahead" question for Ex Libris. Alma has a service called a digitization request form. If your library already digitizes or photocopies resources at the request of your patrons, then Ex Libris and CARLI will be aware that you might need to focus some attention on setting up this service during the test migration phase.  If your library does not already perform this service, you can answer No.
Answered 7/19/2019

Q7. Do you currently update your Voyager bibliographic data from external sources/systems (other than OCLC)?

CARLI: With this question, we are trying to identify any situations when your library is getting MARC records from a resource vendor or publisher, or getting MARCIVE or GPO records, and loading those records into Voyager (either manually or in batch via WRO).  You do not need to indicate the consortial record sets that CARLI manages and loads, such as the Alexander Street Press collections, Springer Medicine eBook Collection 2005-2010, or Sage e-Journal 2007 Deep Backfile Collection; CARLI plans to continue to manage these record sets for I-Share libraries with the Network Zone.
Answered 7/19/2019

Q8.  Are there any external systems (apart from OCLC and HathiTrust) to which Alma bibliographic and/or holdings data should be exported?

CARLI: With this question, we are trying to identify any vendors or partners with whom you regularly share your bibliographic and holdings data. Alma supports publication jobs that help to manage this workflow for you, but some configuration is necessary and different vendors may have different data needs.

Examples of these external systems may include data sent to GOBI (e.g., for the GobiTween service); to a document delivery service, such as Rapid ILL; to third party bibliographic or authority maintenance vendors (e.g., Backstage Library Works); or to a third party discovery vendor.
Answered 7/19/2019

Q16. What financial/accounting system does your institution use?

CARLI: This is another "planning ahead" question for Ex Libris. Alma is able to integrate with various third-party systems including institutional financial and accounting systems. By knowing which institutions use which systems, we may be able to help libraries with these integrations. If possible, please ask at your institution level and respond with the name of the system even if the library has no immediate plans to set up such integration. Some examples of such financial systems are: Ellucian, Jenzabar, or Banner. 
Answered 7/19/2019

Q23. Specify bib tags which will be marked as local.

CARLI: UPDATED JULY 16, 2019: ALLOWED LOCAL FIELDS ARE 09X, 59X, 69X, 77X, 78X, and 950-999. No other fields may be marked as local.  (The allowed local fields list was formerly 09X, 59X, 69X, 9XX.)

Why are Local Fields important?

Local fields are important to identify now because our implementation of Alma includes a Network Zone (NZ), which will allow us to have shared bibliographic data among all I-Share libraries. An institution's bib record will be linked to the network record and kept in sync. Changes made to one record will be reflected in all linked records. (There will be some cataloging privileges associated with changing the NZ record, but that's something we're still working on.) Institutions may designate local fields in a specific range of tags (09X, 59X, 69X, 77X, 78X, and 950-999) where explicitly local data will be retained even when the NZ record is changed, and that data will only be visible to an institution’s local users of Alma, and to Primo VE users of your library's view of data.  When your library's data is migrated to Alma, your existing records will be added to your institution zone (IZ) first. After that, they will be linked on OCLC number to the NZ records, which are coming from our current I-Share union catalog database. Your IZ record will then appear to be replaced by whatever the current NZ "master" record is. However, the Alma metadata editor allows you to review past versions of records and see if anything was "lost". CARLI will have much more to say about these mechanics soon and will help libraries strategize data clean up projects to maximize the retention of their local data.
Answered 7/19/2019

Q33. If possible, please provide test user credentials for your proxy server.

CARLI: How long do these credentials need to be valid and what permissions do these credentials need to have are most commonly asked. Ex Libris is not asking for server access to your proxy server; rather, it is helpful if Ex Libris staff can have a set of test user credentials on file so that they can authenticate via your proxy server when assisting you in troubleshooting link resolution issues in Primo VE during testing and after we go live with Alma/Primo VE.
Answered 7/19/2019

Q34. Which identification number should be used by patrons as the primary identifier?
Q35. Augment the patron record's primary identifier?
Q36. If you answered "Yes, add Prefix" or "Yes, add Suffix" to the above question, list the text string that should be added below.

CARLI: We have received numerous questions about Q34-Q36 and is working with Ex Libris staff to create some additional documentation on this topic. For now, answer these questions to the best of your ability, and watch for additional information in the coming weeks and months.
Answered 7/19/2019

Q40. Do you want to migrate suppressed serial issues?

CARLI: Checked-in serial issues from Voyager are migrated into items in Alma. If you have toggled the "Display in OPAC" option to "No" in the Serials History of Voyager, you have the option of not migrating those specific serial issues depending on how you answer this question. 

If you answer Yes, all serial issues will migrate, and have item records created, regardless of their "Display in OPAC" status in Voyager. They will be unsupressed in Alma, but a note will be added that they were suppressed in Voyager.

If you answer No, those serial issues that you have opted to not "Display in OPAC" in Voyager will not be migrated to Alma and you will lose that receipt history.
Answered 7/19/2019

Q41. Do you want to generate a system-formatted barcode for serial issues?

CARLI: During the migration, Alma will be transforming your serial issues into individual item records. As part of the process, it can automatically assign a system-formatted barcode to each item. Barcodes are not required by Alma, though some workflows prefer them.  Select "Yes" to have a system-generated barcode assigned and "No" for no barcode. If you already add barcodes to even some of your serial issues select "No". After the test load, CARLI may have a recommendation for all I-Share libraries.
Answered 7/19/2019

Q45. Does your library want to migrate Voyager Acquisitions Data?

CARLI: If you are only interested in migrating your checked-in serials issues and predictions (no financial data is tracked or required to be transferred to Alma), you should select None – No Acquisitions. Q40 and Q53 also relate to checked-in serials issues and prediction patterns and how they will migrate.
Answered 7/19/2019

Q49. If you migrate Voyager Acquisitions data, you may choose a Central Ordering Library.
Q50. If you migrate Voyager Acquisitions data, you may choose a Default Order Library.

CARLI: The migration attempts to map the Voyager PO location field to the corresponding Alma Library. If you want to override this mapping and instead assign an Alma Library to all orders migrated, enter an Alma Library code value for the Central Order Library question. Otherwise, if you want to use the Voyager PO location field to determine the Alma Library, leave the Central Order Library blank and enter an Alma Library code value in the Default Order Library question. In this case, the migration attempts to determine the Alma Library based on the Voyager PO location field, and only when a library is not specified or a mapping is not found does it use the Default Order Library.

If a Central Ordering Library is designated, then the Voyager-mapped-to-Alma PO location is overwritten.  The "Central Ordering Library" designated on the Migration form becomes the ordering library of all migrated PO Lines. The Library designated here should be an Alma Library CODE defined on your Alma Libraries spreadsheet. 

The Default Order Library designated on the Migration form is only used as the PO Line owner if the Alma Library associated with the Voyager-mapped-to-Alma PO location cannot be determined. 

Small institutions with Centralized Acquisitions may want to consider designating a Central Ordering Library.  For all other institutions, Ex Libris recommends that they designate a Default Order Library on the Migration form. When in doubt, institutions should designate a Default Order Library.

Alma is mapping the PO locations "up" a level to the Alma Library--rather than a "Happening Location" as in Voyager--because Alma has a two-level structure (library and physical location) and Voyager only has a single level (Voyager location).
Answered 7/19/2019

Q53. Do you want classic prediction patterns migrated from Voyager to the Alma holding record?

CARLI: In Alma, serials prediction is managed at the holding record level, and classic prediction patterns can be migrated from Voyager to continue your current subscription predictions. If you are using Voyager Acquisitions for serials check-in, CARLI recommends you select "Current" as a response for this question.

If you select "None - do not migrate classic prediction patterns" your checked in serial issues will still migrate and you will still be able to set up prediction in Alma, or receive issues manually.

If you have multiple check-in records on one title (for example, a title with multiple parts), the migration process will add a new holding record for each check-in record that you have in Voyager.

Complex Publication Patterns and Non-Predictive Publication Patterns are not migrated.
Answered 7/19/2019

Alma Libraries

Will I be able to make changes to the Alma_Libraries_xxx.xlsx between the Test Load in fall 2019 and the Production Load in spring 2020?

CARLI: No. Alma Libraries are deeply tied to the configuration processes of Alma.  As such, they are only migrated from Voyager once (during the Test Load) and are retained like standard configuration into the Production Load. Any minor changes to library address, phone number, or hours after the Test Load can be made in directly in Alma, but you should not add or delete Alma Libraries.
Answered 7/19/2019

How do I know if I should create another Library in Alma?  

CARLI: From the Ex Libris Knowledge Center: "Voyager has one level of location, and Alma has two levels: library and physical/shelving location. Locations in Voyager are generally analogous to the physical/shelving locations in Alma. Libraries are higher level units that contain groups of locations. A list of Alma libraries must be created with locations on migration to Alma. Alma libraries serve as higher-level repositories for physical records and also determine policy groupings for their management and fulfillment. The lower-level physical location does not determine policy for an item and is only the physical shelving location or collection. All physical resources in your institution must belong to a library and a location. In Voyager, there is only one level of location – the Voyager location. It may be a storage location, a happening location, or a print location. In addition, Voyager has policy groups that combine locations that share the same policies. An Alma library can be viewed as a combination of the Voyager policy and the Voyager happening location, but it is also a locational entity (where the item is located). Ex Libris recommends that your list of libraries closely mimic your policy groupings together with your happening locations – which often represent a grouping of locations from an organizational perspective."

Here are some questions to ask to determine if you need more than one Alma Library:

  • Is the library in a different physical place?  A separate library will ensure that transit statuses are recorded. 
  • Are there different open hours?  Alma can assign items to be due at closing time.  If there are different hours, a separate library will ensure due dates are assigned correctly.
  • Are electronic resources limited by library (i.e. students associated with the Art Library can access a different subset of resources (or have different links) than the Main Library)?
  • Are there separate acquisition departments/are resources acquired separately?
  • Do you need to define separate staff roles/permissions based on a library scope (i.e. Someone can manage funds for the Media Center, but not for the Main library?)

Contact to discuss specific examples/questions at your institution. 
Answered 7/19/2019

Alma Locations

Will I be able to make changes to the Location_List_XXX.xlsx between the Test Load in fall 2019 and the Production Load in spring 2020?

CARLI: No. Locations are deeply tied to the configuration processes of Alma. As such, they are only migrated from Voyager once (during the Test Load) and are retained like standard configuration. Any minor changes made to an existing Location's name or suppression status after the Test Load must be done in both Voyager and in Alma until we go live on Alma. Please note that, while it is possible to add new locations in Voyager and Alma before we go live on Alma, this significantly increases the risk of mistakes during the migration and is NOT recommended. If you feel that you need to add a new location to Voyager after July 23, 2019, please contact the CARLI Office before proceeding!
Answered 7/19/2019

How should I map Voyager electronic Locations to Alma if the materials are going to be handled by the P2E process?

CARLI: It is recommended that you map all of your Voyager electronic locations into one (or more) Alma e-resource location(s) that are not suppressed from discovery. This way, if any e-resources "slip through the cracks" during the migration and P2E process, they will still be easily identifiable as electronic and can be corrected after migration. 

Since the location will not be suppressed from discovery, any e-resources that are left in these locations or missed by the P2E process will still be available via Primo VE, as physical resources. Once any clean-up that is required to correct the resource type is completed, you will be able to delete the now-obsolete Alma e-resource location.  Any clean-up of this variety that is identified after the Test Load will need to be made in Voyager, or done in Alma after the Production Load; any bibliographic data changes made in Alma will not persist between Test and Production loads because all bibliographic data are re-extracted and loaded.
Answered 7/19/2019

Can I eliminate a Voyager location during the migration to Alma?

CARLI: Yes. You may map obsolete and/or empty locations to a suppressed location for future review/deletion in Alma, (e.g., "ZZobsolete" or "Review").  Don't forget to mark the location row's "Column K- Alma Suppress Location from Discovery" as Yes for such locations.
Answered 7/19/2019

Can I collapse one or more Voyager locations into a single location during the migration to Alma?

CARLI: Yes. Enter the same Alma Location Code and Alma Location Name into "Column H-Alma Location Code" and "Column I-Alma Location Name" for each location row that you are merging.  Note that when you collapse two or more Voyager locations into a single Alma Location, the first spreadsheet row with that Alma Location CODE (reading from top to bottom in the Location list) provides the Alma Location Name, Alma External Location Name, Alma Suppress Location from Discovery, and Electronic Location Yes/No information for that line and all subsequent lines below it that have the same Alma Location CODE.  
Answered 7/19/2019

Can I split a Voyager location into two locations during the migration to Alma?

CARLI: No, you will need to migrate the single Voyager location to Alma and then work on separating the location directly in Alma once we have gone live on Alma.
Answered 7/19/2019


If you have questions not represented here, please consult with your library's Alma/Primo Liaison and submit your questions to .