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Alma Primo VE Frequently Asked Questions: Migration and Configuration Forms

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Implementation/Migration Form

Will my library need to complete a new migration form before the production migration?

CARLI: The production migration will require the use of a migration form. Ex Libris typically advises libraries to start from the form used with the test migration, and make adjustments to that form as needed.
Answered 1/28/2020

Where can I find a copy of the migration form that CARLI submitted to Ex Libris?

CARLI: The actual migration form that was used to extract data from Voyager and prepare it for Alma has been stored in your library's Box account. Look in your XXX Test Load Delivery folder ("XXX" is your three letter CARLI code) for Alma Test Migration Form XXX_FINAL.xlsm. This migration form is similar to the configuration forms libraries filled out during the test migration, and library staff editing the files must not change the structure of the file.
Answered 1/28/2020

The following questions pertain to the CARLI version of the implementation and 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

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

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

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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

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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

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