Alma Migration Update

Alma Migration Update

To: Consortium of MnPALS Libraries
From: Linda Richter, Implementation Manager
Re: Alma/Primo Implementation Update

Important Activities and Dates

I’ll be working on a more complete timeline, but for now here are some current and upcoming activities.

Recently Completed

  • Received our Alma sandboxes
  • Vanguard libraries viewed various Alma training videos, including searching, user management, and resource management
  • Vanguard libraries completed migration training related to link resolvers, electronic resources, and Aleph data
  • Migration forms were submitted to Ex Libris for the four vanguard libraries

Up next

  • 10/14 at 11:00 – 10/15 about noon: Extract of vanguard libraries’ data from Aleph; cataloging and acquisitions unavailable for ALL LIBRARIES
  • Vanguard libraries will view training videos for Acquisitions, ERM, Fulfillment, and Primo
  • Vanguard libraries will receive configuration training and complete the configuration forms
  • Form Functional Work Groups
  • 11/2: Begin reviewing migrated vanguard data

Long Range

  • 12/6-12/8: Vanguard libraries in-person workshop
  • Mid-January, 2018: Kickoff for the full consortium implementation

Vanguard Kickoff

With the vanguard libraries kickoff on September 6, the vanguard libraries, PALS, and Ex Libris began working together on the Alma/Primo implementation. The vanguard phase of the migration will span September through December, 2017. Along with the kickoff came our first assignments, which were to watch online videos created by Ex Libris and begin working on the implementation forms. That was followed by more videos and meetings. Since then, the various migration forms have also been completed. The vanguard library staff, PALS staff, and our Ex Libris Alma Implementation Team continue to meet weekly as the project progresses.

The first major milestone of the vanguard phase will be will be the migration of the vanguard library data. We will use our experience with their data migration and review in planning for the data migration and data review for the rest of the consortium. The vanguard libraries will go live on Alma at the same time as the rest of the consortium. Thank you to the consortium libraries that have volunteered to be members of the vanguard group. The libraries are:

  • College of Saint Scholastica
  • Minneapolis Community & Technical College
  • Minnesota Historical Society
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato

Ex Libris Project Manager for our Implementation Project

Ex Libris has appointed Dolph Chaney as our project manager. According to Ex Libris, “Dolph Chaney, MLS, brings over 20 years of library systems experience to his role as project manager for Ex Libris. Dolph comes to you having recently completed the California State University consortial implementation project which he managed. Dolph also has a deep technical background and I know that he will provide you with excellent support to successfully implement Alma and Primo at all of your libraries.”

Functional Work Groups

Currently, work groups are being formed to provide broad oversight over a functional area throughout the implementation period. This will allow us to involve more libraries early on in the process and build a group of Alma and Primo experts. As these are small groups, we are hoping to ensure representation from all library types, while doing what we can to avoid overburdening any individual or institution. We expect that these work groups will reach out to the broader consortium as needed.

Business Processes Review

The PALS staff are preparing documents that will be used to gather information about current and desired processes and workflows used by our member libraries. The first step will be to identify the processes that should be included in our review and discussion. We will be enlisting the help of the vanguard libraries and the functional work groups in compiling these lists for each functional area. We may also be seeking input from the broader consortium at some point in the future.

What if my institution is not in the vanguard group?

The implementation for the full consortium will begin in January, 2018 with a projected go-live date of late January, 2019. The 2018 implementation will follow the same steps as the vanguard phase, but will be stretched out over a longer period of time.

Before the implementation begins, each library will be asked to designate a small implementation team and one person from that team to be the team lead. (This will be an easy task for those of you from one-person libraries!) Your team lead will be the primary contact from the PALS office for all things Alma/Primo related. It is not too early to think about who will fill these roles. You might also begin to identify lead staff in each functional area, data experts, and public services staff who will be heavily involved in the migration.

If you are anxious to get started, here is a video you can watch that introduces you to Alma. In fact, you might find it useful to watch the video before the User Group meetings on October 27 in order to better understand the reports and discussions related to the migration.

Best Practice Reminder for Submitting Questions to PALS

As PALS staff members participate in Alma activities, we remind you to submit questions via the PALS Support Center instead of directly emailing an individual support person.

Submitting a PALS Support Center incident will ensure your questions are answered in a timely manner. We do not want to accidentally overlook a question sent to an individual via email, nor do we want answers to your questions delayed unnecessarily.

The PALS Support Center is a different login from the one you use for the PALS website/forum/wiki.

If you have any questions about the PALS Support Center, please contact Carrie Curie at or 507-389-1976.

Alma/Primo tidbits

Translating Aleph to Alma:

Aleph Cataloging = Alma Resource Management

Aleph Circulation = Alma Fulfillment

Aleph Interlibrary Loan = Alma Resource Sharing (part of Alma Fulfillment)

Aleph Acquisitions = Alma Acquisitions

Our number one goal is to achieve a successful implementation, but we will also strive to make it as easy as possible for you and as seamless as possible for your patrons.