Alma at Northeastern University

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About Northeastern
The Boston campus stands on the site of the first
World Series, held in 1903. Tickets were $.50
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Snell Library
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Most of collection budget spent on electronic
Distance education & satellite campuses growing
Campus legal very risk-averse
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Our Systems Before Alma
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III Millennium ILS & ERM (Oracle)
TDNet TOUResolver & KnowledgeBase
EBSCO Discovery Service
III Millennium Web OPAC
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Why Alma?
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Our previous system was based on the management of
print resources
Library staff spend time doing more and more duplicate
work
Inability to easily extract critical management information
and reports from the system
Previous system was a closed system and the Library is
severely hampered by not being able to access its own
data and use it in new, innovative ways
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Why Alma?
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Alma is a “web-scale” library management system that
facilitates collaboration with other libraries
We really like the idea of sharing community metadata
Northeastern would not need to purchase or maintain local
hardware and servers for the cloud-based system
Interoperability with other Northeastern and vendor systems
Alma is designed to support new models of acquisitions,
including e-preferred, patron-driven, etc
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Why Alma?
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Alma will offer significant management information
and reporting as a standard module, including
usage information, cost per use.
We would like to be able to report statistical
information to ACRL and others in a more efficient
manner
There was a strong financial incentive as early
adopters as well as oppourtunity to shape the
product development
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Implementation Milestones
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Project start: October, 2012
First data extract: January, 2013
Functional workshop: February, 2013
Analytics training: March, 2013
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Implementation Milestones
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Revised acq data extract: April, 2013
Final data extract: June, 2013
Go-live: July, 2013
Certification training: July, 2013
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Challenging Implementation
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Missing context in WebEx training
O Alma expertise, where art thou?
More onsite visits please!
Missing and developing data migration docs
Project management plans
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Challenging Implementation
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Please, please, please let me get what I
want: access to configurations before go-live
Tough migration process from non-EXL
products
3rd Party integrations a moving target
Certifiably… certified?
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Two months live…
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Optimistic about the future of Alma
Still excited about URM model
Happy to have hot fixes and monthly release
cycle
Forces us to look at workflows
Already impressed with Analytics and see
potential for it to be even more powerful
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Two months live…
Disappointed by the state of e-resource
management
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Uresolver: lots of customization needed
Knowledge Base: not the same as SFX?
Portfolio management: difficult and time
consuming
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Licensing: missing stability and flexibility
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Two months live…
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Resource Management challenges
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Metadata editor is still slow and awkward
Big sets & global updates are still difficult for us
No workflows have been improved…yet
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Two months live…
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Missing flexibility & customization options
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User roles and permissions
Order records
Licensing
Notices
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Two months live…
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UI & UX needs improvement
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Not intuitive
Course reserves & other core workflows clunky
Portfolio editor awkward
Metadata editor
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Two months live…
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But we are still VERY optimistic!
Convinced that Alma is the future
Excited about partnering with ExL to improve it
Eager to see more sites go live and build a strong
community
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