How does Alma accommodate acquisition customization and collaboration at the library, and the consortium level?
The Acquisitions Network in Alma enables members of the network to share different aspects of a shared acquisitions process, such as shared collection development, shared management of licenses and shared vendor records. Members of this type of network typically work together for purchasing and/or negotiating e-resources jointly, including:
These networks always have some shared organization that manages the shared activities, such as:
- Consortial buying office
- State Chancellor’s office
- Cataloging Network office
Acquisitions Networks are typically managed using a Network Zone.
Shared Collection Development
Alma supports consortial purchasing and management of electronic resources. Electronic resource purchasing, negotiated by the consortium, is managed in the Network Zone, and electronic resources can be owned by all consortium members, a group of members, or an individual member. All of the different purchasing workflows may be managed centrally in the Network Zone in the same manner that they are managed in the single institution, including:
- Patron Driven Acquisitions
- Approval Plans
In the Alma Network Zone, electronic resources may be assigned an “Available For” definition, which defines the institutions that can gain access to the resource. Specific resources can have different “Available For” settings. Electronic resources that are made available for an institution will be:
- Searchable within the institution
- Published to the Discovery System
In addition, when assigning resources as available for particular members of the network, it is possible to:
- Assign specific coverage per member
- Activate proxy per member
Functionality related to managing e-resource collections in the Network Zone also allows for defining a resource’s availability per a group of members rather than for each member individually.
Note that when a resource is purchased centrally in the NZ, then the purchase is made with centrally NZ managed funds.
The following diagram illustrates centrally purchased NZ electronic inventory that has been purchased as a record and made available for institution B.
Managing the Electronic Resource in one place (the Network Zone) but making it available for many institutions in the consortium greatly reduces the amount of management needed to make these resources available for end users.
Can vendors be shared in a consortial environment?
Shared vendors are also available in the Network Zone and can be distributed to all network members. For shared vendors:
- Local attributes are editable at the institution level
- Global attributes are editable only in the Network level
- Any attribute added at the institution level will be considered as a “Local” attribute
- Any attribute that was created at the network and distributed to all members will be considered as Global and marked as “Shared”
The following screen capture shows the vendor file in the institution, with the green check marks indicating vendors 'inherited' from the network zone: