How does Alma support cataloging in a consortial environment?
Alma is designed to allow single-site institutions and consortia to manage their catalog(s) and inventory, by providing the ability to manage local holdings and collections as well as shared resources (e.g., resources from the consortium). Resources managed within an institution can be described using either the local catalog’s records, as is done in today’s systems, or an institution can link its inventory records to the metadata records in the Community Zone, which eliminates the need to download these records to the local catalog.
Alma optionally models the consortium as a group of individual institutions with a dedicated consortial zone called the Network Zone, which manages shared data and shared processes of the consortium. This model streamlines the workflows of the consortium because all of the members are using the same interface, processes and functionalities, thereby creating a unified working environment.
The ability to search and use (i.e., link to) another catalog within a consortium is supported in Alma by what we call institutional relationships. Two or more institutions can work together by exposing and/or sharing their data and providing services for this data:
- Exposing data – allow another institution to just search and view the data in the Catalog and Inventory
- Sharing data – allow another institution to link to the same record (“use it”) in the Catalog and Inventory
This is a more inventory-centric model, where the actual location of a bibliographic record is less important than in traditional ILS’s. The benefit of this hybrid model is the ability to combine local data with shared descriptive information.
Because Alma is not limited by the need to manage all descriptive records in the local catalog, sites have flexibility in sharing records, depending on how useful the record may be to the broader community. For shared records, libraries can attach local fields that are indexed and searchable, and may be published to discovery for end users.
From a staff user perspective, searching in the catalog and inventory is integrated and seamless. When searching for a record in Alma, staff users may search in their local institution as well as in the consortium; this allows them to view other institutions’ resources as well as the Network Zone catalog.
The screen shot below displays this capability:
As can be seen above, users can search their own institution, the consortium (the Network Zone) and the Community Zone shared catalog. When searching, users are able to see not only the holdings and records of another institution, but also to perform actions such as editing a shared record. This of course depends on the user’s authorization.
When a user views his/her own institution’s records, Alma will provide a visual indication that a resource is using a linked record to describe it. Clicking on this icon will lead the staff user to view the linked record in the Network or Community Zone catalog.
How does Alma support collaborative editing of cataloging records?
Cataloging edits can be restricted at the record level using the cataloger privileges functionality in Alma. This functionality gives you the option to define a hierarchy for better control of the privilege to edit bibliographic and authority records. This functionality is handled through cataloging level code assignments per cataloger.
The Metadata (MD) Editor in Alma displays the current cataloging level. Any user assigned an equal or higher value cataloging level can edit the record. In addition, the MD Editor provides the option to change the cataloging level for the record. Any cataloging level equal to or below that of the cataloging level assigned to the user can be set as the cataloging level for the record. If the user’s cataloging permission level is lower than the cataloging level assigned to the record, the user can only view the record.
How does Alma resolve multiple matches of records in the NZ?
The import profile allows for defining how to handle multi-matches:
When multiple matches are found, the user can try to resolve them using several automatic decisions. If the decision is checked, the following actions are made in Alma:
- Get the record inventory type according to the “inventory information” tab, operation parameter:
- None- nothing to do, continue as usual.
- Physical/Electronic- this is the inventory type P/E.
- Mixed- in this case need to derive for each bib record the type of inventory according to the “Resource type” mapping.
- Get the matched record inventory type:
- Retrieve all the IE objects that are linked to the record. In consortia, retrieve them also from all the members.
- If there are Electronic Items and Physical Items – we mark them as mixed
- If there are Electronic Items and no Physical Items – we mark them as Electronic
- If there are Physical Items and no Electronic Items – we mark them as Physical
- Finding the best match:
- A single type match (E-E or P-P) – we select it.
- More than single match- the process will continue as usual without resolving the multiple matches.
- No matched record with the relevant type and there is a single ‘MIX’- we select it.
- None of the above - The process will continue as usual without resolving the multiple matches
How can a batch of records be deleted by one library without negatively affecting the data of other libraries sharing those same records?A member institution can build a set of the records and then delete them by running a job such as “delete bibliographic records” or “withdraw items”. This will affect only the member institution running the job. It will not affect other institutions or the network zone.As an example:Searching the Network Zone shows that the following titles are held by both ‘Alma University’ and ‘Open University’:The Open University chooses to delete these records and other records from their inventory (catalog). They create a set of the records and then run a job such as “withdraw items” or “delete bibliographic records”:Once the job has run, the records shown above will now only display holdings in Alma University when searching the Network Zone:
How can libraries within a consortium define local fields that will only be viewable by the member library?
Members of a consortium can add local fields that will only display when in the member's repository.
This is achieved by adding a 'local' rather than a 'regular' field:
The local field will display in the MD Editor with the institution icon:
In the member's repository staff will see the local field:
In the NZ or repositories of other members of the consortium, this field will not display:
How do network search results display?