From March 13 to 15, an Ex Libris consultant came to the Libraries and facilitated a three-day workshop on Alma workflows. The first one and half days of the workshop were devoted to technical services topics, from ordering to receiving/activating to invoicing to cataloging. The second half of the workshop covered fulfillment issues, such as user management, circulation, requests, resource sharing, and course reserves. The participants of the workshop included the Implementation Team members, the working group members, and staff from technical, collection, and access services. The university librarian also attended most of the sessions. The feedback on the workshop was generally positive: The Ex Libris facilitator was very knowledgeable and well prepared. The demonstrations went smoothly. The discussions were both lively and calm, perhaps thanks to the puppy pictures the facilitator included throughout her presentation.
An important takeaway for everyone at the workshop is that we need to think about changing our workflows and sometimes policies to maximize the benefits of Alma, instead of simply trying to transfer our current practices in the Sirsi environment to Alma. This will guide the work of the team and working groups in the coming months.
Preparing for and participating in the Alma workshop was the main activity for the Implementation Team and working groups in March. All the working groups were also busy with both internal training and testing. The Implementation Team had four weekly training sessions with Ex Libris, two on Alma and two on Primo VE. On the migration front, the Data Migration and System Integration Group is currently working hard on third-party integration issues.
Submitted by Tao Yang and Abbey DiPaolo