The Alma WG and associated focus groups continue to work on a number of initiatives and issues including the following:

  • Alma UX phase 2 continues with work in the metadata editor and pain points in other areas. Ex Libris is planning demos in the spring, including one at ELUNA. The rollout will be in phases as it was for the main UI rollout (UX members first followed by general population). More information on what will be included in this phase should be coming soon
  • Smart recommendations are starting to be rolled out to the focus group members. Usage data recommendations were introduced to the group in August. The next use cases for exploration are concerned with communicating with vendor using EDI instead of manually and with collections with portfolios that are not discoverable

The WG also worked with Ex Libris on trying to plan for and resolve issues around Ex Libris’ need to standardize the number of premium sandbox refreshes per year and there timing. Ex Libris’ early 2019 rollout has been put on hold while responses and technological options are examined further.

New business

The Alma WG is also:

  • Nearing completion in setting up an Authorities focus group to work with Ex Libris
  • Working with the Community Zone Management Group to define priorities, set up sub-groups, and determine methodology for bringing new members on board
  • Working with Ex Libris on a way to communicate high priority bugs and establish a methodology for prioritizing the fix of other issues


2018 Enhancement Delivery:  The 2018 enhancements are taking longer to roll out this year, due to the complexity of the requests. All will be delivered in the first half of 2019. If you are interested in contributing to the discussion about these enhancements and are not already involved, please let Betsy Friesen (b-frie/@umn.edu) know and I will get you added to the Basecamp discussion for the particular enhancement.

4787: Resource Management: Indicate whether electronic collections are active in the Institution Zone when searching for portfolios in the Community Zone
5730: Ability to Preview Letters
5659: Allow Rollback to previous Request Status in Resource Sharing Requests
5746: Allow desktop printing directly from Alma

2019 enhancement calendar (Tentative)

Jan. 27 – Feb. 9, 2019 – New Enhancements to NERS (2 weeks)
Feb. 10 – Mar. 29, 2019 – Enhancement Team reviews, dedups, scopes, verifies and sets upvote in NERS (6 weeks)
March 31 –Apr. 13, 2019 – First round of voting (2 weeks)
Apr. 14 – 17, 2019 – Enhancement Team reviews results, prepare to send to Ex Libris for pointing.
April 17, 2019 – Enhancements to point to Ex Libris
April 18 – June 13, 2019 – Ex Libris pointing work (8 weeks, includes ELUNA meeting)
June 16 -June 29, 2019 – Second round of voting on pointed enhancements (2 weeks)

Betsy Friesen, University of Minnesota
Coordinator, Alma Working Group (Joint ELUNA/IGeLU)