Alma Product Working Group News

The Alma Product Working Group members continue to work behind the scenes for a better Alma. Here are a few updates from the past quarter.

Alma 2015/2016 Enhancement Update

Three of the six enhancements committed to development by Ex Libris from the 2015/16 cycle have been delivered.

  • Resource Management: Ability to Search All MARC fields and subfields – delivered Nov. 2015
  • Fulfillment: Batch overdue notices (single notification for more than one item) — delivered February 2016
  • General: Ability to export more than 5,000 rows to Excel — phase 1 delivered Feb 2016; phase 2 March 2016

Ex Libris provided the PWG with the following timeline for the remaining three enhancements (bulleted below). A further update will be posted to ALMA-L in mid-March.

  • Analytics: extend maximum number of rows that can be exported from Analytics to Excel – planned delivery Q1/Q2 2016
  • Analytics: add physical item information to funds expenditure subject area & fund information … planned delivery Q2 2016
  • Fulfillment: Enhanced handling for checkout of items with queued requests – planned delivery Q2 2016

Alma 2016/17 Enhancement Process

The 2016/17 enhancement process is underway.  Our enhancement groups, ably led by:

  • Ann Kutulas*, Sion Romaine, Jenny Quilliam (Acquisitions (including E-Resources)
  • Tom McNulty (Administration)
  • Scott Carlisle (Analytics)
  • Chris Jones*, Helen Loosli (Fulfillment (including Resource Sharing)
  • Dave Allen (Interoperability & Integration)
  • Ebe Kartus (Resource Management –)

will begin to slog through the 668 enhancements (378 enhancements were carried over from the last cycle and 290 new enhancements were added this year).  The first round of voting will take place April 4-22.

Alma 2016/17 Knowledge Base Enhancement Process

Enhancements to the Alma Knowledge Base (KB) will be handled through the SFX KB enhancement process. Alma users should submit enhancement ideas via the SFX KB in NERS and vote through that process. Changes/additions voted through this process will be reflected in both SFX and Alma KBs.

User Interface (Usability) Improvements

For the past year, the Alma Product Working Group has been working with Ex Libris to begin work improving the user interface in Alma. Ex Libris staff visited several institutions during the last half of 2015 and documented hundreds of usability and functional barriers to users of Alma. A few of those concerns were remedied in the January and February releases. Representatives from participating institutions and PWG members also rated the top 50 concerns from a list of 111 issues send to us by Ex Libris. Those 50 were forwarded them to Ex Libris early in February. More information will follow on ALMA-L in mid-March.

Betsy Friesen
Coordinator, Alma PWG