Previously, each CSU library used three to five different systems to manage its print and electronic resources. In 2017, the CSU went live with Alma, a library services platform that integrates all of the library's back office functionality into a single system, creating more streamlined workflows, and saving the CSU close to a million dollars a year.
In an environment of networked digital information, no academic library can be an island. We're utilizing Alma's extensive consortium functionality to collaboratively manage our collections, eliminating duplicate work at each campus, and leveraging local expertise for the benefit of the whole CSU.
In Alma, Chancellor's Office staff manage the complete lifecycle of the Electronic Core Collection and Opt-in packages — including vendor information, title lists, license terms, and usage data — eliminating the need for each campus to manage this information locally, as they did previously.
We've implemented a shared bibliographic database in Alma, allowing all of the libraries to benefit from cataloging work done at any one campus, including enhancements to existing records, system-wide authority control, and the adoption of new and emerging standards like RDA and Bibframe.
Alma's flexible reporting tools give us insights into the composition and usage of our collections — both at the campus level and system-wide — informing collection development decisions and content negotiations in a way that was simply impossible before.
Previously, each CSU library hosted its own ILS system. Across 23 campuses, that represented a significant annual cost in terms of servers, storage, back-ups, and staff time devoted to maintenance. Alma is hosted in the Cloud, allowing us to offload all those costs to Ex Libris.
Along with Alma, we've implemented Ex Libris' Primo discovery system. Primo brings together the library's various print materials, electronic journal articles, e-books, and local digital collections into a single, intuitive search interface with sophisticated personalization options.
Alma and Primo allow us to streamline previous workflows and collaboratively manage our collections. But it also gives us the opportunity to explore new collaborative services and strategic goals.
Alma's built-in resource sharing capabilities allow faculty and students to discover and request materials at other CSU campuses. Its integration with ILLiad and INN-Reach expands that to non-CSU institutions.
With deeper insights into the use and overlap of our print and electronic collections, we can better explore system-wide collection development and preservation strategies.
With Alma we can automate many steps in the ordering process, as well as collaboratively develop streamlined approaches to library purchasing.
Alma and Primo provide extensive APIs on which we can build creative new systems and services.
Alma integrates with PeopleSoft to fully automate patron data loads and synchronize purchase and fines data. We're also exploring tools that will integrate Primo with learning management systems.
Using a common library services platform allows us to implement innovative solutions that can be deployed at any CSU library. Let's see what new things we can do together!