Ex Libris Delivers the Third Partner Release of the Alma Library Management Service

This installment of the cloud-based service advances Alma's development partnership and early adopter programs

(PresseBox) ( Jerusalem, Israel, )
Ex Libris® Group, a world leader in the provision of library automation solutions, is pleased to announce that the third installment of the Alma library management service is now available to development partners. Released on schedule, the third release is being deployed to partners in the Ex Libris cloud environment and represents a milestone on the road to the solution's general release, planned for early 2012.

Highlights of this third partner release include the following:

- Advanced integration with the library's discovery layer
- Support for multiple cataloging formats
- Complete acquisition workflows, from ordering to invoicing and receiving
- Workflows for user-driven digitization on demand
- Support for e-resources standing order and the ability to activate selected titles from a package of resources
- Role-based user dashboards

Like all Ex Libris solutions, the features for this release were defined in close collaboration with development partners-Boston College; Princeton University Library; Purdue University Library; and K.U. Leuven, which includes the LIBIS library network. The development partners' in-depth feedback on the first two installments, along with their experience using the current release, will enable Ex Libris to improve and streamline Alma's handling of the full spectrum of library workflows.

"I am very pleased to continue the close collaboration with our development partners," noted Bar Veinstein, vice president of resource management solutions at Ex Libris. "With this third partner release, Alma has reached a stage that allows us to engage with institutions that are looking into becoming early adopters. We are currently launching regional early adopter programs for North America and Europe, and we plan to launch a similar program for Australia and New Zealand in 2012."

Alma Early Adopter and Collaborative Programs

As the development of Alma has progressed, Ex Libris has begun coordinating a number of collaborative partner programs, including focus groups, regional early adopters, and targeted working groups. As part of a series of activities in preparation for the general release of Alma, Ex Libris will be running "readiness" workshops throughout 2011.

The first workshops are planned for Ex Libris collaborative partners in Australia and New Zealand-Monash University; Swinburne University of Technology; the University of Western Sydney; a South Australian consortium consisting of Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, and the University of South Australia; and UNILINC, a consortium of academic libraries that includes The Australian Catholic University, Charles Sturt University and Southern Cross University. These workshops will help the institutions gain an understanding of the Alma workflows, the implications for the libraries' current processes, and the benefits that the institutions can reap from this next-generation library management service.

Ian McBain, university librarian at Flinders University, commented: "We joined the Alma Collaborative Partnership Program as the best possible path to a new-generation library system that would enable us to respond quickly to changing needs and opportunities. The positive way in which Ex Libris is engaging with the development partners and the impressive progress that has been made in the development of Alma indicate that our high expectations will be met. We look forward to the opportunities that implementing the Alma software will create for us."

"UWS is pleased to be involved in this exciting project," remarked Liz Curach, university librarian at the University of Western Sydney. "Alma will greatly enhance the student discovery experience while offering significant workflow efficiencies. The collaboration of Ex Libris with Australian partners ensures that regional priorities will be incorporated in this next-generation library management service."

About Alma

By consolidating the disparate systems used by today's libraries to manage electronic, print, and digital resources, the Ex Libris Alma solution accelerates libraries' move toward next-generation services. Alma's cloud infrastructure helps libraries increase their efficiency through data sharing and collaboration. As a result, libraries can focus their resources on extending services within and outside the institution and on supporting the institution's teaching and research missions.
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