Full Presentation Descriptions


Analyzing Expectations and Change with Alma

The University of Tennessee Library has been live on Alma since December, 2014.  We accomplished a tremendous amount of work during our six-month implementation as well as the past 22 months to move from an integrated library system to a library services platform (LSP).  My talk will focus on how our library has changed since moving to Alma.  I will cover the expectations we held prior to Alma and compare them with those changes we are actually experiencing.  Some of the changes have been completely unexpected!  I’m hoping for an interesting and informative talk, and will save time at the end for discussion and Q&A.

Mike Rogers, – University of Tennessee

Breakout Sessions 1

The OPAC and ‘real research’ at Harvard

We’re fortunate to have some dedicated and passionate users of the Harvard Library, some of whom are deeply attached to the Aleph OPAC (“HOLLIS Classic”) that has been in place for well over a decade. We’ve been running this system in parallel to “next-generation discovery” tools, but one day it will have to retire. Among some faculty and graduate students, there is the belief that the newer tools, while they may offer some advantages, do not offer sufficient features to serve as an adequate replacement for the OPAC. How do we move forward without leaving our users at a loss? Which functions are handled better by the OPAC? What improvements are needed in ‘next-generation’ tools to satisfy the needs of users at a research library? Warning: this presentation may have more questions than answers.

Corinna Baksik, – Harvard University

Mapping a new library world: using Alma Analytics to inform space planning

The Snell Library at Northeastern University is currently in the process of repurposing stack areas used for print collections into flexible spaces for campus collaboration, creation, and learning. But while typical data-driven approaches to collection maintenance rely principally on circulation counts and other metrics of usage, few approaches integrate that data with information about the physical space those collections take up. By combining circulation and in-house print collection use data from Alma Analytics with library floor plans, we have developed heat maps and charts that directly illustrate stack locations and square footage of LC classifications experiencing growth, stability, and decline in use. In this presentation we will share how we created these maps and data visualizations and how they could be used to help librarians target likely sections of the collection to review, in order to weed and shift with efficiency and confidence, and minimize the inconvenience to print users as we renovate library space to meet changing campus needs. A similar approach could be used to assess other uses of library space, and to explore the library’s impact on users in ways that extend beyond the collections.

Steven Braun, G. Karen Merguerian, – Northeastern University


Breakout Sessions 2

The new Primo User Interface

The MetaLib/Primo Product Working Groups have worked closely with Ex Libris to develop a customization workflow where you can run a primo view from your desktop with the aid of Node.js.  See a demo and provide input on ways to share code and work collaboratively (via GitHub and NPM).

Allen Jones, – The New School

The Art of the Deal: The Financial Side of Alma, Hilda Drabek

This presentation covers the financial aspects of Alma: vendor records, ledgers and funds, invoices, and Fiscal Period Closure. We will discuss vendor record migration from a legacy system, and post-migration cleanup; provide recommendations about ledger and fund setup, including how to fix your ledgers or funds if you make bad choices; provide helpful hints about processing invoices; and discuss Fiscal Period Closure from preparation to post-FPC tidying up. Discussion is encouraged. Attendees need not be live on Alma; those in Alma implementation and those who are just curious are all welcome.

Hilda Drabek, Janice Christopher, – University of Connecticut

Working with your vendors on your Alma migration

Discussion about preparation with your vendors on your library’s Alma migration.

YBP Library Services


Breakout Sessions 3

From Data Warehouse to Tableau

In our presentation we would like to demonstrate how we use SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) to pull and combine data from a wide variety of sources including Primo, Aleph, the University FAME and student registry systems into the Library data warehouse. We also plan to show how we employ Tableau to analyze and present this data.

David Perry, Camelia Anghel, – NYU

Voyager to Alma Migration: A Small College Experience

This presentation will describe the process of migrating from the Voyager Integrated Library System to the Alma Library Management System at Saint Peter’s University, a small Catholic college in Jersey City, NJ.   We will discuss the challenges the recent migration presented from various team members’ perspectives, including systems, acquisitions, circulation, and training.  We will also present usability findings comparing our former discovery layer and Primo.

Daisy DeCoster, AnnMarie Ziadie, – Saint Peter’s University, Hao Zeng, – William Paterson University

Aleph reports for SUNYs

Aleph reports and custom reports created by SUNY OLIS. Sandbox demo and table configuration tutorials.

Natalie Sturr, – SUNY Oswego, Kristy Lee, – SUNY New Paltz


Breakout Sessions 4

Simplify your holdings display, and make them work for users

Alma and Primo have gone live at the University of Connecticut Libraries for a year. Based on user experience about the discovery layer, the staff is working to make the holdings information simple and easy to use. Chenwei Zhao, the Electronic Resources Librarian, will share her experience using the display logic rules to deduplicate EBSCO journal holdings in Primo, and her journey figuring out a most efficient way to configure online service orders. She will also share her use of the Alma Overlap Analysis tool in this project.

Chenwei Zhao, – University of Connecticut

Getting to know SFX

Want to know what all those links do on the SFX dashboard?  Kind of know what they do, but not sure how people use them? Then come to our session.  In it, we will provide an introduction and use cases for main aspects of SFX, including the KB, exporting tools, and basic menu configuration. We will leave plenty of time for Q&A at the end. Whether you are new to SFX or just want a more structured orientation to the tool, please join us.

Abigail S. Baines, – Hampshire College,  Rose Reynolds, – Smith College

Going off-label with the ERM

We we present a workflow developed to track non-bibliographic library related subscriptions and a workflow for “acquistion” of Open Access Resources.

Judy Diffenderfer, Marta Cwik, Katy Silberger, – Marist College


Breakout Sessions 5

Virtualizing Your ILS Client

As libraries shift more towards hosted and SaS (Software as Service) ILS applications, there is an increasing expectation that the clients will behave like web-based software. At The New School we still work with primarily self-hosted ILS components (centered around Aleph), however we have begun using AppsAnywhere to create virtualized clients for our self-hosted applications. In our presentation, we will talk about what a virtualized client is, how it behaves differently from a locally installed client, and generally investigate the benefits and challenges of virtualized clients.

Anthony Dellureficio, Zach Stephens, – The New School

License Management in Alma versus CORAL

Licensing is an essential component of acquisitions, electronic resource management, and scholarly communication. So how does Alma perform in terms of license management? And how does its performance rival those of other library services platforms and e-resource management systems? The University of Connecticut is assessing whether to migrate its license and vendor data from CORAL, a commonly used open-source ERMS solution, to Alma. This presentation compares and contrasts the licensing functionalities of Alma versus CORAL and makes the case for (and against) migration. Features, pros, and cons of each system will be contrasted and the working user interfaces will be demonstrated. Other library license managers will be discussed. Attendees will leave this presentation with a clearer, contextualized understanding of the benefits and limitations of using Alma for license management.

Michael Rodriguez, – University of Connecticut


Breakout Sessions 6

Tableau hands on session

Do you have an interesting visualization in Tableau?  Do you have a data set and are looking for advice on presenting the data?  We are looking to share interesting Tableau visualization using Library data and offer hint and suggestions for any tableau project you are working.  New to Tableau?  Come to the session and see how your colleagues are using Tableau. If you are interested in sharing your visualization or would like to ask the group for suggestions  on analyzing and presenting  your data please sign up to participate in this session at: https://goo.gl/forms/IwCJApYxUDpImYrx2

Steve Bischof – UMass Amherst, Ray Schwartz, – William Paterson University

Building an Alma Digital Repository: An Early Adopter’s Experience

When phase two of Alma’s support for the management of digital resources launched in January 2016, UMass Dartmouth had been working with the product for several months as an early adopter. In this presentation, we will introduce new users to the functionality and potential of Alma as a digital repository. We will discuss our process for importing metadata and objects from our local installation of Omeka, our use of Alma as an original asset management system, the harvesting of metadata by the Digital Commonwealth, and the configuration of Alma to use SoundCloud as an external repository. We encountered several obstacles to accomplishing these tasks and will share our solutions with the hope of saving others time and frustration. We will also provide an overview of the Digital Collection Discovery in Primo as well as our plans for future development.

Matthew Sylvain, Dawn Gross, – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth


Breakout Sessions 7

Query about your Aleph SQL Queries [Hands On]

This is a hands on as well as a discussion of all things SQL. For the most part we will focus on SQL in Aleph, but other SQL topics can be discussed.

Steve Bischof, – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Kevin Collins, – CUNY

Alma ‘How To’ session (Optional Hands On – bring your laptop)

Alma Analytics

Alma Analytics is a powerful tool that assists libraries in maximizing the investment made in collections, ensures the effectiveness and productivity of library staff, and demonstrates the value of the library to its users.  Analytics examines data related to your library’s acquisitions, electronic resources, vendors, linking, usage, and more to draw a complete picture of the library’s output and operations, enabling library staff and administration to make informed decisions.

Presenters Jenny Draeger and Tom Hall from Ex Libris will lead a hands-on session that covers features such as creating a new analysis, reviewing reports that are currently in use by other Alma libraries, looking at real-world use cases, and converting analyses into reports that can be used in widgets, dashboards, spreadsheets, and more.


Breakout Sessions 8

System Librarian tools to Customize the Primo interface

using open source tools to Customize Primo interface. share a few web development tools for customizing primo interface.

Deborah Dulepski, Zhimin Chen, Heather Siemon, – University of Bridgeport

Deploying VuFind as the discovery layer for Voyager, EDS, LibGuides, and other web resources

During the Summer off 2016, the Cheng Library of William Paterson University began an usability testing regimen to develop and deploy a bento box interface for our discovery layer (VuFind) to most of our electronic resources.  The presentation will cover the process of the testing, the development, and the deployment of the interface.

Hao Zeng, Ray Schwartz, – William Paterson University

Expanding the Scan & Deliver service at MIT

A few years ago, we reported on MIT’s Article Scanning service, which handled request and delivery of scanned PDFs of articles from materials in storage via Aleph, SFX, and ILLiad.
This year, a team was charged with expanding the service to include materials from all campus libraries, with the centralized scanning facility remaining in the Library Storage Annex.  In order to handle additional locations, and to page materials in Aleph, further integration among the 3 systems providing the service became necessary.
Hear how we explored new APIs, experimented with Add-ons, and added other custom scripting to enable the expanded service.

Christine Moulen, Rich Wenger, – MIT


Breakout Sessions #9

WordPress as a Library Website Solution

Although it began as a blog tool, WordPress has grown into a complete content management system with thousands of interactive themes available.  Since it uses the MYSQL database management system, the open-source software suits the needs of library websites by aggregating a library’s complete database inventory.  Rather than update several HTML pages within a site when new vendors are added or a URL is changed, information from vendors such as ExLibris can be maintained in a simple database and then delivered to a webpage.  The presentation highlights the use of some simple WordPress plugins to manage many aggregators and deliver a modern-looking library website.

Derek Stadler, – CUNY LaGuardia Community College

Mission Possible: the Making of a Shared Digital Library

“Collaboration & Cooperation” is the mantra for the Three College Digital Library (3CDL) project. Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges have joined forces to build a shared Digital Library. Our collaboration is like a hub with spokes; the libraries-led project is a partnership with our campus academic units, Information Technology teams and the Fedora consulting group, Common Media.  Diverse spokes extend into the community, such as the other libraries in our Five College Consortium, the emerging Islandora Consortium Group, and DPLA.

Our goal is a shared platform to the life cycle of our unique digital collections that will serve as a launching pad into the discoverable world. This content both generates and embodies the scholarly and creative production of our students and faculty. Archives and special collections, student capstone projects, theses, and digital humanities projects are some of the most prominent facets of this digital ecosystem: unique and valuable resources awaiting use and reuse in the dynamic teaching and learning environment of today.

In building the 3CDL our guiding principles are: 1) focus on users and uses, 2) align standards and best practices, and 3) collaborate across multiple channels. We’ll share our start-up story and progress to date focusing on project vision and planning, harmonizing metadata, business process, and creating governance.

Abigail Baines, – Hampshire College

Alma Prediction Patterns Basics

The University Of Connecticut School Of Law Library went live with Alma in February 2016. They completed prediction patterns set up for their entire current continuous/serial print collection by April 30, 2016. Self-taught, the serials staff dedicated a large amount of their time for three months to learning how to create appropriate captions and patterns for their complex serial collection including journals, looseleafs, interactive sets, and more.  This presentation will share their method and approach, basics of setting up predictive serials, tips and tricks, and lessons learned

Rebecca Bearden, – University of Connecticut


Lightning Talks