When ERM Met Alma: The Intricacies of Content Management in a Shared Consortia Landscape

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Serials Review

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In 2013, after nearly two decades of operating in a distributed legacy Integrated Library System (ILS) environment on local servers, the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a consortium of public and private academic libraries in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, began a two-year-long process to migrate its 37 members to a shared implementation of Ex Libris's cloud-based Alma library management system (LMS) and Primo discovery interface. Although much has been written on electronic resource management (ERM) functionality at an institution level, little has been written on serials and ERM functionality and workflows within a shared consortial environment. This article discusses the challenges and opportunities of implementing a consortial-based LMS, with particular emphasis on serials and ERM functionality. Key migration issues related to serials control, acquisitions, licensing, administration, cataloging, statistics, and interoperability are examined at the institutional and large-scale networked levels. Benefits and limitations of using a shared consortial cloud-based LMS are explored, and the overall capabilities of the Alma LMS for electronic resource management are reviewed.


Published with license by Taylor & Francis © Siôn Romaine and Jian Wang



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