News from the ALMA PWG

It’s growing

Our Alma community continues to expand. We have over 1400 list members on ALMA-L. Thanks to all of you for your questions and, most especially, for help provided to other users. Here are a few things that the Alma Product Working Group (PWG) has worked on over the past quarter on behalf of Alma institutions.

License recommendations

In the Spring of 2014, the Alma PWG tasked the Licensing Task Force with the following charge: Alma PWG Focus Groups are formed for the purpose of putting forth recommendations for improved functionality in specific areas in a short timeframe.

  • Janet Morrow, Northeastern University (USA) (convener)
  • Sunshine Carter, University of Minnesota (USA)
  • Marilyn Fordyce, University of Otago (New Zealand)
  • Heidi Nance, University of Washington (USA)
  • Saskia Van Elburg, Plymouth University (UK)

The group endeavored to gather, prioritize and report out the needed recommendations for the enhancement of the licensing functionality in Alma. Their major recommendations fell within five areas: Record Structure, Workflow, Terms, Functionality, and Analytics & Reporting.
The recommendations were sent to Ex Libris and they have started to review them. Product managers mentioned that on first pass there were only a couple of things not already in the roadmap. There will likely be a call scheduled with the licensing group in January.


At IGeLU, the PWG reported to representatives of the national groups that Ex Libris had proposed the PWG act as coordinator for language localization in Alma. Ex Libris decided not to pursue this course and is considering a different localization process.

Enhancement process

PWG institutions are gathering enhancement requests and deduping them against each other in anticipation of the ExLibris/ELUNA/IGeLU enhancement agreement. We hope to be able to announce details for Alma in the next several weeks.

Alma Issues

The PWG continues to bring Ex Libris attention to issues raised by multiple institutions via the list. During the last few weeks, we have brought forward release issues (notably the in transit/check-in issue) and missing MARC updates (which should occur in February).

Betsy Friesen, ALMA PWG coordinator