Alma User Management Guiding Principles

last modified 2019-03-01T09:54:50-04:00

By implementing Ex Libris Alma and Primo, we have the ability to deploy a single library services platform (LSP) in such a way that we can bring our three library automation suites together without disrupting the core business that each library conducts. This document sets forth the rationale for this as well as a set of principles that will ensure that we foster collaboration between our three libraries.


We have opted to implement a single Alma institution with multiple libraries. This has the following advantages:

  1. Simplified administration, since there is a single Alma institution to administer.
  2. All collaboration required (including shared catalog and shared acquisitions) can be achieved without the need to administer a Network Zone.
  3. Creating a single Alma institution will probably drive a process to unify/align policies across all institutions, since it is easier to manage in single Alma institution.
  4. Implementation may be easier for a single Alma institution, since there is no need to provision and configure separate member institutions. 

This also has the following caveats:

  1. All member institutions must share the same patron communications branding (letter customization is the same for the entire Alma institution).
  2. All members must share management of vendors and licenses.
  3. All members can see each other's data in Alma Analytics (Alma Analytics cannot restrict data to the library level).
  4. Integrations and Interface definitions are managed centrally for the entire Alma institution. Individual members cannot manage these settings separately.
  5. All members must manage their e-resources, activations, coverage, and so forth in a single shared environment, with limited ability to fully separate the data for each member.

Alma utilizes several parameters to group users. The parameters of most importance here are:

  • Role: defines a user’s ability to perform various functions. These may be further subdivided using job categories.
  • Scope: This can limit a role to a library level or can expand the permissions institution-wide.

Guiding principles:

  1. Some institution-wide administrative roles will be limited to the University Library Systems unit because of the institution-wide nature of each.
    • These include: General system administrator, Letter administrator, Analytics administrator, Discovery admin, and User manager.
    • When possible, all users will have read-only access to these configuration screens.
    • Functional expert groups will recommend modification of parameters as necessary.
  2. When possible and appropriate, users will receive a library-specific scope.
  3. For other cases, where the job entails institution-wide work, such as metadata (bibliographic records), the functional expert group will determine best practices for cooperation and collaboration.
  4. Because this is a new system, it is understood that user permissions may need to be modified over time, especially as our understanding of Alma/Primo improves.

Relevant documentation: