Ex Libris Announces the Cloud-Based Alma Library Management Service
The newly named Ex Libris Alma service accelerates the transition
to a next-generation library framework
Ex Libris® Group announce that the company’s next-generation library management solution has been named Ex Libris Alma. Harnessing the Unified Resource Management (URM) framework, Alma supports the entire range of library operations—selection, acquisition, metadata management, digitization, and fulfillment—for all library materials, regardless of their format or location.
The Ex Libris Alma solution accelerates libraries' move toward next-generation services by consolidating, optimizing, and extending library workflows. Alma consolidates the disparate systems used by today’s libraries to manage print, electronic, and digital resources. Alma’s cloud infrastructure helps libraries improve their operational 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.
The Alma solution achieves these goals through its unique capabilities:
- Unified resource management: Alma supports the entire range of library operations for print, electronic, and digital resources.
- Collaborative metadata management: Alma brings high-quality, shared metadata into the resource management environment in a hybrid model that balances global sharing with local needs.
- Intelligent collection development: Alma enables libraries to maximize their collection development budget with selection, acquisition, and evaluation processes based on relevant user information.
- Optimized resources and data: Alma simplifies library workflows by using automated business processes and shared data.
- Cloud-based services: Alma is deployed as a cloud service to increase the return on investment and reduce the total cost of ownership of the library’s infrastructure.
- Web services and open interfaces: Based on service-oriented architecture, Alma can be integrated seamlessly with other systems, including campus-wide systems, and libraries can develop adapters and plug-ins to meet their institution’s unique needs.
Like all Ex Libris products, Alma is being developed with extensive input from the company’s global customer community. In addition to collaborating with several development partners, regional collaborative partners, and an advisory group of small libraries, Ex Libris seeks feedback from focus groups whose participants represent customer institutions worldwide.
The Alma development partners are Boston College; Princeton University Library; Purdue University Library; and K.U.Leuven, which includes the LIBIS library network of 30 independent member organizations (universities, colleges, parliaments, specialized libraries) and a network of public libraries. In keeping with development timelines, Alma’s third release to development partners will take place in March 2011. The general release of the Alma solution is scheduled for early 2012.
“We are proud to reach the next major milestone in the Ex Libris cloud offering, with the newly named Alma cloud-based library management service,” commented Matti Shem Tov, CEO and president of Ex Libris. “Alma is the only next-generation framework that is fully suited to the needs of academic and research libraries. Building on the great success of the Primo® discovery solution, Alma represents the second phase of our next-generation library services framework and advances our vision of research libraries in the 21st century.”
“I am also delighted to see many new and existing customers readying their institutions for the future library landscape by adopting our cloud-based solutions, which constitute the major part of our recent growth,” added Mr. Shem Tov. “This growth reflects the broader trend toward cloud-based solutions—in which we have taken a leading role.”