by Kelly Rogge, KCKCC
As Kansas City Kansas Community students return to campus this week, there will be a different way to check out materials from Library Services.
The Alma/Primo system is a library resource management system created by Ex Libris. It officially launched Aug. 15. The new library management system replaces the old and antiquated circulation platform that no longer fits the strategic objectives of the college.
“Our goal is to transform and amplify the positive learning and teaching experiences for our students and faculty when they use the services offered in the Learning Commons,” said Baz Abouelenein, KCKCC chief unformation officer.
KCKCC needed a more robust system to handle the growing number of digital resource assets. Debra Newton, building liaison for the Learning Commons, said one of the best parts of Primo/Alma is that users can now see what resources they have checked out, when those resources are due, renew items and see what fines and fees they may owe from the same webpage that they conduct searches.
“It will cut down on the time it takes the library staff to perform various tasks such as cataloging, analytics and maintenance of records,” Newton said. “We are one of the first educational institutions to go from EOS (the older management system) to Alma.”
Newton said another benefit of Primo/Alma will be the ability for users to go to one page to find a variety of resources. This includes streaming videos, searching for electronic magazine articles, E-Books and traditional books all from one page. In addition, Primo will save the user’s searches.
“With our past ILS and Link Resolver (library computer system), patrons had to go to multiple web pages in order to do research. This is so much more user-friendly,” Newton said. “While it was a very complex system to set up (Primo/Alma), it will be a simple program for employees and students to use.”
A team of KCKCC employees has been involved with the Primo/Alma implementation, a process that started in January 2017. This team includes Barbara Stransky, Dottie Hill, Clara Bolton, Teresa Bennett and Debra Newton, all from Library Services; Matthew Fowler, web designer; Peter Gabriel, director of network services and Ruben Noguera, database administrator.
In addition, four individuals went through the process to become certified in Alma: Peter Gabriel, Dottie Hill, Matthew Fowler and Debra Newton. This certification requires more than 20 hours of videos, weekly meetings, practice and note taking to complete. Ex Libris requires certification to make sure an institution can operate the system. KCKCC opted to have several people certified since they all deal with different aspects of the management system.
Newton said all KCKCC faculty members that have library resources in their online courses are requested to check the links to ensure they are working properly. If the links are not operating correctly, they should contact Library Services at 913-288-7389 or contact Newton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.