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Area coveredacquisitions, cataloging
Lead Author
Reviewed and Revised by Acquisitions Committee
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Table of Contents


Libraries need to make collection development and acquisitions decisions based on the most accurate and current data – a necessity even more important in the CSU's shared environment. Alma’s consortial functionalities provide real-time look into the acquisitions activities of CSU libraries. The increased transparency across the system will assist in future collection development decisions and technical services work. Bibliographic records are shared through the Community Zone (CZ) and Network Zone (NZ) but local information available via the Institutions Zone (IZ). Physical and electronic inventory can be connected to the bibliographic records and represent a single exemplar of an information resource that a campus physically has or electronically has access to. For individual campuses, inventory is managed locally in the IZ and the order records, which can also be connected to bibliographic records and inventory, are managed locally in the IZ. Ideally, inventory and order records of the Chancellor's Office and individual campuses should be visible to sister campuses within the consortium at the NZ level. For more information about Alma's data entity relationships, please refer to Ex Libris' documentation (e.g., Alma TopologiesIntroduction to the Network Zone, and Introduction to Alma Inventory).

The sophisticated linking across the different record types at different levels makes it important to prevent the creation of redundant records. A policy outlining the preferred method of linking order records to bibliographic records in the appropriate zone(s) is necessary to avoid duplication of records and support the on-going maintenance of shared records. The benefits and the impact of creating order records based on the CZ, NZ, and IZ have been considered. For the purposes of this discussion, digital resources are not considered since Alma's management and workflows of digital resources have not yet been discussed consortially.

Policy Statement

In accordance with the policy set forth by the TSWG in Working in Alma and the Network Zone, when ordering resources for campus libraries that are to be made visible in the NZ, acquisitions staff at CSU libraries should create orders linking to bibliographic records in the NZ, thereby sharing updated library inventory with the consortium. Resources that are not expected to be shared in the NZ (e.g., laptops, other in-house equipment, non-collection type of resources, resources with prohibitive licenses from sharing metadata) should not be ordered using the NZ.


The final policy will be informed by the following recommendations of the ER Task Force:

Best practice recommendations