LSP FAQs

Q. What is an LSP?

A.  LSP stands for Library Services Platform. The idea is that an LSP will be able to handle many different functions within a library in one software tool. So an LSP will include capabilities for acquisitions, circulation, serials, electronic serials, electronic resource management and more in one tool.

Q. Why are we doing this project?

A. SUNY’s contract with Aleph expires in 2020. In anticipation of this change, the needs of SUNY libraries were considered alongside the current library software market. Ex Libris’s Alma and Primo were chosen as the next system. The data in Aleph will need to be migrated to the new system. In addition, workflow changes will be necessary and opportunities for collaboration and cooperation will emerge in the new system environment.

Q. What is Alma?

A. An Ex Libris product, Alma supports the tasks necessary to keep your library in operation. These include acquisitions, cataloging, fulfillment, and assessment. The Alma application is used by your Library staff.

Q. What is Primo?

A. An Ex Libris product, Primo is the application providing the customer interface to an institution’s resources (print, electronic, and digital).

Q. What systems will go away and be replaced with the LSP?

A. There is a lot of functionality in both Alma and Primo which will replace several existing systems. Systems currently in use that will be replaced include Aleph, your current discovery service (such as EBSCO Discovery Service and SUMMON), your current electronic holdings management systems (these include EBSCO Publication Finder, Serials Solutions), and your current link resolver (example: Full Text Finder or 360 Link).

Q. What kind of data cleanup should we be doing in Aleph to prepare for the migration?

A. The implementation team suggests that you do any data cleanup that you already planned to do whether or not SUNY was implementing a new system. As working groups form and the implementation moves along, recommendations for data cleanup will be shared more widely. Check back for updates.

Q. What are the Institution, Community, and Network Zones?

A. Alma has three different zones where information is stored. Your local information like item locations are stored in an Institution Zone. The Community Zone contains resources that are available to all Alma libraries such as OCLC bibliographic records and journal package holdings which can be pulled into Institution or Network Zones. Unique to consortia, the Network Zone acts in conjunction with the Community and Institution Zones and is an area where resources/data that are shared throughout the consortia. For SUNY, this will enable the fruition of the OneBib endeavor where Bibliographic records are shared among members of the SUNY Libraries Consortium. To find out more about Network Zones, check out Ex Libris’s Introduction to the Network Zone.

Q. Can you tell me more about the different aspects of Alma and how it is structured?

A. Check out the documentation for Alma including Alma Topologies.

Q. If I have questions about the project, what should I do?

A. You can ask a question on any post/update on this site. You can also reach out to your institutional lead on the project or members of the implementation team.

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