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Bye Bye Aleph & Mango, Hello Alma & Primo: Home


This guide is meant to be a one stop easy to find site for everything related to our next gen ILS implementation of Alma and Primo VE. Instead of having to search trough emails and bookmark various sites, we can all just go to our LibGuides page and search for Alma to find everything we should need to know about Alma and Primo VE at any given moment.

Going forward, this tab will contain quick reference links and new information for 2021!  

Have a general question or comment? Found an error in Alma? Want to suggest a chage to be made in Primo? Add it to our shared document in PIE: 

For info that's soooooo 2020, check out the 2020 Alma Primo Archive Tab above.


Meme of Kitten raising 1 paw -"High 5 We Got This"

It's Finally Here!

Gif of Jonah Hill extremely excited and happily screaming

Test your SSO in Alma (AS WELL AS IN PRIMO) The Links are above this text. Then update this spreadsheet to indicate if your SSO is/isn't working:

Warning do NOT change any of our data in Alma until March 10, 2021. Only verify if our data migrated correctly for now.

The real work begins now...  February - review migrated data in Alma (CHANGE NOTHING IN ALMA till 2nd week of Mach). also review the “February FALSC Alma Documents” for any errors. Don't worry about messing up the documents. Every member of our local implementation team has a copy of the original. Like with the Primo spreadsheets - pick a color & go to town! 


Icon of instructor pointing at a board    Got training? 

Oh yeah we do! Smiling emoji

Training Checklist:

Tabs are listed alphabetically by first initial.

Alma PLAY ZONES are on the 1st tab.

The Reference Section

Alma Glossary - Translates Aleph lingo into Alma lingo

Alma Role Profiles - Staff User Roles as of Jan 2021

Migration Data Prep Suggestions - Includes comments from Ex Libris

Note: All important meeting recordings and slides are on the "FALSC &/or Ex Libris Presentations" tab  in the Next Gen ILS Implementation Box.


Shannon Schane's picture
Shannon Schane
Polk State College
999 Ave H NE
Winter Haven, FL 33881

Next Gen ILS Implementation

Welcome to your one stop shop for our Alma and Primo VE implementation.

Earth shattering revelations and important to-do's will live on this tab. For a more thorough update see the Good to Know box below this one.

Meme of smiling retro woman - To Do List: 1. Procrastinate 2. Panic

March 2021 To-Do's:

  • Breathe in the good air, breathe out the bad. In with the good....
  • More to-do's for March coming soon!


February 2021 To-Do's:

  • Complete Alma Essentials OR the NEW Alma Essentials by Valentines Day Week: 2/15/21 - 2/19/21.
  • Attend/review 2/4/21 FALSC Spring Workshops Informational Webinar:
  • 2/9 - Full 40 test load meeting for local implementation team - see email from 2/5 from SS for new link.  
  • 2/10/21-2/17/21 - Test your access to our instance of Alma using SSO.
  • Look for potential migration errors in Alma. 

January 2021 To-Do's:

  • Play a bit in Alma Essentials. The goal is to have this completed by the end of February.
  • Review FALSC's eresources webinar or at least skim the slides (Links in December notes & "The Reference Section" box).
  • Accept the calendar invite (sent 1/22/21) for the FALSC Spring Workshops Informational Webinar on 2/4/21 at 9AM. 

Project Presentations

Below is a list of recordings for all major meetings and/or presentations related to the ILS Implementation Project. Many of these sessions were open and available to all library staff and cover topics that touch on all aspects of the project. Click on the corresponding link to view the presentation. Slides and other information may also be available.


Event Presenter Date Link Related Info.
Vanguard Kickoff Meeting Ex Libris July 9, 2020 Recording  
Vanguard Primo VE First Look Ex Libris September 18, 2020 Recording Slides
Full Forty Kickoff Meeting Ex Libris November, 10, 2020 Recording Slides
Primo VE Configuration Form Review Ex Libris December 1, 2020 Recording
(no longer available)
eResources in Alma/Primo VE FALSC Staff December 9, 2020 Recording Slides
Leganto Demonstration Ex Libris February 2, 2021 Recording  
Alma Spring Workshops Informational Webinar Training Working Group February 4, 2021 Recording Slides
Alma Full Forty Testload Release Ex Libris February 9, 2021 Recording Slides
Alma Data Review Workshop FALSC Staff February 12, 2021 Recording Slides
Full Forty Primo VE First Look Ex Libris February 16, 2021 Recording Slides
eResources in Alma (Statewide eresources in the NZ, Linking parameters) FALSC Staff February 19, 2021 Recording Slides
eResources in Alma (Finding "e" content, Display Logic rules, Autoholdings) FALSC Staff February 26, 2021    

Last updated February 25, 2021 - Table mostly taken from FALSC Next Gen ILS Implementation LibGuide 

Implementation Phases and Timeline Overview

Onboarding phase (3 months) April - June 2020

  • Finalize project plan 
  • Choose vanguard institutions
    • Daytona, FIU, FSCJ, FSU, Santa Fe, TCC UCF, UF
  • Ex Libris provision test environment
  • Form Implementation Team and Working Groups

Vanguard phase (4 months) July - October 2020

  • Extract Bib data from Aleph and all other data from vanguard libraries and load into Alma
  • Review converted data for all vanguard libraries in Alma
  • Set up Primo VE views for the union catalog and vanguard libraries
  • Set up and test all necessary 3rd party connections for vanguard libraries
  • Provide online and in-person training (if possible) for FALSC and vanguard libraries' staff
  • Analyze conversion procedures and revise as necessary

Full Testload Phase (6 months) November 2020 - April 2021

  • Extract ALL data from Aleph and load into Alma
  • Review converted data in Alma
  • Set up Primo VE views for the union catalog and all libraries
  • Set up and test all necessary 3rd party connections for all libraries
  • Provide online and in-person training for library staff
  • Analyze conversion procedures and revise as necessary

Go-Live Phase (3 months) May 2021 - July 2021

  • Perform Final extraction of all data from Aleph and load into Alma
  • Perform final setup for Primo VE views for all libraries
  • Freeze all current activity on Aleph/Mango
  • Switchover to Alma/Primo VE - July 13, 2021

Updated (Feb 2021) & Detailed Switch to Go Live Timeline: ​pdf icon

Eight Working Groups:

  1. Acquisitions/Serials
  2. Cataloging Authorities
  3. Circulation/Resource Sharing
  4. Discovery
  5. E-Resources Management
  6. Joint Use
  7. Systems/Reports
  8. Training

They want YOU !

To facilitate this broad participation, FALSC has set up eight discussion lists, one for each working group, where any library staff can subscribe. Each working group is obligated to post notes from each of their meetings to their respective discussion list and monitor all messages posted to it. The working groups are also encouraged to post questions to the list asking for input. They may also sponsor open web meetings from time to time to invite discussion on a particular topic. These lists are a wonderful way to stay informed and contribute to the project.

Feel free to subscribe to as many of these lists as you want. Joining a list is pretty straightforward, and instructions are listed below.

How to join an Alma/Primo VE Implementation Discussion List

  1. Use the links below to join one of our ILS Implementation Discussion Lists:









  1. In the form that appears, enter your name and Email address.
  1. Click Subscribe to sign on to the list. 

  1. You will receive a confirmation email from LISTSERV.  Click the verification link to complete your subscription. 


Image of the FALSC ILS LibGuide Homepage

FALSC Next Gen ILS Implementation Homepage

FALSC "will be using this LibGuide to share information among the teams, Working Groups and Discussion Groups outlined in the Organization Framework for Implementation Document and the Organizational Framework for Implementation Graphic. Please feel free to check back to this guide often for updates and the latest information on this exciting project." 

Everything you ever wanted to know about the ILS transition lives here. 


Good to Know ! Meeting notes from ILS Coordinators Meetings

Some early notes for March, from various sources. Additional notes will be added to the March tab through 3/20/21

  • Alma workshops have begun. Recordings have not been posted yet to my knowledge.
  • Functionality testing will begin Wednesday, 3/10/21.
  • Primo VE seems to be the focus for bonus Friday webinars from FLVC this month. 
  • Primo sign in (SSO OR Alma) Alma option is for FALSC employees
  • Optional Upcoming Webinar : Alma Analytics Overview – ALL Staff Teams Event - Tue 3/9 1-2:30PM (invite sent via email on 2/25)

OMG - So many important meetings for February - many of which you will probably want to watch or at least view the slides for. 

Where are these slides & recordings? 

So glad you asked! Why, they are now in the box above this one on the "FALSC &/or Ex Libris Presentations". FALSC just added a similar table to their LibGuide today & I totally stole it! (With Daves' permission of course - got it in writing!) 

Biggest takeaways from the multiple February meetings so far:

*We received one of our two BIG Valentine’s Day gifts from FALSC late Tuesday 2/9/21 afternoon - Our instance of Alma (replacing - Aleph) 

We will get our instance of Primo VE (replacing - Mango) sometime next week

There are 2 links to our Alma instance & 1 to the Network Zone. All three links and their explanations are in the “It’s Finally Here” box on this page, as well as at the top of the Play Zones tab in our Alma/Primo VE training checklist.

Next 3 weeks: Get comfortable searching & verify our data migrated “correctly.”

We were instructed NOT to Change ANY data until the end of the month (when functional/workflow testing will begin.

  •             Remember – The Data was frozen as of October 31st
  •             Anything we’ve changed in Aleph since 10/2020 will not be in Alma 
  •             See an issue with a record – look for more records with the same issue. Can you find a pattern? (take screenshots if possible)
  • Also make note of any slowness in Alma – document day, time, browser, where were you in Alma, what were you trying to do, etc… (this was an issue with the Vanguard libraries, but should be fixed).

A few things to spot check:


  • Did all the data we wanted to migrate actually migrate?
  • Check record counts – migration stats report, Alma search results vs Aleph totals
  • Check records – data in the correct place, errors
  • Any rejections (on statistics tab)
  • Identify cleanup we may want to do before &/or after migration


  • Correct user groups
    • External – Updated by the external system – patron upload. Anyone marked INTERNAL will NOT be updated
  • Check the fields – is the phone #, address, etc… in the correct field 
  • Note– emails were scrubbed so we don’t accidentally spam all our users during the testing period :-)

*We were also gifted with multiple documents that initially appeared torturous, but now seem much less so. FALSC (with the help of Aleph) has prepopulated most of the answers! We basically need to double check them and see if anything needs to be changed.  Copies of all those documents are in the “February FALSC Alma Documents” folder in PIE. This link also lives at the top of the Play Zones tab in our Alma/Primo VE training checklist. (Things that do not pertain to us (ex/ Acquisitions) should be left blank).

Remember - We need you!

  • If you find something that may be an error or a cause for concern, add it to our shared Got a Question/Comment document that lives on the LibGuide at the bottom of the current month’s to-do list. That new tab is called “Uh Oh… Alma Instance Issues”. 
  • Try to look for patterns before adding a single isolated issue. Then we can each look for additional issues before reporting them to FALSC. *Try to take screenshots and document the issues as best you can. After being reported, it will most likely head to the Full 40 “Known Issues” spreadsheet, which lives here: along with various other fun things....

Next Friday – “Open hours” meeting – Topic: NEW eresource activation worksheets… linking parameters (looking forward to cutover) – Jarrod & Shannon will attend.

UBorrow - Stop date before cutover - Tentatively 5/1/21. There will be additional information about this later.

March – May: Functional testing, & workshops, & setting up of 3rd party integration, Oh my!

Overview/Status of the Alma Implementation (as of 1/13/21)

  • FALSC has been busy focusing on our Primo configuration worksheets
  • Working groups will start getting together again this month
  • On schedule for full test load phase - February 9th
  • Update on Alma Essentials Training: 
    • Now called “New Alma Essentials Training” 
    • Same content but updated images of the new user interface

Webinars / Workshops / Trainings

  • Spring “workshops” (not “trainings”) – Renegotiated between FALSC & Ex Libris, since they will be virtual
    • There will be a total of Ten – 4 or 5 day virtual workshops + Five additional follow up workshops after go live
    • Virtual workshops will be capped at approximately50- 60 attendees. Training sessions will be limited to make it easier for attendees to ask questions. There will be a sign up form (not created yet)
    • 1st workshop will include working group members & FALSC staff and possibly (more than likely not) ILS coordinators. (A couple ILS coordinators expressed a strong interest in their teams being able to attend the same workshops.)
    • Other 9 workshops – all other interested library staff
      • Format: 2 – 2.5 hours in the morning and 2 – 2.5 hours in the afternoon – topics to be covered will be communicated - individuals will be able sign up for the entire course OR just a given session 
      • Tentatively - 1st week of March – 1st week of May
    • The Training Working Group is working on a webinar detailing pertinent workshop info including details about the sign-up form, dates, etc… - Webinar should be sometime in the next month. 
    • NEW INFO as of 1/25/21: The first workshop open to all library staff will be March 8-11 (the last May 3-6 which is also the final week of Spring Term at Polk).The main focus of the workshops are to go through and explain workflow issues with Alma. They are not intended to give staff step-by-step instructions how to do a particular function. Therefore, it is imperative that staff who attend these workshops have some knowledge of Alma. Library staff should have completed the Alma Essentials online training modules. FALSC is working on a couple of open sessions regarding Primo VE. These will be scheduled separately and will be later this spring (April – May). I know many ILS coordinators want their teams to attend during the same week, but I think we need to addend different weeks to maintain adequate coverage on AAL. This is assuming we are all planning to take advantage of the training.
  • Other Webinars:
    • Recording: eresource webinar on December 9th included good info – link on FALSC website reported as not working – FALSC will fix
    • Upcoming
      • February 9th - Webinar for Local Implementation teams for full test load phase – invite will go out next week
      • February 16th - Primo first look webinar
      • March 9th – Ex Libris Webinar Alma Analytics

Reports subgroup of the Systems-Reports Working Group

  • Asked the other Working Groups to compile lists of reports necessary for Day One of the new system, as well as those reports that would be ‘nice to have’.
  • Out of the Box reports from Alma Analytics:
  • Aside – we will be tweaking reports for months to come….

End of February – timeline for the freeze for “cutover” will be finalized. (cataloging, circ)

  • Related – Uborrow – how soon should we shut down the lending service on Aleph to come up live on Alma – this will need to be done earlier… materials need to get back to their home library. None of the requests or items in transit in Aleph ILL will be transferred over. Only the loans will transfer over. You’ll have to refer back to the original Aleph if that info is needed.
  • Shut down other ILL systems as well? (USF uses Illiad….)

Updates on Work by ILS Coordinators

  • Primo VE Forms – received about 30 forms 
    • FALSC sent in default settings for any institution that did not submit a form 
    • FALSC was surprised more institutions did NOT ask for a digital collection to be uploaded. Training session in mid feb/march – how to add additional digital collections
    • DISC – resource type settings for any digital collections for FALSC, in the hope the digital collections will be correct. That meeting is overlapping with this meeting. They are working on it!
  • User Role Forms 
    • Received 22 forms so far
    • Can put “All” for staff doing work for multiple branches
    • Shift in previous instructions - If staff will not be doing “testing” no need to add them… If you have the time, go ahead & set them up. We will keep our members listed (I think the shift in guidance is because FALSC wants to make sure they get something submitted for every institution, instead of having an all or nothing situation.)
    • There will be some generic accounts for testing purposes – not planning to use those accounts after go live
    • With Alma we will want to get rid of accounts where staff have left. If staff do not appear in the patron/staff load in the future, that staff account will be dropped
    • After go live institutions will have the option to manage their own accounts

Other & Future Topics:

  • EDS 
  • Overlap period for EDS – ebsco discovery services – the licensing agreement for EBSCO EDS is ending soon - FALSC is making plans to talk to EBSCO – looking at an “overlap period with EDS”. FALSC has begun talking with EBSCO. FALSC knows where they stand with EBSCO & want to see what other things they can negotiate… As soon as there is something solid they will let us know. 
  • EDS going away or potentially going away? – FALSC confirmed “Research Starters” will NOT be a part of Primo VE. There might be something similar in PrimoVE.
    • Found these points in the “Discovery Working Group Minutes” for December 9th
      • EBSCO & Central Discovery Index (CDI) differences
        • Pulls in metadata from many vendors to the CDI and it is available for searching. You will not get the metadata from EBSCO databases in CDI in Primo VE. Will turn on access to EBSCO databases in ERM, but that does not control what you are searching but what you can link to. CDI has access to more vendors’ metadata than EDS.
        • A webinar on Primo VE for February to discuss how CDI and Primo VE works? Yes, very helpful for all staff. Perhaps multiple sessions can help for other topics too. Maybe a broad overview open to everyone without getting too much in the weeds would help. Cherie will come up with some possible topics and share with us to see what we want to offer. Limit to one hour at a time. Will plan them in January.
        • UBorrow/ILL was not set-up for Vanguard phase. It will be developed during the all 40 test load phase.
  • Data review (starting in February):
    • ExLibris will give us tips on reviewing our data in the upcoming webinar
    • Report issues that are not on the “known issues list” to the help desk.
    • Ideas from other institutions: 
      • Create spreadsheet of what people regularly do – to make sure everything gets tested.
      • Create a known issues list for their college. Review the issues internally first, then have one person report verified issues to FALSC

Clean Up & Other Major Documents Submitted to FALSC

Document Name Date Due Date Submitted
“Item Status and Collection Clean Up”  10/14/2020 10/13/2020
Borrower Status Clean Up spreadsheet 11/20/2020 11/7/2020
“Duplicate Barcodes” report - optional (but important) 10/23/2020 Completed by Melissa on our behalf 10/23/2020
eResources Activation Form 11/6/2020 Revised version submitted 11/6/2020
Alma Staff Roles Worksheet 1/15/2021 1/14/21
Primo VE Configuration Forms 1/13/2021 1/11/21
Patron Load Test Files 2/1/2021 1/29/21


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