Alma

(15)
3.3 out of 5 stars

Alma is a library management solution that supports your library operations from selection to meta management, digitization, and fulfillment that helps you consolidate, manage and extend workflows systems and more.

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Alma review by Autumn F.
Autumn F.
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"ALMA - The New and Improved Check-Out System"

What do you like best?

As a circulation desk assistant, I use this software every day at work. It is much more modern than the last system we used, and I enjoy the functionality.

What do you dislike?

It was difficult to understand it all at first, and there were some issues that arose that had to be worked out.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you are considering ALMA, go for it! While you may be hesitant to change or try something new, after working with ALMA for a short time, you will love all that it has to offer. It is a great asset for businesses and now that I use it, I'm not sure how our business functioned beforehand.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The main librarians using ALMA had some conflicts between each other at first, simply due to the updated change. It also resulted in some issues with item check-outs. However, the benefits outweigh the problems greatly. This updated version is easier for all users, and provides accurate information.

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Alma review by Avery L.
Avery L.
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"Better with the new updates"

What do you like best?

The interface recently got a facelift and although the navigation still has no clear organization, the look and ease of use is a bit better than the previous version.

What do you dislike?

The names of each top menu category make no sense and if you are a beginner or in training, it takes some time to figure out where each feature and function is located.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We use this as our main circulation system at Emory to check out and return items, as well as look up patron records. It is a lot smoother than the systems I have used at other universities, however, there is plenty of room for improvement. The cleanliness of the new look does add value to the product.

What Library Management solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Alma review by User
User
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"Quick and easy way to manage equipment rentals"

What do you like best?

Alma automatically generates receipts and reminders via email to members of our campus community who use our Classroom AV equipment. It cuts down on the additional phone calls we receive in our busy office about due dates.

What do you dislike?

There isn't anything specific I don't like about Alma. It's pretty straightforward.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Alma is a good choice for organization looking to more efficiently manage rentals of equipment and library materials. It offers the opportunity to classify your clients into categories. that determine the level of permissions they have regarding the types of equipment they have available to them and the length of loan time.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are easily able to manage the length of equipment rentals to users based on the permissions afforded to them based on their role in the university. If an extension is needed for legitimate reasons we can make adjustments to the due date fairly easily.

Alma review by User in Higher Education
User in Higher Education
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"Good ideas, execution needs work"

What do you like best?

The fact that Alma is browser-based, is in theory a huge plus institutionally, however the downside is the delay in records appearing in the database once they are added by staff. The interface is decent once you become familiar with it. My understanding is that support is very good although the laundry list of things to fix is so long at the moment that actually fixing something take some time. This should get ironed out over time.

What do you dislike?

The use of alma is not intuitive, there are far too many clicks required to accomplish basic tasks. Specifically with regard to non-latin cataloguing, there is no easy way to add diacritics in transliterated fields forcing me to use another software then importing. This often means going back and forth importing, merging, deleting, exporting etc. Also, then you often have to wait anywhere from 12 to 72 hours for new catalogued entries to appear as searchable from the user perspective. Non-latin scripts that read from right to left display very poorly!

Recommendations to others considering the product

Work with other libraries regionally to negotiate better terms in pricing. Expect a long on-boarding for staff.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Integrate all of the primary functions of the library in one browser-based ILS. Allow for flexibility and responsiveness in tailoring the system to institutional needs.

Alma review by Administrator in Higher Education
Administrator in Higher Education
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"ALMA Pluses and Minuses "

What do you like best?

ALMA is fairly easy to use once you get the hang of it. It enables you to complete many workflow operations with a few clicks of a button - once you get it configured right.

What do you dislike?

It is not as intuitive as other systems - and many processes that should be one-step require multiple. It could be more streamlined. It has been harder for our student workers to use than previous systems that were not as powerful.

Recommendations to others considering the product

ALMA is a great tool if it is configured correctly. Once you get it configured it works great!

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We use Alma as our circulation management software. It enables us to circulate items across the entire network of all our campuses. It enables us to quickly receive and send items across the campus or across the street.

Alma review by Administrator
Administrator
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"Alma Review"

What do you like best?

I enjoy the friendly user-interface.

i also enjoy the aesthetic and overall simplicity of the home screen.

What do you dislike?

The advanced features could be more user friendly. There could be more admin options to help resolve client issues easier.

Recommendations to others considering the product

I recommend this to anyone having a system where they are loaning out equipment.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We use this to loan out audio-visual equipment. The library also uses this to check out books and other non-A/v equipment. This is the go-to tool that out department uses to check out audio-visual equipment. We use this and another system but this one is more effective . For that reason we use this for our daily check out items and other high use items.

Alma review by Fostina C.
Fostina C.
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"A simple program with lots of great features "

What do you like best?

I used this program at my school library to check out and check in books. Look up books and process. It is very easy to use and teach. There are several student workers who use our system on a daily and we never have issues.

What do you dislike?

Updates can set you back. There should be an offline back up for books. Changing passwords too frequently- this is hard to keep up with. We normally rotate between 2 passwords as a means to deal with the demands of this program.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Practice

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Easy way to find out what is there and whats not. Who has what and who doesn't. I like the times that are incorporated checking out items.

Alma review by User in Higher Education
User in Higher Education
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"It works but it's a software you live with "

What do you like best?

The cloud based function. Also, as a cataloger, I like how I can be in the same mode when processing new and incoming books.

What do you dislike?

It sucks for managing ongoing subscriptions, both monographs and serials. It also is one program where being more comfortable with computers helps. I will say one of the highlights of our Alma training was getting some joy out of seeing how flustered the dinosaur staff who had been around since the Carter and Reagan administrations got. I was really hoping that Alma would make them realize they can't keep up with the job anymore.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It's not ideal for a consortium system, at least it wasn't two years ago. We're still having issues with it playing nice between system schools, including something that is causing difficulty for patrons currently.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It's solved the issue of finding a good platform for cataloging digitial and electronic materials.

Alma review by User in Higher Education
User in Higher Education
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"Good Circulation System"

What do you like best?

It gets the job done. We use it for equipment check out and it does what its supposed to do. They have made it easier to navigate sometime within the last year so that has been helpful. You no longer have to go to a drop down menu to get to the check out or return page. It's now an option on the first page.

What do you dislike?

The system is primarily used in the library and fits the purpose there, but my department uses it for equipment checkout and it isn't the most helpful when the information on who checked out what is deleted after returning something. Especially if something is found to be broken.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It gets the job done for a circulation system.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

n/a

Alma review by Chris A.
Chris A.
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"Bumpy Implementation, powerful software"

What do you like best?

Looks great, wonderful for catalog searching.

What do you dislike?

Difficult to work with. Feel like I'm constantly peeling back layers to get to where I want to be.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Establish detailed & accurate workflows before implementation.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Very reliable service, seem to be responsive and knowledgeable about their product.

Alma review by User
User
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"Not very straighforward"

What do you like best?

I like that with Alma there is more than one way of cataloging materials, and that you can synchronize systems

What do you dislike?

Many times it has made me hunt for what i was looking for. Other systems, such as polaris ILS, have been much more straightforward.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Alma is a sort of one stop shop, and if you're willing to take more time to look for what you're trying to find, you're able to customize search results.

Alma review by User in Higher Education
User in Higher Education
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"Not the most intuitive system out there. "

What do you like best?

It was a browser based system that allows for individual configuration.

What do you dislike?

It is so unintuitive. Simple tasks like marking a book missing is incredibly difficult to locate within the system.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Our old ILS had not been updates in decades. It was easy to use, intuitive but not up to date with modern needs of a library. ALMA was supposed to correct that but it's been a difficult implementation.

Alma review by User in Higher Education
User in Higher Education
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Verified Current User
Review Source

"Why?"

What do you like best?

At the end of the day I get to leave it.

What do you dislike?

It takes more time to do everything now. It is by far less efficient than our last system, aleph. We work with many different languages but our pick list cannot separate the languages so they are all mixed up and they are horribly ordered. Also, the simplest of things like discharging and checking out to patrons, which is by far the greatest volume of work done, is much slower than before. Simply terrible.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Don't

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

N/A

Alma review by Agnes L.
Agnes L.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Alma"

What do you like best?

I used mostly the Interlibrary Loan module with Alma. I like the messaging within this module and the simple interface. Very intuitive not difficult to train and comprehend for staff

What do you dislike?

Not very customizable and each institution generally has different workflow

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Interlibrary Loan collaboration with libraries to submit requests amongst each other

Alma review by User in Higher Education
User in Higher Education
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Easy to use and access. "

What do you like best?

The ease and user-friendliness. It is better than the previous software.

What do you dislike?

It did not perform as well when using internet explorer. Thus, now we use google chrome and it works better.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Not any problems at the moment.

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