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By Dean of University Libraries Ken Burhanna
Welcome to the spring semester 2024 at Kent State University Libraries. I am excited to update you about changes coming to our library system, occurring over the next year and into the future. In 2022, OhioLINK ran an RFP process that culminated in OhioLINK selecting Ex Libris Alma as the consortium’s next library services platform. The library service platform is software framework that includes all the tools and processes needed to run a successful library. Alma, a cloud-based platform, will enhance library user experiences and services, improve efficiency for operations and streamline collaboration.
The components of our current system that users are most familiar with are KentLINK and Discovery@Kent State. Alma and its supporting modules will eventually replace these. We will migrate to this new platform over the next two years.
Here’s our timeline in brief:
• Now thru June 2024 – Planning and preparation
• July 2024 thru June 2025 – Migrate to Alma
• July 2025 – Alma goes live
• August 2025 – Implement supporting modules
Most of this will be invisible to library users. University Libraries will remain on our current system until we make a public switch over to our new system in summer 2025.
What is really exciting is that Ex Libris is providing us with a broader, more functional solution. When Alma is fully implemented with its supporting modules, here are some of the features you can look forward to:
• Enhanced discovery (search) functionality through Alma Primo
• A modern Library Mobile platform
• Improved resource sharing through their Rapido module
• Streamlined integration with hundreds of online resources
• Course management system integration made possible through their Leganto module
All of these features won’t come at once. It will take us some time to implement the entire solution and work our way through the bugs, but I am confident that by the end of 2025, we will have a state-of-the-art library services platform to enhance the learning and research productivity of those we serve.
I thank our many campus partners (especially IT) in advance for their collaboration in helping us implement this solution. More details to come on this in the future. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or feedback.