Thursday, September 29, 2016

Unlocking Library Management in a Digital Era
(Hint: Alma Can Help)

Yotam Kramer, Ex Libris

Technology is no longer a novel concept tinkered with by a few wiz kids and admired from a distance by the general public. Today, we eat, breathe, and live technology. It’s woven into the fabric of our daily lives, and it is ever-present, running constantly and consistently without us even knowing it.

The only time we really recognize our tremendous dependency on technology is when it ceases to be present. How jarring is it when the WiFi goes down, when our online banking doesn’t work, or when the cell phone towers are jammed? Yes, life has become as automated and technology-driven as the air we breathe, and anyone looking to get anywhere in the world today needs to tap into this modern life source.

Digital Libraries, the Modern Way to Learn

Even the hallowed halls of the traditional library have embraced this contemporary element of life. From digital library collections that allow students and readers to access countless works that are beyond their physical reach, to full library systems and services that provide a seamless experience in researching, cross-referencing, sharing, bookmarking, and compiling resources, digital libraries have blown the traditional models clear out of the water.

Organizing: The "Impossible" Digital Challenge

With newly embraced technology comes a new set of challenges for library services: choosing a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system to keep all those resources organized and running optimally. The objective is to manage library assets in all their forms and formats so that users can make the most of their time and of your library’s resources. Among other things, the DAM system must:
  • Provide innovative solutions to problems that frequently arise when researching or accessing digital assets
  • Go above and beyond what users are expecting
  • Unify needs and resources for seamless and easy access and control
  • Categorize assets for easy and instant search and find

Alma Can Help

Alma is the only solution that allows libraries to manage electronic, print, and digital assets in one unified system. Alma provides innovative digitization workflows as well as easy upload of digital assets by staff, researchers and even students. Alma also includes another vital element for managing digital resources: easy access rights management.

With Alma, users can interact with the library, adding digital collections via a deposit widget that can be approved or declined by staff members with a simple approval workflow.
Researchers and students can deposit digital
resources, which then enter a simple approval

Staff have an easy upload widget for digital assets

Alma includes a "most-viewed" digital collections report,
a report allowing comparisons of digital vs. physical asset use,
and more
Alma allows you to generate any type of report you need to better understand your users, including a “most-viewed digital collections” report, a comparison of digital and physical asset use, and more.

With OAI-PMH standard support and a simple migration path, Alma ensures your existing data will be available. In addition, with Alma’s REST APIs, Amazon S3 third-party services, and the use of SWORD protocol, any type of integration with existing system is easy.
Alma also supports a wide variety of import/export processes with support for Dublin Core, MARC, and emerging Linked Data standards.

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