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Managing database subscriptions in Alma is pretty similar to managing subscriptions for print periodicals. If you have collections of aggregator databases turned on in Alma, there's an activation task you have to take care of... when Alma creates a PO line for an electronic collection or electronic title, it auto creates an Activation Reminder, and you can't turn it off. Because in the normal order of things, once you purchase something, it says "don't forget to turn it on" -- but if you don't mark this reminder task as Done, when the period for renewal comes around it won't let you. So after you create the POL, go into the electronic task thing and mark it done. Look for Electronic Resource Activation Task List to either turn something on or mark it Done so that you can renew for next year.  

Invoices and Reporting


Question: What happens when different databases are paid for by others and/or there are 6 different collections activated that are on one renewal invoice? 
Kirsti has a system she will share... but consider manual creating a Technical POL, which allows you to keep track of the subscription period and things but doesn't have any money attached to it. Like for Films on Demand, on the invoice there are the Master Academic item and the freebie Archival and Newsreel lines. So they have one POL with price information and a separate Technical POL that points back to the payment (via cut-and-paste). So helpful because of packages, or lots of products listed out, etc. etc. Kirsti demonstrates! For one paid invoice, there is the money-POL and the technical-POL that shows all of the pieces -- so what's in Alma matches what's in hand for the invoice, but is also a reminder to activate/ renew all of the pieces.
Question: is there a way to get reminders of renewals of databases in all their weirdness to a Dean who gets the bills but not all the details?
Kirsti uses the Internal Description field of an Electronic Collection record that describes general What is it, Who has it, If it's part of a package deal, Who's paying for it (like department, program, etc)? Where are we getting the records? Takes awhile to get together, but this Internal Description field is reportable in Analytics. She demonstrates her Subscription EResources Analytics dashboard to get a sense of what's coming up for renewal, what the cost might look like with an estimated 5% increase for budget predictions for next fiscal year. In each fund in Alma there is a field called External ID, which is where Seattle Colleges puts their CTC budget string (so helpful to communicate to business office automagically, eventually maybe). If another department isn't sure of which string they might use, Kirsti uses a descriptive placeholder in the External ID so that it still shows nicely in the dashboard. Also in each invoice, you can specify whether the invoice has been paid in ctcLink or not -- it has to manually updated, but that helps to know if an invoice has not been received or if the invoice has been submitted to the business office but has not been paid. This dashboard is out there in the Consortium folder with this dashboard, but if you bring it in to your local, make sure each report of the dashboard is pointing not to the Consortium report but to the local folder with the copies of the report (use the gear to Edit the dashboard to drag over the local report and delete the Consortium version). Note that you have to have Alma Acquisitions and POLs established and all that -- a 3 year process for Kirsti and team to migrate information from Excel spreadsheets into the system. 
Question: are other libraries having trouble with getting bills paid by the business office? Yes! There are reports in ctcLink that can show you whether something has been paid or not... but specifics are fuzzy at the moment. Getting access to it is also a barrier... but there are a lot of options there to potentially to tap into. George Babcock at Seattle Central College is a library person who has knowledge of the ctcLink reports -- Kirsti will reach out for info.  
Idea: future conversation for those using Acquisitions on best practices for structuring funds to be able to understand or report out some of this. It's hard stuff, and complicated -- but once you can get it sorted, it's so much easier to manage!
Question: How do you budget for library supplies?

Kirsti saw that they use the Order Without Inventory feature for things like barcodes (and maybe even furniture) somewhere on the Alma listserv...


10:22:42 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
    We set up Washington OCLC Group Services quite a few years ago (2008, originally) as part of a project to create a statewide catalog, which was called “Wayfinder.” OCLC categorized that service as a “group catalog” and at the time anyway, they would only sell a group catalog to a group of libraries, so we created Washington Group Services for that purpose. Many libraries including 23 of the CTCs, joined the group at the time. To be a member of the group, a library needed to buy 3 services from OCLC through the group:     · Unlimited Cataloging     · Unlimited ILL     · A WorldCat subscription, currently called WorldCat Discovery.
10:22:53 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
    For whatever reason, the Seattle Colleges didn’t choose to join the group, I’m assuming because they didn’t see the need to purchase those additional services at that time.          One thing worth mentioning: OCLC did NOT consider the group purchase of Cataloging and ILL to be a discount program, but rather, aimed for a “break even” approach to costs for those services through the group. However, they did provide what they called “economies of scale” for the WorldCat subscription piece. So there were some savings there.
10:23:04 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
    Historically, we had hoped that the statewide catalog might lead to further developments, such as a statewide library card, but I’m sure you recall what else happened in 2008. The launch of Wayfinder, the Catalog of Washington Libraries, coincided almost exactly with the big recession that swept the country at that time, and so there was no possibility of obtaining additional funding to take the project to the next level. 5 years later, the use of the statewide catalog did not justify the cost, which was being paid with federal LSTA funds, and we canceled that service. However, OCLC has left the public version of the catalog, available online at, up and running for whatever reasons, just without the Wayfinder and State Library branding.
10:23:21 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
    Nevertheless, Washington Group Services has continued to function without the statewide catalog, and when we recently assessed the service, meeting with our OCLC representative, and looking into the possibility of dissolving the group, it turned out that at least some libraries WERE saving considerable amounts through their participation in the group, and that dissolving the group would be counter-productive. So we are maintaining the group for now. And in some cases, we have found that libraries get better pricing through the group than they do working with OCLC on a standalone basis.
10:23:45 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
    If you would like to receive a price quote for ILL and/or Discovery through Washington OCLC Group Services, I will be happy to request that for you, working with our OCLC representative, Maruta Skujina. I expect that there is information she will need from you, in order to have her people calculate the cost. If you ask me to proceed, I’ll ask her to let us know just what information they need, or if they have a checklist for that. We don’t get these requests very often at this point, so we don’t really have a formal procedure set up, but tend to handle requests individually as they arise. I’ll copy you on any communications I have with Maruta, so that the two of you can work together directly to compile any needed information.
10:24:19 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
    The above is from an email Will Stuivenga at the Washington State Library sent me
10:24:39 From  Elena Bianco (she/her)  to  Everyone:
    The old student IDS show up in the identifiers tab in our Alma.
10:38:48 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
    Found the info on the authentication problem.  It happened because our IT staff renamed the field that the old SSID was stored in.  Details follow...
10:38:54 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
    IT updated records in the Exchange Active Directory last night to start including EmplID numbers.  They put the EMPLID numbers in a field called employeeid and moved the old SSID numbers into a field called employeenumber.                    Right now Alma only has people’s SSID numbers in the user records.  We won’t have EMPLID numbers until we get the daily import jobs working in ctcLink (sometime before Spring Quarter starts).
10:39:07 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
    The authentication profile for Alma/Primo (in Alma config > Alma Config > General > External Systems > Integration Profiles > LDAPS > Action tab) was set to look in the employeeid field for an ID number. When it looked in the emplyeeid field, it found an EMPLID number that wasn’t in the Alma user record, not the SSID number that was in the Alma user record.
10:39:18 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
    I updated the authentication profile to look for an ID number in the employeenumber field.  Now it’s finding the SSID number that’s in the Alma user record.                    Once we start loading ctcLink records into Alma  and get EMPLID numbers into our Alma user records, I’ll update the authentication profile for Alma/Primo to look for ID numbers in the employeeid field.
10:40:49 From  Ryer Banta (he/him)  to  Everyone:
    Here is a link to Caitlin and Ro's listserv Here’s the link for subscribing to the listserv:
10:42:23 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
    We just can't share our screens...
10:42:40 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
    Good point Elena!
10:46:08 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
10:48:12 From  Kirsti Thomas (Seattle Colleges)  to  Everyone:
    Lauren-- Could you do an overview presentation on this?
10:48:50 From  Lauren Bryant  to  Everyone:
    I love that I have something to contribute! I'm always learning from you all.
10:49:01 From  Lauren Bryant  to  Everyone:
    I'd love to help in any way I can :)
10:52:23 From  Lauren Bryant  to  Everyone:
    Should I create a sign up sheet for us to sign up to take minutes for each meeting? Tues/Thurs?
10:52:35 From  abby (she/her)  to  Everyone:
10:53:38 From  Elena Bianco (she/her)  to  Everyone:
    Great discussion. Thanks all! I have to head out. Bye all!!
10:53:59 From  Ryer Banta (he/him)  to  Everyone:
    bye all