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New loans, new search, new requests

The new library system has landed—find out about how the library system change affects you.

After 22 years we have said goodbye to our old system and now welcome Alma, a fully modern system that will provide more efficient access to e-resources and streamline many processes.

Jane Saunders, Head of Collections Services, who led the project, said: “This transformation was years in the making and culminated in six months of intensive behind-the-scenes building, designing, data preparation and testing.

"From the initial tender process all the way through to mapping processes and testing the search, teams across the Library joined forces to work on all aspects of implementing the new library system.”

What’s changed?

We’ve looked for ways that the new system can improve and simplify the experience of using the library for staff and students. There are some key changes to the way you interact with the Library.

More books for everyone

We have increased the number of books you can borrow—staff and students will have up to 50 items for a guaranteed 7 days.

Keep the book as long as you need it, until someone else requests it

We’ll keep on renewing your due date until you’re ready to return the book. If someone requests it you’ll have seven days from the request to return it.

Request the book you want

If a book is on loan, you need to request it. If you don’t, it won’t come back into the library as the borrower can keep the book as long as they want.

Putting you in control of your Library search

We have combined elements of the classic catalogue search with the Library Search on the homepage. If you know exactly what you are looking for, use the drop-down boxes on the homepage to  focus your search results and make them more relevant. If you want to explore, just type your search terms and go – you can still refine your results after searching.

We’re really pleased with the new borrowing system, it improves access to our resources and has simplified many of our transactions.

Hazel Lee heads up the Customer Services Team and explains: “It’s been great having the opportunity to really think about how the new system could improve our service to staff and students. We’ve reviewed a lot of our processes and discussed the options with staff and student representatives. We’re really pleased with the new borrowing system, it improves access to our resources and has simplified many of our transactions.”

Find out more about the new borrowing and search.   

We can’t wait to get working with the much more powerful analytics tools so we can work on bigger batches of data to improve our collection management

We are looking forward to making the most of improved functionality behind-the-scenes as the new system will give us:

  • Better e-resources management
  • Significantly improved acquisitions and cataloguing
  • Superior reporting and analytics capability
  • Simpler integration with other University and external systems
  • More resilience with less support needed as the system is cloud-based
  • More regular updates to functionality and the means to request new developments
  • More integrated search and data for quicker and more accurate information

Elly Cope, Access and Acquisitions Team Leader, says: “We are keen to influence how the system develops in the future – one of the plus points of Alma is that there is regular developmental work and a lot of the suggestions to improve the system come from us as customers. Now we’re all using the same system it will also enhance networking and exchange of experience with our White Rose Libraries colleagues. We can’t wait to get working with the much more powerful analytics tools so we can work on bigger batches of data to improve our collection management.”

The new system is in place and all user and bibliographic data has been carried over, however there may be some disruptions to services over the next few weeks. Please take a look at the services affected page and keep an eye on the Library Twitter account for regular updates and details of any disruptions.

Learn more about the decisions and preparations for the new system with our behind-the-scenes blogs.

If you have any feedback about the new system, please contact us.

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