September 2020 LibLights: A New System
This Fall, you may notice a new search experience at the Reg Erhardt Library, but what you won’t notice is the new system powering that experience. Over the past year, members of the Library team along with representatives from SAIT, AUArts, and the product’s vendor worked diligently to implement the new Integrated Library System (ILS) known as Alma.
But why the switch?
“It was time.” says AnneMarie DeGroot, Technical Services Coordinator at the Library and member of the project team for Alma. “The previous system was installed in 1998 and with time comes technological change.” The Library first explored Alma as an option in 2017 and our staff have been working behind the scenes to implement the new system since last summer. In addition to launching a new system, the Library has streamlined workflows, updated policies, and installed a new single sign on platform using patron’s mySAIT credentials.
Returning students and staff will notice more than just a change in login process. “The look and feel of the searching – that is a big change. Even though it behaves the same way, it looks a lot different…when they get used to it, they’ll recognize the facets on the left side are much more robust and will allow them to do things much more quickly.”
AnneMarie, a SAIT LIT alumna and Library staff member since 1993, knows firsthand how much work goes on behind the scenes. “The technology required to do what libraries do is pretty intense. A lot of people don’t see how much goes into it to get a book into their hands.” The new system is completely cloud-based and hosted on Canadian servers in Montreal. Since the server is no longer hosted on campus, the switch both cuts down and improves regular maintenance. Additionally, the Library will be able to use more robust metadata (the information that describes the resources you find in the Library) which improves the search itself.
Want to learn more about the new system and the new search experience through Primo? Connect with your liaison librarian for more information and check out the September edition of LibLIGHTS for some fast stats about how much data was moved over.