ILS Training & Documentation: Home

This guide will serve as a central portal of essential and supplemental documents, videos, and links to prepare Vanderbilt University Library Staff for the upcoming ILS implementation.

General Information and Updates

Go-live Summer 2018!

As announced during the February Town Hall, LTDS has created a new email list for library staff to discuss Alma and Primo. This list is available to all interested staff. In order to subscribe to the list, please follow the instructions below.

  1. Follow this link and enter your name and email address
  2. Select “Subscribe (ILS-INFO)”
  3. You should next receive an email message. This message will contain a link to allow you to confirm your email address.
  4. Once your subscription is confirmed you can send emails to

Please contact LTDS if you have any questions.

ILS Training & Documentation Team Members

Melissa Mallon (Peabody Library) Philip Walker (Biomedical Library) Karen Swoopes (Peabody Library)
Sara Manus (Music Library) Calida Barboza (eResources) Chris Benda (Divinity Library)
MAT Trotter (Divinity Library) Stephanie Sefcik (PSI) Joanna Clark (PSI)

Production Site

If you have questions about user roles and/or navigating the test production site, please contact your supervisor or Dale Poulter.

ILS Glossary of Terms

  • Library Catalog :  "Library Catalog" is what Vanderbilt branded SirsiDynix's Symphony software.  This includes webcat and workflows.
  • Alma:  The system created by Ex Libris that will replace Library Catalog.
  • Collection:  A group of items with a similar theme.  They can be in any library or location and of any item type. Primo scopes can be created based on collection.​
  • Crosswalk (aka:  Schema Crosswalk):  A crosswalk is a mapping of equivalent fields in two different  metadata formats (schemas). An example is MARC to DC.
  • Cut-over:  This is the period between when Library Catalog is used and when Alma can be used.  During this period limited activity is allowed on either system.  This will mainly mean a freeze in Acquisitions, Cataloging, and E-resource management.  Additional information will be available about this process before June.
  • Front-end:  The interface that is visible and available to students 
  • Go Live:  This is the date that Alma and the new instance of Primo will be utilized for production work.  This will be in July 2018.
  • Institution:  The over-arching organization (Vanderbilt)
  • Kick-off:  The formal start of the Alma implementation.  This will start in January 2018
  • Library : Large organizational unit can have different policies and hours. Primo scopes can be created based on library.​
  • Location:  A physical location of materials – fulfillment policies utilize the location extensively 
  • Material type/Item type:  the type of materials Book, Journal, Video, DVD ,etc. 
  • Migration period:  The period of time before the Ex Libris kick-off of the implementation project.
  • Migration teams: The subject specialist teams that will gather information needed for the implementation forms.
  • New UI: stands for "New User Interface." Alma's new UI includes many major improvements to Alma's look and feel, with a better color palette, new iconography and fonts, simpler menu systems, smoother flow, and other look-and-feel improvements.
  • Primo: Primo is the "front-end" for Alma (replacing webcat for Library Catalog).  A version of Primo is currently in production at Vanderbilt and branded "Library Catalog," but a new version of Primo, with a new User-Interface will be released with Alma.
  • PSI: Process and Solution Implementations​​; the department coordinating with the Libraries for a smooth implementation
  • Sandbox:  The development/test Alma environment. 
  • Switch to support:  This is the official end of the project with Ex Libris. This is normally 4 weeks after go live.

Also check out the Ex Libris Alma Glossary 

Send your ILS questions to