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New Library System and Search Experience Coming Soon

The University of Maryland Libraries announced in January 2023 that it will migrate to a new integrated library management system in Summer 2024. As a member of the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI) Library Consortium, UMD Libraries will move to the Alma and Primo systems from Ex Libris®, part of Clarivate, after having been on the shared Aleph system from Ex Libris for over 20 years.

The new system will feature an enhanced user interface to replace the current WorldCat Discovery platform and Classic Catalog, and will provide much-needed upgrades to core system functions for the Libraries’ operations, including acquisitions, circulation, e-resource licensing and management, knowledge organization, and more. The system migration process has been ongoing since Spring 2023; we have now announced May 23, 2024, as our go-live date for the new system.


Timeline & Key Dates Affecting Library Users

MARCH 2024

All library hours, services, and resources will continue as usual. No impact on most users, with the exception of the early deadline for instructors placing course reserves for Summer 2024 as noted below.

(Read email message to faculty members/instructors sent March 12, 2024.)

Sunday, March 31

For instructors: requests for new course reserves for Summer 2024 due. 

Instructors who are planning to use new material for Course Reserves in a Summer 2024 course should contact Course Reserves staff at askmckres@umd.edu before the end of March to determine if purchasing or licensing is needed.  This is advised because the Libraries will temporarily stop purchasing/acquisitions of new materials on April 1, 2024. Purchasing/acquisitions will resume sometime after July 1, however, if instructors know they will need new materials for Fall 2024, it's best to contact us before March 31st to avoid any delays.
APRIL 2024

Minimal impact on library users expected overall, with the following exceptions noted below.

If library users have saved searches, items, or lists in WorldCat UMD or Classic Catalog, they will need to download these and send them to their own email accounts before June 30, 2024. Instructions will be provided. Use Ask Us or contact your subject librarian if you need support.

Monday, April 1

Last day for the Libraries to purchase or license new materials for users during this fiscal year (which ends on June 30, 2024).

Purchasing and licensing will not resume until sometime in the new fiscal year (after July 1, 2024). More information about resumption of purchasing/licensing will be shared as information becomes available.

Monday, April 8- Friday, April 26Preview the new search experience and let us know what you think. This preview is a chance to familiarize yourself with the new search interface and provide the Libraries with your feedback.

Starting, Friday, April 12

We don’t expect the migration to have a significant impact on users’ access to e-resources and most online services. Due to data freezes in some of our systems starting Friday, April 12, however, librarians and staff may have limited capacity to troubleshoot and correct access issues.


Having trouble accessing a resource? Interlibrary Loan staff and subject librarians can help library users gain alternative access to any unavailable resources during this time.

MAY 2024

Impact on library users expected during intersession, the period between the end of Spring Semester and the start of Summer Term Session I.

If library users have saved searches, items, or lists in WorldCat UMD or Classic Catalog, they will need to download these and send them to their own email accounts before June 30, 2024. Instructions will be provided. Use Ask Us or contact your subject librarian if you need support. 

Friday, May 17- Sunday, May 19

INTERSESSION

Starting at 5:00 pm Friday, May 17:

  • UMD Libraries will be closed to the public, as would normally happen during the weekend before Intersession Week. 
  • Data about library users in our current system will be frozen to prepare for migration to the new system. For this reason, library users will not be able to request or renew materials in My Account. 
  • Library users will still be able to access e-resources online (e.g., databases, online journals, etc.)
  • Library users will still be able to use their Interlibrary Loan Services accounts.

Monday, May 20- Wednesday, May 22

INTERSESSION

  • McKeldin Library will be open for public use, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. 
    • No events will be held in the Special Events Room, Portico Room, and meeting rooms/classrooms.
    • No access to rooms that require loanable keys.
    • No short-term loans (e.g., technology equipment, course reserves, etc.).
  • Hornbake Library will be open for public use, 7:00 am - 10:00 pm.
    • Special Collections in Hornbake Library, open 10:00 am - 4:00 pm.
  • Other campus libraries will be closed to the public.
    • Access to the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library’s Special Collections and International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM) will be available by way of appointment. 
  • Ask Us / Chat virtual information services available 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.
  • General collections materials in open stacks may be used on site and borrowed via a manual process at service desks. 
  • Library users will still be able to access e-resources online (e.g., databases, online journals, etc.). 
  • Library users will still be able to use their Interlibrary Loan Services accounts.
  • Scans of articles/chapters will be provided via electronic document delivery and interlibrary loan. 
  • In-person services at the Library Services Desk will be available to the extent possible.
  • Library users will still not be able to request or renew materials in My Account.
  • Library staff will not be able to fill hold/delivery requests, transfer materials between libraries, renew or request materials, remove returned materials from patrons’ accounts, or waive adjust fines/fees.

Thursday, May 23-
Friday, May 24

INTERSESSION

NEW SYSTEM GOES LIVE
  • McKeldin Library will be closed to the public. 
  • Hornbake Library will be open 7:00 am - 10:00 pm. 
    • Special Collections in Hornbake Library, open 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. 
  • Other campus libraries will be closed to the public. 
    • Access to the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library’s Special Collections and International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM) will be available by way of appointment. 
  • Ask Us/Chat will be available 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. 
  • After 8:00 am on Thursday, 5/23/24, library users may resume renewing loans and requesting materials for pickup using the new search interface and account; staff will resume filling requests (for pick up the following week).
  • Library users will still be able to access e-resources online (e.g., databases, online journals, etc.). 

Saturday, May 25-
Monday, May 27

INTERSESSION

Campus libraries will be closed, as they normally would be during this time. Library users will still be able to access e-resources online (e.g., databases, online journals, etc.). 

Tuesday, May 28

FIRST DAY OF SUMMER TERM

All libraries and service desks will reopen physically with normal summer hours.

New search interface and integrated library system will be live and in use by the campus community.

 


Benefits of the New Library Search Interface

Going live on May 23, 2024, the new library search interface will change how our existing library search platform/catalog looks and functions. The new interface will allow for better access and management of the Libraries' print, electronic, and digital collections as well as improved discovery of items across all USMAI institutions.

Other enhanced features include:

  • Enhanced Experience: Better integration of the library’s collections along with improved and expanded search capabilities.
  • Faster: Save time by searching almost all of the library’s collections and beyond in one simple search.
  • More Discovery: Explore and learn through automatic recommendations, virtual title browsing, and citation trails.
  • Personalized Search Experience: Log in to save your research preferences. Save your items in your account and easily export records to citation management systems.
  • On-the-Go: Improved mobile user interface allows researchers to search on their favorite mobile devices.

More information will be added and updated at a later date.

Frequently Asked Questions

We want to provide outstanding programs and services that make it as easy as possible for users to access the knowledge, collections, and resources entrusted to us. The new system will improve search functionality, retrieval of information, and access to knowledge within our communities and will facilitate the enhanced integration of services across University System of Maryland institutions and affiliated member libraries. The current system, Aleph, has been in place since 2003. The vendor of this outdated system is no longer developing it and it is not the focus of their innovation efforts.

Library users will need to adapt their library research approaches to using the new interface. Faculty members, especially, are urged to familiarize themselves with the new system as early as possible to avoid additional stress when preparing for Fall 2024 courses. Tutorials and user forums will be planned to make this transition easier. Students taking classes in Summer Term 2024 will need to use the new system. We recommend working with subject librarians during this time of transition with any questions you may have. Although the new system will be fairly easy to use and user-friendly, UMD librarians and staff are here to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Your library account information will transfer to the new system, but there will be a new online interface for viewing your account.

Ask Us, Database Finder, Research Guides, Search All, course reserves in ELMS (streaming and electronic), space reservations, Digital Collections, Archival Collections Database, and data within your library account when it migrates to the new system. 

Watch this space for more updates as they become available. UMD librarians are working on an online guide that will explain how the new system works.

Contact Us

Please contact the Primo Discovery Implementation Working Group (lib-pdiwg@umd.edu) with any questions or comments.

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