Cracking the Code on Acquisitions: Transitions From Voyager to Alma

William H. Midgley, Kavita Mundle


For decades the University of Illinois at Chicago Library relied on the Voyager integrated library system for acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, and other applications. By 2020, a wide range of stakeholders throughout the Library system had established their processes around its functionality. In the summer of 2020 the Library, along with ninety other members of the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois, went live in the final phase of a consortial migration to the Alma Library Services Platform. The absence of a “reporting funds” level in the ledger hierarchy in Alma threatened a fundamental premise of our long-established acquisitions processes through which Acquisitions staff translated transactions between a librarian-facing ledger and totally different University financial categories. A creative solution using Alma’s “Reporting Codes” feature was discovered after interviews with stakeholders, which prevented significant confusion throughout the Library and preserved all our processes. This case study describes the history of our acquisitions practices, the fundamental problem raised by the ledger structure in Alma as compared to Voyager, and the solution designed utilizing Alma’s “Reporting Codes” feature.

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