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Alma Acquisitions Resource Guide

This guide covers all aspects of the Acquisitions process, which includes setting up funds, ordering, receiving physical items, activating e-resources, and invoicing. This guide also covers Serials patterns and arrival/check-in.

Introduction to Acquisitions


Acquisitions is the process by which an institution acquires new items or services. "New" means either copies of items that already exist in the inventory, new items without holdings that are defined in the Institution, Community, or Network Zones, or extensions or additions to existing services (such as additional users for an electronic resource). Alma provides a step-by-step process that guides all acquisitions. Alma handles many kinds of acquisitions, including physical, electronic, and digital, and including standing orders, periodical subscriptions, and renewals.


Support documentation and videos


Alma Acquisitions 

Ex Libris's central hub of documentation and information to Acquisitions in Alma. 

Acquisitions Overview (Alma Essentials video,4 minutes) 

This session presents the various acquisition workflows in Alma, as well the types of acquisitions that are available, and the Alma user roles that are needed for acquisitions. 

Acquisitions Workflows Videos 

Ex Libris's central hub of links to Alma Acquisitions workflow videos. 

Introduction to Acquisitions

The "Introduction to Acquisitions" Ex Libris documentation provides many links to functional areas of Acquisitions in Alma including purchasing, invoicing, serials renewals, electronic resource trials, batch record import processing and configuration of settings. 


Acquisitions in Alma


Alma supports one-time, continuous, and standing-order acquisitions of physical resources, electronic resources, access and database services.  Alma also supports the full end-to-end workflows required for these different types of acquisitions. 

There are three basic workflows to the acquisitions process in Alma, which are common to most types of acquisitions:

  • The Purchasing workflow governs the way a purchase order line (PO Line) is handled from the point of its creation to the point at which it awaits receipt or activation.
  • In the Receiving workflow, physical material that was ordered from a vendor is received. If the PO line is for electronic material, it proceeds to the activation workflow.
  • The Invoicing workflow governs the way an invoice is handled from the point of its creation to the point at which the invoice is closed.

What are the Benefits to Using Acquisitions in Alma?

  • Allows library staff, selectors, and library administrators to see real-time spending of materials budgets. 
  • Alma has robust reporting abilities, and allows you to perform cost-per-use title and budget line analysis from within Alma or by using Alma Analytics. Reports can quickly be exported into an Excel file for quick analysis. 
  • Ability to track vendor contact information, order history, and tracking of electronic licenses and usage statistics. 


Alma Acquisitions Workflow