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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.

Alma Sets and Jobs

Introduction to Sets and Jobs

Sets are saved groups of records in Alma that can be used for:

  • Bulk changes or actions using jobs
  • Monitoring groups of items going through a process (a group of items all going through digitization, for instance)
  • Maintaining personal lists of records that you want quick access to (if you're a reference librarian, you can set up lists of favorite resources, or if you're in Acquisitions, you can keep a set of materials purchased for specific reasons)

There are two types of sets:

  • Logical sets are the dynamic results of a saved query in Alma
  • Itemized sets are static lists of records, where you individually add members to the set

Logical Sets

Logical sets consist of the saved results of a search query - either a basic or advanced search. Creating a logical set allows you to re-run the same query for the current set of results without having to recreate the query.

To create a logical set:

  • Run either a basic or advanced search, then click on Save Query and add the set details
  • Go to Manage Sets, click on Add Set then Logical, add the set details, and then run the query

It's that easy!

Uses of Logical Sets

Logical sets are used to:

  • Periodically review records that currently meet those criteria, including:
    • Materials missing a critical field due to human or vendor error, such as physical items without barcodes or bib records with the wrong material or resource type
    • Current materials that meet the needs of a faculty member or researcher
    • Orders being placed for a particular bequest or other not-easily-findable grouping
  • Catch most of the records needed for a job. The set can then be itemized or exported and reviewed to create the final list for the job.

Itemized Sets

Itemized sets are static lists of records, where each member of the set is added individually somehow.

To create an itemized set:

  1. Go to Admin >> Manage Sets >> Add Set >> Itemized
  2. Add the Set Details, including choosing the Record Type
  3. Add members to the set:
    • Individually, by searching for them and clicking a box to add them
    • By uploading a file of unique identifiers (barcodes, MMSIDs, POL number, etc.) that Alma will use to populate your set
  4. Click Save

You can also create an itemized set from the results of a logical query - see the box below for more on this.

To see the members of a set:

  1. Go to Admin >> Manage Sets
  2. Find the set name in the list
  3. Click on the ellipsis and select Members


Uses of Itemized Sets

Itemized sets are used for:

  • Running jobs on a specific set of records, such as Withdrawing Items by barcode or Updating POL status
  • Lists of records it would be impossible to find using a single search query (no matter how well-crafted)


Itemizing a Logical Set

To itemize a logical set:

  1. Save your query or create your logical set
  2. Go to Admin >> Manage sets and find the set in the list
  3. Click on the ellipsis and then Itemize
  4. Alma will run a job that itemizes the current results of that set.
  5. You can now review the members of the itemized set and remove or add members as needed.

Itemizing a logical set is especially useful if you want to run a job on a set that will change a parameter that you used to find the records to add to the set - such as materials that did not have a note before the job and now do. Your logical set would be empty, if your search criteria included Is Empty for the note field. :) If you itemize the set before you run the job, you can easily see all the records affected by the set and review the changes that were made by the job.

Running Jobs

Jobs are used to make batch changes or updates to records in Alma. They typically act on sets of records - either logical or itemized - and are managed under the Admin menu.

The ability to run jobs is tied to your user roles and permissions. If you go to Admin >> Run a Job, you will only see the jobs that you have permission to run. If you don't see a job that you need to do your work, please let your Alma manager or Institutional Lead know to update your permissions.

Running a job is very straightforward:

  1. Create the set or identify the records you want to run the job on
  2. Go to Admin >> Run a Job
  3. Select the job you want to run, then click on Next
  4. Select the set you created and click Next
  5. Select the parameters or fields you want to change for all records in the set
  6. When you are finished filling out the form, click Next
  7. Change the job name so you can easily find your job in the list of running or completed jobs
  8. Click Submit, then Confirm

The biggest challenge is understanding the parameters that the job will change (and potential unintended consequences) and creating the set. Running the job itself is easy.


Useful Jobs to Run

These jobs are particularly useful for Alma record management:

  • Withdraw Items
  • Change Physical Items
  • Batch Work Order
  • Update PO Lines Information
  • Change PO Lines Status
  • Update PO Lines Workflow
  • Normalization rules for bibs or holdings
  • Import Profiles for Bibs/Holdings/Items/Portfolios/Orders

Training Materials and Videos

Here are some materials and videos on using Sets and Jobs