Adding 'on Reading List...' to ALMA

This has been submitted as a top tip by Alan Dawson - Digital Development Support Officer at Prifysgol Bangor University.


This is a brief guide for updating item records in Alma with the note “Reading List 2016-17”, this is to allow library staff to easily identify books that are on reading lists for the purposes of weeding, Interlibrary Loans or other procedures. To do this, you need use:

  • Notepad++
  • Excel
  • Alma
  • Alma Analytics
  • Talis Reading Lists


Step 1 - Generate an export file in Talis

Export an All List Items report with the following filters applied:

  • List Status: Published
  • Resource Type: Book and Chapter
  • In Library Catalogue: Yes
  • Time Period: Select Current (or repeat for each to have individual files)

Once the report has come through via your email, download the CSV from the link provided.

Step 2 - Prepare the Talis export file for import into Alma Analytics

  1. Open Notepad++ (you can use normal notepad, BUT Notepad++ is easier on Windows)
  2. Download the file onto your computer and open in Excel
  3. In the LCN column select the whole column - right click Format Cells, select Custom and under type enter 0. Click OK to confirm.pic_1.png
  4. Copy the LCN column data and paste into Notepad++
  5. Remove the first line as we won’t be using LCN
  6. We now need to fix the Alma MMS ID error that Excel brings about. At Bangor our MMS IDs are of the format 991004041089702422, what Excel does is replaces the last 4 digits with 2000. To fix this we need to do a find and replace:
    • Find 02000 (All of the Bangor MMS IDs end with 02422, so searching for 02000 lets us target just the last 5 characters of the MMS ID) You can do a count in Notepad++ which lets you check how many records you will be updating.
    • Replace with your unique MMSID ending, for example 02422 pic_2.png
  7. We now need to split the notepad++ document up, as Alma Analytics limits copied lines to 9,999, so if you use Search -> Go To you can select line 9999, go to line 10000 and hit return pic_3.png
  8. We are now ready for Alma Analytics

Step 3 - Generating a list of Barcodes in Alma Analytics

For this next step, we will be generating a list of barcodes for import into Alma

  1. Within Alma, select Design Analytics
  2. Click New -> Analysis
  3. Select Physical Items
  4. We need 1 field Barcode
    • Go to Physical Item Details and select 'Barcode'pic_4.png
    • We now need to generate a filter on the MMS Id, to do this click on the filter icon in the filter columnAdding_On_Reading_List_to_Alma_docx.png
    • Select 'More Columns'                                                 pic_6.png
    • Select Bibliographic Details -> MMS Id
    • In the value field click on the binoculars pic_7.png
    • Click on the pen symbol in the selected boxpic_8.png
    • In the Notepad++ select the first 9,999 lines and copy and paste the first batch of MMS iDs in here pic_9.png
    • Click ok until you get back to the criteria screen pic_10.png
    • You can repeat to add additional MMS Ids to your search criteria, remember to join using OR, otherwise you will won’t get the right number of results.
    • When done Click Results (this can take a while depending on the number of LCNs you are loading)
    • To export this list, click export this analysis and select ExcelAdding_On_Reading_List_to_Alma_docx.png
    • Open the excel file and remove any rows that come above the field Barcode, see below                 pic_11.png                                                                                                                    pic_12.png

Step 4 - Importing a list of Barcodes into Alma and updating them

To do this you will need the spreadsheet generated from Alma Analytics.

  1. Click Alma and select Manage Sets
  2. Click Add Set and select Itemized
  3. Give the set a name, set the content type to physical items and in the add contents from file to set, select the file you just created in Alma analytics pic_13.png
  4. Click Save – Alma will run a job to add the barcodes from the file to a set – you should get an email when the job has completed.
  5. You will get an email like this once the set has been created. pic_14.png
  6. To add the information to Alma so we know if a book is on a reading list: Click Alma and select Run a Job
  7. Under Job List find Information Update pic_15.png
  8. Select Change Physical Items
  9. Select the set
  10. Tick the box next to Statistics note 3
  11. Enter the text: Reading List Item 2016-17, Click next, next and submit and then confirm.pic_16.png
  12. Each item should have in its 'Statistics note 3' field, the following text:pic_17.png



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