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USMAI Library Migration FAQ for Faculty

FAQs about the Library System Migration

What is Alma/Primo?

Alma/Primo is a catalog and a user interface to search library holdings.

Alma will replace the current catalog, Aleph (known to you as catalogUSMAI or Library Catalog), that searches all the physical holdings, i.e., books, that are held by all of the libraries in the USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions). The consortium of 17 Maryland libraries, including UMGC, that share the Aleph system - will share the Alma system.

Primo will replace the EBSCO discovery system (OneSearch). We will still offer cross-functional searching, but the interface will look different, and the actual databases included in the search will change (all ProQuest databases will now be included).

We expect these changes to result in an enhanced and better user experience overall. This is a system-wide project, and all University System of Maryland Libraries are migrating to these new systems.

For students and faculty, the major difference between Aleph and Alma is that searching physical holdings will be combined with searching digital resources, like databases, ebooks. This is because USMAI is acquiring both Alma and its discovery tool (search interface) called Primo. Primo will replace EDS (the EBSCO Discovery Service product that powers OneSearch on the library home page). The result will be that there will be one interface for searching all materials.

For more technical information on Alma, Primo, and the integrated system, see:

When will the system migration occur?

The scheduled switchover date is May 23, 2024. This is a date decided upon by the USMAI consortium , which accommodates the changeover considerations of all of its 17 libraries.

Is the actual collection changing?

No, the collection itself is not changing. We will still have the same resources we currently have.

How does this affect OneSearch?

OneSearch will be enhanced. Currently OneSearch does not include ProQuest (now called Clarivate) products. This means important databases like ABI/INFORM, O'Reilly ebooks, and News & Newspapers will no longer have to be searched separately. They will be included in the OneSearch results. This greatly enhances the search and makes it more powerful. Also, all items can be found in one search interface: both physical and digital items.

How will this affect the links in my classroom?

While some links in the classrooms will need to be updated, this is not something that needs to be completed by faculty. The library has been working with the Enterprise Project Management Office (ePMO), and AccelerEd for several months now to make sure this process is handled as smoothly and seamlessly as possible for everyone. We are doing due diligence in making sure links are updated for summer classes, right up until the go live date.

For more information on creating new links to course for materials for future semesters (especially Summer 24 and beyond) see the Creating Links tab.

What about current, direct links to ProQuest databases (like ABI/INFORM, O'Reilly ebooks, and News & Newspapers)?

Links to ProQuest databases will continue to work, and do not need to be modified.

What about non-AEM links, like those in assignment instructions, discussion posts, study guides, and handouts? 

As we continue to work with AccelerEd the answer to this will become more clear. We are working on a plan to address these issues once we have a more definitive answer as to what the reports will pick up. Rest assured we are aware of potential issues regarding non-AEM links, and are developing a plan.

How do I create links to library resources that won't break?

See the "Creating Links" tab on this guide.

How will this affect my My EBSCOhost account?

If you currently have a My EBSCOhost account to save searches, alerts, or citations, these will no longer be available in OneSearch, but will still be available in individual EBSCO databases. 

When can I see the new system?

The Library has just received "sandbox" access to the new system. We will be able to grab screenshots and create training materials for faculty. 

Watch for a faculty webinar in the spring for a "preview."

How will the migration process be different for classes in Europe and Asia?

The process of updating links for summer classes will be different in some ways for Europe & Asia classrooms. Conversations have begun between the Library, AccelerEd, and Europe & Asia administration and will continue as we develop a plan.