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In July 2018, Harvard Library will move from Aleph to Alma as its unified resource management system/ILS. This section will hold training and support materials for staff during and after that switch.

For updates on the switch to Alma, read the Harvard Library CC articles tagged "Alma" and watch HLComms emails for Alma-related information.

May 2018 update:

Staff training registration is now open. We are listing classes as we confirm locations and trainers for each session. If the course is full and no classes are listed, please click on Show Interest to receive an email as soon as more classes are added.

Documents on this wiki: We are adding materials here as they reach final draft stage. Pages may still change significantly until Go Live/Cutover in early July, and continuous updates will be made as new features and processes are introduced. Do not print out materials - pages will continue to change.

The rest of this page contains information about Staff Training for Alma - what to expect and when. Read on for more details.

Alma Training

Training on Alma begins on May 16, 2018 and continue through September, 2018. From May through July, the hands-on sessions focus on learning Alma to do your current work to prepare for go live in the first week of July. Training from July through September will be on updates and additional features of Alma (that had no similar function in Aleph).

During this time, there will be three ways to learn and practice on Alma:

  • Primary mode: In-person sessions led by trainers and facilitators, mostly hands-on with some demo-style sessions
  • Secondary mode: Self-directed individual learning, via online documentation and resources
  • Supplemental mode: Optional peer learning opportunities, through the Alma Training Buddy match-up and self-organized Learning Circles around specific topics and functional areas

Hands-On Training

Registration for hands-on training is now live in the Harvard Training Portal. Sign in using your Harvard Key login.

Click on the course title in the list below to see the descriptions and current classes for each course. They're listed in the suggested sequences for each functional area; the class descriptions will detail exactly what each class covers.

Most classes will be 2 hours long, including time for practice and questions, and will be in spaces that have either desktops or laptops for training. Current locations include 90 Mt Auburn Street, CGIS Knafel Building, 625 Massachusetts Avenue/ITS, and some sessions at Countway and Lamont. Additional locations will be added as needed.

Alma Overviews

These two classes are required for all staff, regardless of job functions. They are the basics of how Alma works, and how it's fundamentally different from Aleph.

Cross-Functional Topics

There are two topics that cut across Fulfillment, Acquisitions, and Resource Management that will have dedicated 1-hour classes.

  • Holdings & Items
  • Work Orders
Fulfillment (Circulation and Requests)
  • Circulation & Patron Records
  • Requests & Items
  • Finance for Acquisitions & Selectors
  • One-Time Orders 1 & 2
  • Continuous Orders 1 & 2
  • Order Maintenance
Resource Management (Cataloging & Related Topics)
  • Cataloging 1

  • Cataloging 2

Topics Offered Later this Summer

These classes will be 1 or 2 hours long, and may be either demonstrations or hands-on, depending on the material.

  • Authority Records
  • Reports & Analyses

  • eResources

  • Course Reserves

  • Finance

Peer Learning Opportunities

In addition to hands-on training, trainer-led demos, and documentation, Alma training will support two kinds of peer learning opportunities:

  • The Alma Training Buddy program encourages staff to find someone to attend trainings with, bounce questions and ideas off of, and discuss the possibilities of Alma with. This program is optional, as an added support to formal training. If you'd like to be matched with a buddy, complete the registration form ( by March 30th. Buddies will be matched during March, have time to get to know each other in April, and can start attending trainings together in May.

  • Alma Learning Circles (or communities of practice) are opportunities to practice Alma workflows and techniques in Alma with a group, outside of formal training sessions. After training begins in May, we encourage training buddy pairs to come together for larger group discussions. On the peer learning resources page, we’ll provide a list of meeting spaces available at the libraries and instructions on reserving these rooms.


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