During a Jan. 9 session that brought together librarians from throughout the region, faculty and staff from VCU Libraries and members of the Ex Libris company discussed the implentation of Alma, a pioneering piece of cloud-resident enterprise library software, at VCU Libraries. Alma has changed the way librarians at VCU Libraries work. John Duke, senior associate university librarian, said, "We wanted to reduce the complexity of what we were doing, of streamlining our workflows" and to migrate to "a system that was keyed towards digital collections, which is where all libraries are moving now, academic libraries in particular."
The panel discussion featured:
- Maria Bunevski--a project manager in professional services at Ex Libris. She has helped institutions with implementing a wide range of products, including Primo, SFX, Metalib, Aleph and Voyager. Her first Alma-implementation project has been at VCU Libraries. Prior to joining Ex Libris, she worked with the implementation of document-management systems.
- John Duke--senior associate university librarian at VCU Libraries. He is the head of the VCU Libraries committee for the implementation of Alma. He came to VCU Libraries in 1984 as head of the bibliographic-services department and previously held positions in the libraries of the University of California-Los Angeles and Iowa State University.
- Susan Stearns--vice president of strategic partnerships for the Ex Libris Group. She joined Ex Libris in 2004 as director of operations and soon thereafter became vice president of professional services for Ex Libris North America. Prior to joining Ex Libris, Susan worked in a variety of marketing and product-management positions at InMagic, Northern Light Technologies, Gaylord Information Systems (now Polaris) and other companies serving libraries.