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Alma Resource Management

Working with the Metadata Editor in the Institution and Network Zones. Includes indication and normalization rules.

Zones In Alma

There are three zones in Alma:

  • Institution Zone house icon - the institution's local records and inventory
  • Network Zone network icon - the SUNY shared bibliographic environment for SUNY libraries
  • Community Zone community zone icon - the electronic resources available for all ALMA users

Institution Zone (IZ)

The Institution Zone (IZ) is where all library-owned resources and associated inventory exists. This is your library's collection. Bib records in the IZ can be IZ only records or they can be linked to the NZ.

The following resources should not be linked to the NZ (MSP-3):

  • Personal-copy course reserves
  • Titles borrowed on ILL from outside the consortia
  • Inventory control of equipment
  • Host bibliographic records for bound-withs
  • Suppressed bibliographic records
  • Vendor record sets that the library is not allowed to share (proprietary vendor records)

The IZ is the only place where inventory can reside. Inventory consists of:

  • Holdings Records
  • Items Records
  • PO Lines (Purchase Order Lines aka Order Records)
  • PO (Purchase Orders)
  • Invoices

IZ only records will not have an icon to the left of the title:

no icon next to title



Network Zone (NZ)

Alma's Network Zone (NZ) is SUNY's shared bibliographic environment. All bibliographic records should reside in the NZ, with noted exceptions, in order to enable collaboration and sharing of information.

  • The NZ matches bib records on the OCLC number in MARC field 035 $$a
  • All bib records in the NZ should have an OCLC number, except brief bib records that have been created for ordering
  • Duplicate records with the same OCLC number are not allowed in the NZ
    • Multiple bib records for the same resource can reside in the NZ as long as they have unique OCLC numbers
  • DO NOT edit or overlay the OCLC number for an existing NZ bib record
    • OCLC numbers can be added to NZ brief bib records if the OCLC number does not exist once an OCLC master record exists
  • Libraries do not have to use the available bib record in the NZ
    • Export an OCLC master record from OCLC to Alma if the desired bib record is not in the NZ
  • Physical resources are ordered from NZ
  • Bib records in the NZ are updated on a daily basis from import profiles for new, updated, and merged OCLC records that have SUNY holdings attached to them
  • SUNY Library Services staff run monthly clean-up jobs to find and fix problems with diacritics, remove bibs with no holdings, etc.

IZ records linked to the NZ will have a network icon NZ icon next to them when searched in the IZ:

NZ record example


NZ records that are linked to the IZ will have a house icon IZ icon next to them when searched in the NZ:

NZ record example


Community Zone (CZ)

The Community Zone (CZ) is a shared repository available for all Alma users. It incorporates the Central Knowledgebase, the Community catalog, and Global Authority Files.

  • The Central Knowledge Base (CKB) contains bibliographic records, title lists, and linking information for electronic resources. The electronic collection records in the CKB come from vendors. 
  • The Community Catalog is the shared metadata repository.
  • Global Authority Records contains the Library of Congress Subject Headings, the Library of Congress Name Authorities, MESH, and GND.

The CZ is a catalog of electronic resources. CZ records are updated by Ex Libris or by the Alma community of users. Activating a electronic resource in the CZ creates a bibliographic record and inventory record in the Institution Zone (IZ). It also creates a bibliographic record in the Network Zone (NZ), and the bib records created in both the IZ and NZ are linked to the CZ. Changes made to a bib record or in the CKB will be reflected in linked IZ/NZ bib records. Primo indexing for campuses comes from the NZ bib record.

CZ records that are linked to the IZ will have the people icon CZ icon next to them when searched in the IZ. (Note: If the icon is not blue, it means the e-resource is not activated and needs to be activated or deleted):

CZ record example

IZ Records that are linked to the CZ will display a house icon IZ icon next to them when searched in the CZ:

IZ record example