Forsyth Library improves services, expands reach through next-generation Ex Libris software

09/06/12 kb

HAYS, Kan. -- Forsyth Library at Fort Hays State University went live today with new, cloud-based library services called Alma and Primo, by the Ex Libris Group®, a world leader in the provision of library services.

Ex Libris began rolling out the new Alma system earlier this year with its 60 institutional development partners, including such institutions as the Boston College Libraries. FHSU's Forsyth is the first of the "early adopter" institutions in the country to go live on Alma. The news conference at Forsyth was streamed to libraries and institutions around the world.

Alma is a single, consolidated library system that manages print, electronic and digital collections. It replaces several systems at Forsyth that separately manage different aspects of library operations. The use of business analytics and real-time resource analysis tools within Alma allow the library to become much more efficient and provide an opportunity for cost-savings.

"If the heart of a great educational institution is its faculty and students, then the lifeblood is the resources of knowledge available to them through their library system," said FHSU President Edward H. Hammond. "With Alma and Primo, we ensure that the information, scholarship and knowledge available to and through Forsyth Library will reach every part of the university body, its faculty, staff and students, no matter what part of the world they find themselves in."

For Fort Hays State, said Hammond, the cloud-based Alma system is a logical match. "Technology and its innovations in products and services have been keys to Fort Hays State's advancement, growth and mission for more than 25 years," he said. "We are proud to partner with Ex Libris in this project."

"We have the privilege of partnering with our clients to deliver technology solutions that enable them to accomplish strategic goals for research, teaching and outreach," said Tate Nunley, director of sales for Ex Libris North America. "Across the industry, libraries are facing tremendous environmental pressure from the economy and from exponentially rising materials costs. Alma provides relief from these constraints, enabling libraries to provide greater value to their campus community."

In anticipation of the launch at FHSU, Mark Triest, president of Ex Libris North America, said, "Going livewith Alma is an important landmark for Fort Hays State, and one which the ExLibris community in North America is watching with great interest. As oneof the major pillars of FHSU's Forsyth Library's long-term strategy, theimplementation of Alma will enable the library toclearly demonstrate its value throughout the campus community."

"This library system is unlike any other library system out there," said John Ross, Forsyth director. "It is unique."

Through Alma, he said, the library has a uniform resource management system that allows staff to monitor and manage collections, databases and other resources. Library staff can track usage and analyze collections on a real-time basis.

Ross cited several features of Alma and Primo that provide two valuable tools to researchers. E-Shelf allows faculty to select library holdings and place links to them within Blackboard. Another, called Get It Now, delivers documents directly to a user's desktop. The new software also provides immediate access to the catalogs of the world's largest and most prestigious libraries.

Ross congratulated the library staff on their teamwork and dedication to the project. The implementation of Alma and Primo began during January 2012.

"The staff performed admirably while dealing with the stress of a major system migration on a short time-line," said Ross. "Heath Bogart, Forsyth Library systems administrator, deserves praise for his work as the project manager. We also thank the Ex Libris project team for their unending support and assistance." Ross presented Bogart with a plaque honoring his leadership of the project.

John Larson, Ex Libris' team leader for the project at Forsyth, praised Forsyth staff members for their hard work, dedication and expertise in the transition, especially for their adoption of the Alma component, "the behind-the-scenes, staff management part of this."

About Ex Libris

Ex Libris is a leading provider of automation solutions for academic, national and research libraries. Offering the only comprehensive product suite for electronic, digital and print materials, Ex Libris provides efficient, user-friendly products that serve the needs of libraries today and will facilitate their transition into the future. Ex Libris maintains an impressive customer base consisting of thousands of sites in more than 80 countries on six continents. Dedicated to developing creative solutions in close collaboration with customers, Ex Libris enables libraries to maximize productivity and efficiency and, at the same time, greatly enhance the user experience. By empowering users to discover and obtain the information they need, libraries ensure their position as the bridge to knowledge. For more information about Ex Libris Group, see the website (, join them on Facebook, view their videos and follow them on Twitter.

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