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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

SUNY has three zone in Alma:

  • Institution Zone house icon - the institutions local records and inventory
  • Network Zone network icon - the SUNY share 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 resources held by a library and its 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 are exceptions and 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:

  • Physical, electronic, and digital resources
  • Holdings Records
  • Items Records
  • PO Lines (Purchase Order Lines aka Order Records)
  • PO (Purchase Orders)
  • Invoices


IZ only records will not have an icon next to the record:



Performing a "Physical Title" or "Physical Item" repository search will only retrieve physical titles and items in the campus' IZ. This will exclude e-resources that are in the IZ repository. As of the February 2020 release, the Institution tab will be the only tab displayed when performing a Physical Titles or a Physical Items repository search. The rationale behind this enhancement is that inventory does not exist in the NZ or the CZ. Performing a "Physical Title" or "Physical Item" search will produce zero results in those zones. 

physical item search


Network Zone (NZ)

Alma's Network Zone (NZ) is SUNY's shared bibliographic environment, whose goal is to have bibliographic records, brief or full, residing there with direct and related inventory (MSP-3). 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


IZ records linked to the NZ will have a network iconNZ iconnext to them:

NZ record example


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

NZ record example


Community Zone (CZ)

The Community Zone (CZ) is a shared repository available to be used by all Alma users. It incorporates the Central Knowledge Base, the Community catalog, and Global Authority Files. 

  • The Central Knowledge Base (CKB) contains the linking information to electronic resources. The electronic collection records in the CKB come from vendors. The CKB is integrated with Alma Link Resolver services and acquisitions workflows.
  • 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 from Alma community of users. Activating a electronic resource in the CZ creates an inventory record in the Institution Zone (IZ) and the records created in the IZ are linked to the CZ.  Changes made to a bib record or in the CKB will be reflected in linked IZ bib records.

When CZ records are activated at the IZ, a link is created to the NZ so that the holdings of all libraries in consortia for e-resources. 


CZ records that are linked to the IZ will have the people iconCZ iconnext to them (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:

IZ record example