How to Create a New Books List in Alma and LibGuides

Guest post by Sarah Johnson, Assistant Director, Collections and Content, at Boley Law Library, Lewis & Clark Law School  

Read on for step-by-step instructions for creating an attractive New Books post in LibGuides using Alma and the blog feature in LibGuides.

Step 1: Catalog and Add to Temporary New Book Location

Newly added items are cataloged and processed, and those selected to be featured on the New Book Shelf are sent to Circulation.

Circulation staff sets a temporary location in the catalog to New Book by using Alma’s Scan in Items function:

Alma > Currently at: Boley Law Library: Circulation Desk > Fulfillment > Scan in Items > Change Item Information > Change type: Temporary > Location: New Book > scan item barcode

Alma View

Twenty-four hours after the items are scanned to the temporary location, a report becomes available in Alma Analytics.

Step 2: Run Alma Analytics New Books Report

We created an Alma Analytics report that is prompted by the date the items were scanned to the New Book temporary location.  The report is saved to our Analytics Objects List in Alma, for easy access.

Alma New Books

Select the date or range of dates the items were scanned to the New Book temporary location.

This is an example of the resulting report:

Step 3: Set up a New Books LibGuide

We use a LibGuide to feature new books by category.  Each new month gets a new page within the guide, and pages from previous months’ new book lists are archived in the guide.  This allows us to review older lists throughout the year, and also to retain page view statistics for each month.

  • Create a template page, including a top box with an introductory message, and hidden boxes for each frequently used category
  • Copy the template page as new hidden pages for each month of the year
  • Create a blank Archive page, under which to nest previous months’ lists

Step 4: Add “Book from the Catalog” Content to LibGuide Boxes

Working from the Alma Analytics report and the online catalog, add each new title to its appropriate category on the LibGuide page for the current month, as a “Book from the Catalog” asset.  Here’s how:

  1. Copy the MMS ID from the Analytics report
  2. Paste it into a Primo search
  3. Click the title in the search result to open the full record
  4. Analyze the title, subject headings, and description in the full record to determine which category or categories in the New Book list to use
  5. Copy the ISBN from Primo
  6. Back in LibGuides – find the box with the appropriate category for the book
  7. Click Add/Reorder > Book from the Catalog
  8. Paste the ISBN > click Get Book Info
  9. Ideally, bibliographic metadata will be available and will populate the following fields in the asset editor: Title, Author/editor, Publication date, Description
  10. Copy the call number from Primo and paste it into the asset editor
  11. Copy the permalink from Primo and paste it into the asset editor
  12. Select the desired Description Display setting (we use Hover over “info” icon)
  13. Save
  14. Repeat for all books in the list

Special considerations:

●     More than one category:

For items that fit in more than one category, add the first asset using the default Create New Book editor; add to the other categories by selecting Add/Reorder > Book from the Catalog > Reuse Existing Book > enter the title of the book to find the asset you already created > select and save.

●     No metadata

If no bibliographic metadata is available, copy and paste it manually from Primo to the editor: Title, Author/editor, Publication date, Description.

●     No cover art

If no cover art is pulled with “Get Book Info,” you can add one via image URL by selecting “Other” from the drop down menu in the cover art box.

Grab the image URL from the publisher’s website, or from a Google Images search.

Paste into the guide asset.

Step 5: Review Changes and Publish the Page

Once all the items from the Analytics report are added, make sure:

  • all populated category boxes are unhidden
  • all empty boxes are hidden or deleted
  • assets within boxes are sorted by title

Then publish the page by setting the page visibility to “Show on public guide.”

Step 6: Reorder / Move Pages to Archive Previous Month

Reorder the pages so that the previous month is nested under the Archive tab: Page > Reorder/Move > Pages. Take a look at the final product.

Step 7: Post a Blog Entry to Announce the Latest Additions

Create a new post using one of the LibGuides blog functions, using a new book cover image from Goodreads, assembled for the current set.

Check out the final product: New Books LibGuide.

Assistant Director, Research and Instruction, at Boley Law Library, Lewis and Clark Law School, in Portland, Oregon.