June 7, 2016
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Local Fields Best Practices Discussion
Proposed Local Fields Best Practices:
- Use local fields for the uses defined in the table of Local Fields in Alma & Primo. If a local field is needed for a new use, submit a description of the new requirement to the CWT's Technical Services Working Group which will coordinate the necessary changes.
- Most local fields in Alma are designed to mimic a specific non-local MARC 21 field. The local and non-local field equivalencies are shown in the table of Local Fields in Alma & Primo. It is essential that local fields that are designed to mimic regular MARC 21 fields must be formatted in the same way as those MARC 21 fields, including indicators and use of subfields, as the Primo normalization rules that control display and searchability are designed based on the assumption that the local fields will be formatted the same as the relevant non-local field.
- Include the name (or abbreviation) of your institution in local headings whenever possible and appropriate. This will inform patrons from other Alliance libraries which copy of a resource, or to which institution's collection, the heading or note applies. In the current catalog environment patrons are likely to see bibliographic information from multiple libraries.
Note: The 2016 Local Fields Review Group identified a problem in Primo where using an Ex Libris customer institution code (often, but not always, the same as the normal abbreviation for an institution) causes a problem with the search, even if the abbreviation is present in the heading or in the field containing the heading. This problem was reported in April 2016 in Alliance Salesforce Case #00217673 and we are waiting for a response from Ex Libris Development. When this bug in Primo is corrected, the best practice above will be updated with the different ways the institution can be recorded in local fields.
The proposed Local Fields Best Practices are designed to be used with the information on the Local Fields documentation page including:
- Table 1 – Local Fields in Alma & Primo (Overview)
- Table 2 – Local Fields in Primo (Details)
Please review the proposed best practices along with the companion materials and provide any questions, comments, or feedback.