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This page includes:
  • Best Practices
  • FAQ/Notes
  • Table 1 – Local Fields in Alma & Primo (Overview)
  • Table 2 – Local Fields in Primo (Details)

Best Practices

  • Use local fields for the uses defined in the table of Local Fields in Alma & Primo (below). 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 (below). 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.
  • Until this software bug is fixed, institutions should continue to include their institution name in headings where it makes sense (for example, ‘Associated Students Collections (Western Washington University)’ rather than ‘Associated Students Collections’). Using institution names in local headings will not cause any problem in Primo and will assist patrons in other institutions knowing which institution a heading is associated with. However, making changes to existing local headings is not required until the bug is fixed and standard institutional abbreviations can be used either in the heading or as a heading qualifier. 
  • Be aware that until this bug is fixed, using an abbreviation (for example, ‘Associated Students Collections (WWU)’ may cause a problem in Primo (as described in the working group”s report) if both a) your institution abbreviation and your Ex Libris customer code are the same, and b) a patron uses that abbreviation as a term in a Primo search. Until this bug is fixed, it is recommended institutions not add an additional field (for example, a subfield $5) containing the institution”s abbreviated name to headings or notes, unless it is a practice already in place at your institution. As soon as Ex Libris fixes this Primo software bug, these best practices will be reviewed and modified as appropriate.

FAQ/Notes

  • Information about Local Fields in Alma Online Help. The main online help page on local fields is "Local Extensions to Bibliographic Records in the Network Zone."
  • Adding Local Fields using the ME. There are two methods of creating local fields in Alma. The first method is to use the Edit > Add Local Field (Ctrl+L) command in the Metadata Editor. When using this command, Alma creates a field with an invisible subfield $9 containing the string "local" (all lower case). This subfield $9 is used by Alma to mark fields as local, i.e., they are stored in an institution's Institution Zone and are not lost when the master bib record in the NZ is overlaid. Although this subfield $9 is not displayed in Alma (the local field building icon is displayed instead), it is present in local fields when bib records are exported.

Note: Using "local" or "LOCAL" in a subfield $9 both work in Alma, i.e., Alma treats headings with either string as a local field. Just be careful to either a) be consistent in which form you use in your local fields, or b) when creating normalization rules be sure to test for the presence of either string before adding a new subfield $9.

  • Adding Local Fields using Norm Rules. The second method of adding local fields is to a normalization rule to add a local field one-at-a-time in the Metadata Editor, or to batch add a local field to a set of bib records. The normalization rule must include the addSubfield command as shown below:

then

   addField "590.a.Gift of Julie Andrews."

   addSubField "590.9.local" if (not exists "590.9.local")

end

  • How NOT to Add Local Fields. Using the Metadata Editor Edit > Add Field (F8) command and then add the "$$9local" subfield in the ME does NOT work. The field will be a normal field in the NZ and will be lost when the NZ bib record is overlaid. Similarly, adding the "$9 local" subfield in Connexion before downloading the bib record into Alma will also NOT work, and the new field will again be lost when the NZ bib record is overlaid.
  • Changing a Field's Behavior vs. Using a Different Field.  If a library has data in a particular local field and that local field does not have the characteristics that they want for that data in terms of display, searchability, and clickability, rather than requesting changes to that field's characteristics, consider moving the data to a different local field that has the desired characteristics. This can be done by using a norm rule to change the field tag (using the ChangeField command) and, if not already present, add the subfield $9.
  • Alliance Reserved Fields. Fields 972-977 and 979 are reserved for future use as Alliance-wide notes. Any use of these local note fields will be added to this table after the use is approved by the CWT's Technical Services Working Group.
  • Institution Reserved Fields. Fields 962-971 are reserved for local institution-defined internal notes. Any Alliance library is free to define any of these fields for local use. No attempt will be made to coordinate consistent use across Alliance libraries. These local internal note fields do not publish to Primo.
  • OCLC Reserved Fields. Fields 950, 951, 956, 987, 989-999 are reserved for OCLC use per information contained in OCLC's Bibliographic Formats and Standards and are not to be used for Alliance or local use in Alma or Primo.
  • Phrase vs. Keyword Searching.  Local fields cannot be made "phrase" or "keyword" searchable in Primo, as the Primo normalization rules only control what metadata is indexed for search.  They have no influence on how Primo actually searches the data in those search indexes. Phrase versus keyword functionality is controlled in Primo by the user's search mode.  When using basic search, clicking on a hyperlink executes a keyword search.  When using advanced search, clicking on the hyperlink executes a phrase search.

Table 1 – Local Fields in Alma & Primo (Overview)

Local field

Definition

Format as if

Published to Primo?

Primo Index(es)

Displays to all Primo users or local only?

Clickable link in Primo?

09X

Local call number

 

 

 

59X

Local notes index

 

 

 

590-597

Local institution-defined public notes

500

Yes

keyword

Local only

No

598

Local standard number

 

Yes

keyword

Local only

No

599

Local institution-defined public note

500

Yes

keyword

Local only

No

69X

Local subjects index

 

 

 

690

Local–Topical Term

650

Yes

keyword, subject

All

Yes

691

Local–Geographic Name

651

Yes

keyword, subject

All

Yes

693

Local uncontrolled index term

653

Yes

keyword, subject

All

Yes

694

Local Form/Genre

655

Yes

keyword, subject

All

Yes

695

Added Class Number

090

Yes

keyword

Local only

No

696

Local Subject Added Entry–Personal Name

600

Yes

keyword, subject

All

Yes

697

Local Subject Added Entry–Corporate Name

610

Yes

keyword, subject

All

Yes

698

Local Subject Added Entry–Meeting Name

611

Yes

keyword, subject

All

Yes

699

Local Subject Added Entry–Uniform Title

630

Yes

keyword, subject

All

Yes

 77X  Linking entry fields - DO NOT USE          
 78X  Linking entry fields - DO NOT USE          

9XX

Alliance-defined local fields

 

 

 

921

Alliance-defined CR_RESTRICTED field for course reserve records

 

No

 

 

 

952

Local Added Entry–Personal Name

700

Yes

keyword, name

All

Yes

953

Local Added Entry–Corporate Name

710

Yes

keyword, name

All

Yes

954

Local Added Entry–Meeting Name

711

Yes

keyword, name

All

Yes

955

Local Added Entry–Uniform Title

730

Yes

keyword, title

All

No

957

Local Hierarchical Place Name

752

Yes

keyword, name

All

Yes

958

Local Added Entry–Local Journal Titles

299

Yes

keyword, title

All

No

959

Local Added Entry–Varying Form of Title

246

Yes

keyword, title

All

No

960

Local Added Entry–Uncontrolled Related/Analytical Title

740

Yes

keyword, title

All

No

961

Local Series Added Entry–Uniform Title

830

Yes

keyword, title

All

No

978

Alliance-defined internal note: III .b number

 

No

 

 

 

980

Alliance-defined internal note: Order Information (e.g., WCP/PromptCat)

 

No

 

 

 

981

Alliance-defined internal note: Order Information (e.g., WCP/PromptCat)

 

No

 

 

 


Table 2 – Local Fields in Primo (Details)

Local field

Definition

Added to which field(s) in PNX record?

Norm rule notes

09X

Local call number

 

 

59X

Local notes index

 

 

590-597

Local institution-defined public notes

Display/lds06 - Local Notes OR Display/lds07 - Local Notes

Display/lds06: $9LOCAL must be present, $I[inst] added to end of lds06 from 590$A, which contains 01ALLIANCE_[INST].  If no value is present in 59X $A, field is added to Display/lds07.  $9LOCAL must be present, record not in NZ, $I[inst] added to end of lds07 from MARC INST value.

598

Local standard number

Display/lds06 - Local Notes OR Display/lds07 - Local Notes

Display/lds06: $9LOCAL must be present, $I[inst] added to end of lds06 from 590$A, which contains 01ALLIANCE_[INST].  If no value is present in 59X $A, field is added to Display/lds07.  $9LOCAL must be present, record not in NZ, $I[inst] added to end of lds07 from MARC INST value.

599

Local institution-defined public note

Display/lds06 - Local Notes OR Display/lds07 - Local Notes

Display/lds06: $9LOCAL must be present, $I[inst] added to end of lds06 from 590$A, which contains 01ALLIANCE_[INST].  If no value is present in 59X $A, field is added to Display/lds07.  $9LOCAL must be present, record not in NZ, $I[inst] added to end of lds07 from MARC INST value.

69X

Local subjects index

 

 

690

Local–Topical Term

Display/lds 31 - Subject

691

Local–Geographic Name

Display/lds 31 - Subject

693

Local uncontrolled index term

Display/lds 31 - Subject

694

Local Form/Genre

Display/lds 31 - Subject

695

Added Class Number

Display/lds06 - Local Notes OR Display/lds07 - Local Notes

Display/lds06: $9LOCAL must be present, $I[inst] added to end of lds06 from 590$A, which contains 01ALLIANCE_[INST].  If no value is present in 59X $A, field is added to Display/lds07.  $9LOCAL must be present, record not in NZ, $I[inst] added to end of lds07 from MARC INST value.

696

Local Subject Added Entry–Personal Name

Display/lds 31 - Subject

697

Local Subject Added Entry–Corporate Name

Display/lds 31 - Subject

698

Local Subject Added Entry–Meeting Name

Display/lds 31 - Subject

699

Local Subject Added Entry–Uniform Title

Display/lds 31 - Subject

9XX

Alliance-defined local fields

 

 

952

Local Added Entry–Personal Name

Display/lds10 - Unnamed AND Display/lds32 - Local Authors

Display/lds10: All applicable MARC fields are merged into one lds10, separated by semicolons. Display/lds32: All applicable MARC fields are merged into one lds32, separated by semicolons.

953

Local Added Entry–Corporate Name

Display/lds10 - Unnamed AND Display/lds32 - Local Authors

Display/lds10: All applicable MARC fields are merged into one lds10, separated by semicolons. Display/lds32: All applicable MARC fields are merged into one lds32, separated by semicolons.

954

Local Added Entry–Meeting Name

Display/lds10 - Unnamed AND Display/lds32 - Local Authors

Display/lds10: All applicable MARC fields are merged into one lds10, separated by semicolons. Display/lds32: All applicable MARC fields are merged into one lds32, separated by semicolons.

955

Local Added Entry–Uniform Title

Display/lds10 - Unnamed

Display/lds10: All applicable MARC fields are merged into one lds10, separated by semicolons.

957

Local Hierarchical Place Name

Display/lds10 - Unnamed AND Display/lds32 - Local Authors

Display/lds10: All applicable MARC fields are merged into one lds10, separated by semicolons. Display/lds32: All applicable MARC fields are merged into one lds32, separated by semicolons.

958

Local Added Entry–Local Journal Titles

Display/lds10 - Unnamed

Display/lds10: All applicable MARC fields are merged into one lds10, separated by semicolons.

959

Local Added Entry–Varying Form of Title

Display/lds10 - Unnamed

Display/lds10: All applicable MARC fields are merged into one lds10, separated by semicolons.

960

Local Added Entry–Uncontrolled Related/Analytical Title

Display/lds10 - Unnamed

Display/lds10: All applicable MARC fields are merged into one lds10, separated by semicolons.

961

Local Series Added Entry–Uniform Title

Display/lds10 - Unnamed

Display/lds10: All applicable MARC fields are merged into one lds10, separated by semicolons.



Software: Alma

Current phase: Phase 5: Approved Written by: Bob Thomas

Approved by: Technical Services Working Group on 6/21/2016
Last updated: 2/7/2016
Staff Contact: Cassie Schmitt Nature of last update: best practice approved with minor updates

Document History
  • Updated on 2/7/2017 to account for 77X and 78X fields. 
  • Originally approved by Technical Services Working Group on 6/21/2016
  • A first draft of the Local Fields Best Practices was presented for discussion on the CWP Blog. Minor changes were made based on received comments including clarification on the problems with Primo when using an Ex Libris customer institution code.