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The Orbis Cascade Alliance has implemented shared library management and discovery services.

In July 2012 the Council of library directors decided to enter into a contract with Ex Libris for Alma (acquisitions, resource management, and fulfillment services) and Primo (discovery services). This decision followed an extensive RFP process.

All 37 institutions migrated, following a cohort plan, to Alma and Primo.

The Alliance and Ex Libris are working together in the Center of Excellence partnership.

The Alliance's Policy Team reviews and makes decisions on SILS issues that impact the Alliance as a whole, or that have budgetary impact, or that have the potential of creating inequalities across the membership. 

Shared ILS-related policy decisions

In process

Data sharing agreement


Policy Decision on Alliance participation in ELUNA

ELUNA Task Group recommendation, approved by the Alliance Board at its January 2015 meeting.

Policy decision on populating the Network Zone

Approved:  SILS Policy Team
February 28, 2013

The Alma Network Zone will consist of OCLC master bibliographic records. The initial set of WorldCat records to be loaded into the Alliance Network Zone will be provided by the Orbis Cascade Alliance and will be loaded by Ex Libris. This initial file of WorldCat records will consist of all WorldCat records with holdings attached by one or more Alliance libraries. Ex Libris will re-link individual libraries’ inventory to the master records in the Network Zone based on matching OCLC numbers.

Policy decision on naming the Ex Libris Shared ILS

Approved:  SILS Policy Team
March 14, 2013

The Alliance will refer to the staff-side portion of the Shared ILS by its Ex Libris product name of ‘Alma.’ 

The Alliance will continue to refer to the general process of resource sharing among Alliance libraries as ‘Summit,’ owing to the strong name recognition that Summit currently holds.

Each Alliance member institution will determine for itself the name for its own Ex Libris Primo discovery interface.

This policy is based on current understanding of Ex Libris product functionality and operation.  It may need to be reviewed and updated, particularly with respect to functionality of Ex Libris Primo.

Presentations and code solutions from the Alliance Primo Hackfest, January 2015

Shared ILS presentation materials (slides, presentation files, notes) from the 2014 Alliance Summer Meeting

Migrating to a Shared ILS using Alma and Primo
Presented by Megan Drake and Al Cornish at the Ex Libris Users of North America meeting in Montreal, Canada, May 1, 2014.

Deploying Alma and Primo at the Orbis Cascade Alliance

Presented by Megan Drake at the Ex Libris Executive Briefing for OhioLINK in Columbus, Ohio, November 14, 2013.

How Is that going to work? Rethinking acquisitions in a next-generation ILS
Presented by Kathleen Spring, Megan Drake, and SiƓn Romaine at the Charleston Library Conference, November 8, 2013.

Orbis Cascade Alliance and Ex Libris: Unlocking opportunities for collaboration
Presented by John Helmer, Lynn Chmelir, and Asaf Kline at the 2013 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, Washington, January 26, 2013

Selecting a shared, 21st century management system
Alan Cornish, Richard Jost, and Xan Arch. Published in Collaborative Librarianship 5:1 (2013), 16-28.

Consortium makes radical shift away from ILS
Michael Kelley. Published in The Digital Shift (December 19, 2012).