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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Cataloging Services: Using Alma

Acquisitions & Cataloging Services


There are three zones in Alma, Network Zone, Institution Zone, and Community Zone.

  • Network Zone (NZ):
    • Alma Network Zone is a management tool used by a collaborative network to centrally manage certain features, such as configuration tables, licenses, and records. It is used as the management interface and central repository and catalog.
    • All members of the consortium can become member institutions in the collaborative network. An administrative Network Zone is set up. Shared information is managed in the Network Zone and distributed to the member institutions.
    • UIUC library is one of CARLI (Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois) Network institutions.


  • Institution Zone (IZ):
    • The Alma institution is the basic level of data and workflow management in Alma
    • The Alma library is comprised of one or more physical locations, each of which is normally housed in a single building or in several buildings in close physical proximity. A library may have several locations within it, such as the circulation desk and digital archiving. Each Alma Institution can have multiple Alma libraries. 
    • It is the area of the Metadata Management System comprising local institutional data such as locally managed bibliographic records, locally activated electronic portfolios, and local physical holdings.

  • Community Zone (CZ):
    • Ex Libris maintained resources available to all Alma institutions. Incorporates the Knowledge Base, the Community Catalog, and Global Authority Files. Can be accessed by any institution that is part of Alma for cataloging purposes.
    • Electronic collections, portfolios and databases are in the Community Zone