How can we improve Alma?

Add generic physical material types to the current table

My libraries circulate various pieces of equipment from microphones, to musical instruments, to 3D printers, to lockers, and the current physical material type table does not suffice without adding a slew of item policies or location codes, which is messy and makes the resulting analytics more painful than it should be.

Ex Libris support states that "The [physical material type] codes cannot be changed, because Development needs them for statistics across libraries." However individual libraries will have items that they need to distinguish between either for fulfillment rule purposes or our own statistics.

I would like there to be about 15 generic material types added to this table that will allow libraries a bit of flexibility in dealing with this category. Similar to how Primo has blank PNX fields that can be used to create additional facets, etc. that best fit the needs of the library and its users.

210 votes
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Laura M. shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →


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  • Jane Daniels commented  · 


    I have run out of votes but heartily support this idea!

    Jane Daniels

  • T. Back commented  · 

    Yes, please make this happen!

  • Anonymous commented  · 

    Please consider this proposal, it would significantly help our institution

  • Tammy Siebenberg commented  · 

    If Ex Libris won't allow us to create new ones, can we request that Ex Libris add new ones for everyone's use?

  • Carole A. Chapman commented  · 

    I also like this idea. There are many material types that I would like to add. While we can repurpose an obsolete material type by re-naming it, I would rather be able to add a new material type to the list. For example, our Special Collections department would like "broadside" added to the list. Also, what about future material types that we do not yet know about, how would we add them when needed?

  • Tammy Siebenberg commented  · 

    In the Physical Material Type code table there are many material types that we don't need or that are confusing or redundant, and other materials we want but that are not listed, such as librettos. If we could customize this table we could standardize the material types we use and add ones we need.

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