Alto Blog

Archive for the 'Alto' Category

Implementing RDA: Resource Description and Access

RDA: Resource Description and Access is the name of the new cataloguing rules that are superseding AACR2. RDA logo

The Library of Congress has announced their target RDA Implementation Day One: March 31, 2013. LC’s partner national libraries (U.S.: National Agricultural Library and National Library of Medicine; and non-U.S.: British Library, Library & Archives Canada, and National Library of Australia) have all planned for a similar implementation date. Deutsche Nationalbibliothek (DNB) is planning for mid-2013.

In each release of Alto we ensure that the MARC validation in Alto Cataloguing is up to date with changes to MARC 21. This means that you will be able to create and edit MARC records in accordance with RDA.

We are assessing the priority of a few potential developments in Alto Cataloguing that could help to streamline cataloguing in RDA, and we are also reviewing whether RDA cataloguing might have impacts elsewhere in Alto.

In Prism, new MARC data elements will be accommodated as part of continuing development of the Prism data model.

More details, with links to numerous resources, have been published in the Capita Library management System forum.

Investigating possible inclusions for Alto 5.3 – Reservations

As you will have seen from the roadmap, Alto 5.3 will include some development on Reservations. Last week we held a webinar with 25 customers to discuss which aspects of Reservations we might include. We looked at the most popular remaining issues that were raised at the last Reservations workshop, and asked the customers to vote on which of them is now their top priority, or to tell us about anything that is now more important to them.

The recording of the webinar is now available for everyone to view at

The results of the voting from the webinar attendees were as follows (adjusted to give one overall vote per institution):

Option number 


Description Votes


Ability to cancel a reservation in more places 2.25 



Disallow reservation of not on loan copies at the borrowers home site or collection site 4.83 



Make it easier to access borrower details when dealing with reservations



Real-time addition of new items to existing reservations 3.08 



Allow reservation of particular copy/copies 2.25 



Make messages consistent when satisfying via discharge and via reservation 0.33 



Make it easier to identify in stock/on order copies in bib search results



Improve Item Request – supply item



Allow reservation of on-order copies




Clear the recall flag when a reservation has been satisfied 0.25 




None of the above


Please let us know what your top priority would be. You can also raise issues via Alto Ideas, so other customers can vote and influence our development decisions.


| Open Player in New Window


Alto 4.3 – End-of-Service-Life

We would like to remind you that Alto 4.3 has now been end-of-lifed. This means that Alto 4.3 is now no longer supported. Any upgrade that has been scheduled will continue to be supported until the work is completed. Those customers still using this version are encouraged to schedule their upgrade to 5.0 or straight to 5.1 now by emailing

Ideas Forum for Alto

We now have 32 customers registered, and a few new ideas have been raised this month. We will be focussing on priorities determined by customers in Ideas for part of each Alto release from now on, so we would encourage you to use this opportunity to let us know what developments are most important to you. We are particularly interested to find out which aspects of Reservations you would most like to see changed in Alto 5.3. You can use Ideas to raise completely new issues, or to let us know which of the existing PERs and Defects you would most like us to work on. See the previous Alto blog for more details on how to access and use Ideas for Alto.