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An Improved Search Experience at the MSU Library

On December 16, the MSU Library introduced a new search and collection management system. Several new features and services are available to library users as a result. Our new system will integrate with 15 other academic institutions in Montana’s Treasure State Academic Information and Library Services (TRAILS) consortium, including the University of Montana. As a result, users will more easily discover print and electronic information resources at these institutions. Our new system (Alma, from Ex Libris) will allow us to more effectively manage our print and increasingly expanding electronic collections.

Library faculty and staff have been working tirelessly for the past nine months to migrate to this new system.  December 16th will just be the beginning of exciting changes. We expect there will be a few bumps along the way as we customize the system to best meet the needs of our campus community. We ask that you be patient with us throughout this transition.

What to Expect

In the long term, you’ll find improved services and ease of access to library materials. For example, you’ll be able to easily locate and order library items from other Montana academic libraries on one platform, and the amount of information to which you will have access will be greatly increased.

In the short term, you will notice a couple of things. The first is that it’s the end of the local MSU library catalog (“Books & Media” link) as we know it. Instead, this new platform will allow users to search library materials more broadly and across all formats, pulling together journal articles as well as books and other types of information in a single search. You will still be able to access individual databases (such as Web of Science or Academic Search Complete) under the FIND category on our home page. You will also still be able to search for physical items using the “Books and Media” link, but the the search interface will be different. 

Assistance is Available!

The Learning and Research Services department is available to familiarize you with the new system and to assist if you experience difficulties or need help integrating library resources into course syllabi, Brightspace, or other classroom content. For example, if your syllabi or course materials include links to titles in our current library catalog, the addresses for these links will change with the new system. Subject librarians can assist you in making these link changes. 

The library's mission is to facilitate student and faculty success by providing access to information and knowledge. If you have any questions, we are here for you.

 If you have questions or encounter issues, please contact your Subject Liaison Librarian or use our Ask the Library service.