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SpineOMatic: Label Printing Software for Alma

SpineOMatic is a Windows application that works with Ex Libris’ Alma to print spine labels, pocket labels, flag slips, or other custom labels to a variety of desktop or networked printers, singly or in batches. It’s easy to download and install, and is highly configurable.

You can use Ex Libris’ call number and holdings parsing, or you can let SpineOMatic parse the labels for you. SpineOMatic’s parsers can format spine labels for

  • Library of Congress and LC Children’s Literature
  • Dewey Decimal
  • National Library of Medicine (NLM)
  • Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc)
  • Other (user-defined) schemes

Parsing rules are flexible, and can be tweaked on the fly to match almost any library’s labelling requirements.

Label prefixes (such as “MEDIA,” “OVERSIZE” or “Ref.””) can be added automatically above the spine label for items that are not shelved in the general collection.

Custom Labelling with SpineOMatic

Spine Label


Periodical Label
Flag Slip


Besides standard spine labels, SpineOMatic can also create custom labels. These labels can include any values from the item’s XML file, lines of free text, a “<current_date>” field, or any combination thereof. Two user-defined label formats can be saved and recalled as needed. One format can be used to print flag slips for inserting into items that cannot have adhesive labels attached, and the other might be used to create current periodical labels. Formatting codes allow you to print barcodes, add extra blank lines, wrap long lines, and parse call number or holdings text.

Installation Requirements

SpineOMatic will run on any Windows computer that has a recent version of Java and the Microsoft .NET framework installed. Here are the current requirements:

  • Windows 8, 7, Vista or XP
  • .NET Framework version 2.0 or higher
  • Java 1.7.x or higher
  • Any printer with a Windows print driver

Compatible SpineOMatic Printers

SpineOMatic will print to any printer that can be installed on Windows. The following types of desktop thermal and thermal-transfer label printers have been successfully used with SpineOMatic:

  • Zebra
  • DYMO
  • Smart Label Printers

SpineOmatic can also print batches of labels to laser printers using multi-label sheets. Dot-matrix printers may work as well, but success depends on the printer model and how it interacts with Windows.


 Using RESTful Access

The preferred method for getting labeling XML files from Alma is with a REST (REpresentational State Transfer) API call.  Java is not required, which simplifies SpineOMatic’s installation and operation.  It does require that you get a unique API key from Ex Libris’ Developer’s Network, and insert that key into the “API Key” area in SpineOMatic’s “Alma Access” panel:

Select “Use RESTful API” and update the 3 fields below as follows:

  • ALMA URL – your local API Gateway URL:

·         America:

·         EU:

·         APAC:

·         Canada:

  • Method – leave as is.
  • API key – an application’s API-key with permission to the BIBs API (read/write or read-only to the production environment).

For more information about generating API-keys see here:

Source code:

SpineOMatic was originally developed by the Boston College University Libraries, and is being used at many sites worldwide.  Now under Ex Libris’s stewardship, the current version of SpineOMatic can be downloaded from github.  Documentation is available via github Wiki.  Defects should be reported via github issues.

5 Replies to “SpineOMatic: Label Printing Software for Alma”

  1. I’d like to contact someone with a question/issue with SpineOMatic, but the contact email in the post refers to a Google Group, which is now defunct. Is there updated contact information?


    Tami Morse
    USGS, Reston VA

    By United States Geological Survey Library 01USGSL_INST on September 15, 2017 at 4:09 PM

  2. Hello,
    I am receiving Error 401: remote server returned on error.
    I have downloaded the software to a separate profile on the same workstation that already has a configured Spine-O-Matic.
    Please advise. Thank you!

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