Exploring the Future of Library Systems


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This is a presentation outlining a two-day workshop held to explore the 'future of library systems' at Warwick university in January, 2012.

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  • Mention dinner at 7pm
  • David Kay will be leading the second day – and the focus of this is very much about reflecting on the first day and the discussions that emerged. The second day will also be about understanding potential ways forward with library systems and understanding the priorities and opportunities that have emerged.
  • I just wanted to situate today’s discussions in the wider context of JISC work in this area. Obviously these three areas map across to the SCONUL domains to, and on the KB+ in particular we have worked closely with SCONUL.Describe KB+.It is really the lollipop in the middle that concerns us today.... And if we follow it down....
  • We see that the library systems landscape is being radically affected by the developments in those two other areas. This is our squeezed middle: And it is the aim today to try and move towards both understanding the relationship between the ERM and Discovery with the systems, and exploring potential futures for library systems.A couple of things are worth pointing out: Firstly, the middle isn’t just the LMS, there are other systems that might be considered – content management systems, archive and preservation systems (Luna) for example. It might be that we decide to ignore those today – that’s entirely up to your discussions.
  • I think it’s also worth mentioning that this workshop has a very immediate and practical purpose too, and that’s to help in forming the scope and requirements of a JISC library systems programme. I am hoping the workshop will help define some of the focus and parameters of this work – the call is roughly drafted – I’ll be adding the final touches later this week!JISC has, with organisations like SCONUL, has done significant work in this area, most recently the jisc LMS programme explored the role of the library system in the web, and how the systems could extend beyond the library walls and start interacting meaningfully with students and researchers.The focus of this programme of work is two-fold. It will have a range of relatively small projects exploring some of the potential opportunities in this space across areas such as shared systems, emerging bibliographic tools and the wider footprint of the LMS and library data within the institution. Prob about 10 different projectsThere’ll also be an overarching Synthesis and scoping project – this project will look to undertake a landscape study – this is a complex environment, with commercial, open developments occuring all the time. The aim of this synthesis and landscape stage is to start to formulate a forward direction where some developments could be made. It will then synthesise the outputs and work of the projects – not necessarily all of them, but some prioritised ones that fall in line or might provide opportunities for the future scope of a service. Finally, the aim is that the project will develop a scope and requirements output to start to provide a concrete way forward around library systems. This may, for example, be closely aligned to something like the KB+, it might take a very different view and look at a distributed or de-coupled approach to the LMS (possibly declaring the death of the LMS and providing an alternative approach).The approach is a slightly modified version of how some of the KB+ early work and requirements gathering took place. But this isn’t the same beast – LMS, for example, is well embedded in institutions, the market is more complex, workflows and processes are well engrained. It would also be a mistake to assume that something like KB+ has all the answers – JISC realises it doesn’t have all the answers – KB+ is possibly part of the answer, but we’re not giving the funding to it partly because there may be other opportunities, both different from this service but also that will enhance and extend its functionality and role.Either way the programme should have a very concrete output. Furthermore, it is also about allowing the opportunities and developments taking place within the community to bubble up and inform this work. Whether its an innovative approach to developing a shared system, the integration of a tool within existing systems or realising the potential of library data across the campus – this is about harnessing those opportunities and applying them to a (or some) real solutions.This is not a top down approach – its allowing those opportunities to bubble up from the community and taking advantage of them to create something bigger.
  • Focus this discussion on the theme for this section (collections and space etc).
  • Mission critical – How valuable is that system, piece of functionality etc. Is it of critical value to the library and its processes or practice? Will this add value to students by letting them get timely access etc Systems – Are there new systems required (local)? What about management of resources and content elsewhere: OERs, research data etc., are there shared options to undertake certain/all functions? Sharing – what opportunities are there to take things above the campus. Or, can librarys and institutions more widely find opportunities to realise the value of their data (and share it)? (New systems; new stuff; shared; data)Costs – does something decrease the transaction costs involved? Are there unforseen costs elsewhere as a result etcDrivers – This is what David Kay calls drivers: Is this something that’s a primary driver, a lesser driver, disruptive or not a driver at all. What potential does this have to transform the current library systems landscape.I was also going to include feasibility in this list, but seeing as it’s meant to be about some provocative future visions, I’ll leave feasibility for another day!!Drivers – this I have unashamedly stolen from David Kay, and this is thinking about this different things as almost a matrix. Both describing the new value and changes, but also understanding their potential for change
  • Exploring the Future of Library Systems

    1. 1. 19th and 20th January, Warwick University Presenter or main title… Session Title or subtitle…The Squeezed Middle?Exploring the future of library systems
    2. 2. Agenda... Day One11.30am – Welcome11.45am – Background to the Workshop (Anne Bell) and a JISC Library Systems Programme (Ben) Brief update on the work of the SCONUL shared services group (from the LMS report to KB+ and beyond). Looking forward to howthe work can help realise a new programme of work and services for libraries.12.00pm – Design and Vision of the Workshop (Video from Lorcan Dempsey)12.30pm – LunchTrends in Collections and Space1.30pm – Provocations: 2020 Future Library Systems Vision (2 presentations)Paul Stainthorp and David Kay1.50pm – Break out groups2.40pm – Feedback and Discussion3.00pm – Tea and CoffeeTrends in Systems and Expertise3.30pm - Provocations: 2020 Future Library Systems Vision (2 presentations)Paul Walk and Ken Chad3.50pm – Break out groups4.30 – Feedback and Discussion5pm – Summing up and Home work set!
    3. 3. Agenda... Day Two9.30am - Tea and Coffee9.45am - Recap of Day oneDavid Kay will recap on the first day address questions such as: What has been missed?9.45am – Presenting back homework10.50am - Mapping the future of library systemsEach group will take the discussions and outputs from yesterdays sessions and start to order these potentialareas into something that could help map out the future.Questions to consider: Is this a shared future? How much is being shared, and what? What kind of mission criticaluse-cases are we talking about (acquisitions; circulation etc); whats the role of staff?11.50pm - Feedback12.30 - Lunch and Finish
    4. 4. JISC Information and LibraryInfrastructure Discovery Library Systems Knowledge Base Programme Plus
    5. 5. Resource LMS Electronic Discovery Resource ManagementThe squeezed middle...
    6. 6. Library Systems Programme• Synthesis and Scoping: A single project – Synthesis and Landscape (Past and Present) – Collaborate with pathfinders: use case development; focus institutions engagement – Scoping and requirements (Future)• 10 ‘path finder’ project: Small, diverse, across domains and boundaries• January call – May start
    7. 7. Over to Lorcan...
    8. 8. 20:20 Future Visions• Provocation from thespeakers• Break out into groups oneach table• Use the ‘note pad’ torecord thoughts anddiscussions• Capture themes anddiscussion on flip chart
    9. 9. 20:20 Future Visions cont...• Things to keep in mind: • Mission critical? • Local systems • Opportunities for sharing (campus and above) • Costs • Transformational?