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Introduction to the Integrated Library System (ILS)
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Introduction to the Integrated Library System (ILS)


This Slideshare provides a very basic overview of the ILS, the history and components as well as the benefits of the ILS. More can be found at The Systems Librarian website - …

This Slideshare provides a very basic overview of the ILS, the history and components as well as the benefits of the ILS. More can be found at The Systems Librarian website -

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  • Design, web and IA skills were never part of the librarian ’s skill set. In addition to this, the competition has more money as they are commercial endeavors and they have the ability to leverage multi-disciplinary needs. The question remaining is why vendors (who are also commercial) cannot seem to keep pace with standards beyond the library industry


  • 1. Integrated Library Systems (ILS)
    • An Introduction
    *Some Slide Content has been borrowed with permission from Dr. William Helling, School of Library Information Science, Indiana University Chris Kiess, MLS School of Library Science, Indiana University
  • 2. Consider: A Flashback to the eighties
  • 3. There Were/Was No…
    • WWW (as we know it)
    • Widespread PC ownership
    • Cell phones
    • DVDs, Voicemail, Texting, Facebook, etc.
    • Information at our fingertips
  • 4. What if you had to find information quickly in 1986?
  • 5. Without using the Internet, Find Me:
    • The last score for the Blackhawks game
    • The weather hi and low for tomorrow in Indy
    • Who won the 1971 Indy 500
    • The phone # for the Dominoes on W 10 th
    • Drink special at Bugg’s Temple on 10 th St.
  • 6. Finding this information in 1986 might take an hour or longer
  • 7. What does this have to do with the ILS?
    • Today’s ILS places an emphasis on more than simply the library collection
    • The explosion of information has changed the role of the library and what it makes available
    • The ILS has become closely tied to the web and the library’s web page – a place to find information without entering the library or even talking to a librarian.
  • 8. Most of All: In 1986, you probably would have called the library, an operator (on a pay phone) or looked at the daily paper if you wanted this information quickly.
  • 9. ILS  Library Connection
    • Is the function of the ILS strictly to catalog, store and track library materials only?
    • If it is not, we must consider the new role the library plays in organizations, institutions and societies
    • Defining the library becomes important to defining the role and function of the ILS
  • 10. The User
    • In this course, I will place heavy emphasis on the user – something we have only recently began considering in libraries.
    • Ask yourself: Why would a user want to use your library?
  • 11. A Few Scenarios
    • I am at the local bookstore and would like to know if the $50 book I am holding is available at a lower rate or from the local library. If so, where is the closest copy located?
    • A mobile device could give me a number of options and locate the closest copy at the library for free available in the time of a short drive.
  • 12. Scenarios Cont.
    • I am a local historical landmark and would like to know what “local” information is available – not the bird’s eye view from Wikipedia or the web – in depth information.
    • This could be facilitated through leveraging existing web sources and tapping into those resources.
  • 13. Scenarios Cont.
    • I searched the library catalog for a book they did not have. I need it today and want to know where I can borrow or buy it in town.
    • Can the ILS facilitate this?
  • 14. Scenarios Cont.
    • I am doing research and want to go beyond just my local library resources or holdings. I want reputable and good web resources included in my results for a given subject.
    • Can the ILS facilitate this? Probably. But, it requires modification of cataloging and collection development procedures.
  • 15. Very Brief History of Libraries
    • Ancient Libraries: Mesopotamian Clay Tablets, Biblical Scrolls (e.g. Dead Sea Scrolls)
    • Ancient geographer Strabo said Aristotle "was the first to put together a collection of books and to have taught the kings in Egypt how to arrange a library." (Alexandria)
    • Renaissance - Renewed interest in intellectual pursuits
    • America - first library Harvard (1638)
    • Ben Franklin - The Library Company of Philadelphia (1731)
  • 16. Knowledge & Information
    • 20th Century and prior - Relied on authority of books, serials and scholarly publications (print)
    • Late 20th Century and Beyond - “E-sources” change the landscape
    • Reference materials generally change annually while e-sources are transient/changing
    • If the traditional library (and ILS) used to organize intellectual content and that content changes, what else changes?
  • 17. What is a Library Today?
    • Just books? Or what is it today?
    Organization of Intellectual Content for the Purposes of Research through Acquisition and Dissemination
  • 18. ILS Architecture Today
  • 19. Evolution of ILS
    • Library automation dates back to 1940 ’s
      • Batch processing
    • Mid 1960 ’s first significant activity
      • Online operations
      • Telecommunications capability
      • LC begins to develop standards and formats that allow distribution of MARC
    • Late 1960 ’s
      • Mainframe computers
      • Access to all files by a variety of approaches
      • Software developed in house
  • 20. Evolution of ILS Cont.
    • Late 1960, early 1970 ’s costs of computing power began to come down
      • More libraries could afford hardware for automation
    • 1970 ’s Commercial firms take advantage of emergence of the cost effective minicomputer
    • 1975 Microcomputers are introduced
      • Leads to further expansion of automation
  • 21. Evolution of ILS Cont.
    • 1980 ’s Automation
      • ILS vendors emerge - NOTIS
    • 1985 Fax and OPACs
    • 1990 ’s Internet
      • Philosophy changed, we no longer cataloged only what we own but what we have access to
      • Outsourcing
  • 22. ILS Purpose
    • Automation
    • Acquire Information
    • Store & Organize Information
    • Disseminate Information
    • Track all of the above activities
    *Information is an inclusive term denoting all materials/formats
  • 23. Automation Fixed (or redundant) processes developed and carried out by a machine to eliminate tedious processes formerly carried out by humans.
  • 24. Automation Cont. Advantages Disadvantages Default settings Templates Reduce Redundancy Reduce Error Reduction of Labor Costs Access Algorithms: Decision Making Time Economy – eliminate manual work Volume General Efficiency Reports generated Unintended consequences Cost Maintenance Training/Skill to Operate Upgrades Selection Migration Labor costs for advanced upkeep
  • 25. ILS Today & Challenges
    • New Formats - New Domain
    • Competition
      • Fewer ILS vendors
      • OCLC
    • Economics and Cost
    • Design and Functionality
  • 26. ILS Components
    • OPAC
    • Circulation
      • Reserves
    • Cataloging
    • Acquisitions
    • Serials
    *Note: Link Resolvers and Federated search solutions are not part of a traditional ILS. They are supplementary.
  • 27.
    • Displays Electronic Bibliographic Catalog of Library Holdings with an interface for both the user and administrator
    • Advantages:
      • Access points/Search Capabilities (By keyword, subject, author, title)
      • Administration = less labor
      • Command & Control
      • Records, Search Logs, Stats
      • Online, Off-Campus, 24/7 Access (and by more than one person at a time)
  • 28. Circulation
    • Module that allows tracking of borrowed materials and indicates items ’ change in status
    • Holds, ILL, Reserves
    • Important for patron satisfaction/service
    • Would you own a business and never track the inventory?
  • 29. Circulation Cont.
    • ID number
    • loan-period category
    • call number
    • location of item
    • media type circulation status
    • current borrower's ID
    • last borrower's ID
    • date of last circulation activity
    • circulation life
    • circulation YTD
    • name , address , phone number
    • date registered
    • expiration date
    • date of last circulation activity
    • borrowing category
    • identifying number (SSN, license number?)
    • number of items in circulation
    • notes
    • demographic information
    • reading history
  • 30. Circulation Cont. When should a check-out transaction be blocked? the borrower has overdues the borrower has fines the borrower has exceeded the check-out limit the borrower has an invalid ID the borrower is trying to check out reserved or held items the borrower is trying to check out an item that is already charged
  • 31. Circulation Cont. What types of circulation reports would you expect to be able to produce for a library? borrower lists with attached data (e.g., address, phone number, etc.) long overdues lists of items held by a borrower circulation life of an item circulation YTD of an item claims returned
  • 32. Cataloging A module that allows the description of items within a library ’s holdings using industry standards with the end goal of enabling search and retrieval. Tools needed to create, edit, and refine the information that describes your collections.
  • 33. Cataloging Cont. A cataloguing component should . . . have its work reflected "real time" in the OPAC be standards-compliant have import/export features permit access to an authority file allow searching of remote databases allow creation of item templates allow editing of imported records
  • 34. Acquisitions Module allowing and supporting the ordering, receiving and invoicing of materials. Ultimately, acquisitions modules support a number of budgeting aspects in modern libraries.
  • 35. Acquisitions Cont. Manual systems can't create the financial and statistical information needed for planning and management. Automated systems reduce labor-intensive clerical duties and speed up paperwork. Electronic Data Interface EDI for orders, payment, claims Fiscal Year Rollover or Close functions In an automated system, the OPAC can reflect acquisition activity. What are the obvious advantages of automated acquisitions over manual acquisitions?
  • 36. Serials A module allowing the procurement (and often supporting cataloging), receiving and claiming of items that are published regularly (most times).
  • 37. Serials Cont.
    • Serials Modules Allow:
    • Management and tracking
    • Integrated w/cataloging module
    • Sophisticated modules allow check-in and claims tracking
    • Irregular schedules in many serials alleviated through automation
    • Automated routing (via routing slips)
    • At-a-Glance status for titles
    • Reports
    • Who can explain the importance of the serials module in practical terms?
  • 38. Reports
    • Management reports capabilities across multiple modules
    • Transaction data, such as:
      • circulation numbers, vendor and fund activity, authentication information, collection development data, and online catalog usage.
    • Customizable
    • Why are reports important?
    *Not always considered a “Module” to the ILS.
  • 39. Discussion
    • Can a library survive without an ILS?
    • What does the ILS add?
    • What gaps does an ILS not fill?
    • What are the current challenges to the ILS and development of new versions?
    • What are the challenges in your libraries and in your experience?
  • 40. Questions?