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Are You Experienced?
Exploring User Experience
in Public Libraries
Integrated Library Systems
ILS Components
Why should you know about
your library system software?
Unless you depend on a
card catalog, the library
system software s...
If you don’t know the basics of library
system software, you will be unaware of its
possibilities…for you and your patrons...
What is a library system?
Am. English: Integrated Library System (ILS)
Br. English: Library Management System (LMS)
A libr...
And the definition of a
typical ILS?
"...a computer-based information system
that uses a single bibliographic database
and...
So what does that mean?
In brief, an Integrated Library System is a set
of components that work together in order to
autom...
What are the main
components of an ILS?
A modern integrated library system is made
up of many parts but its base is design...
What is Circulation?
A system designed "to maintain records about
the withdrawal of specific books or other
library materi...
Do you know some basic
Circulation functions?
Test yourself: What must a Circulation component track?
It must know certain...
Polaris (iii) patron registration screen and status screen
Do you know some basic
Circulation functions?
Test yourself: When should Circulation block a check-out
transaction?
When…
...
Do you know some basic
Circulation functions?
Test yourself: During check-in of an item, what must
the Circulation compone...
What Is Cataloging?
A system designed to describe all records in
a library and to mark them for search and
retrieval.
A ca...
Polaris (iii) Cataloging:
A bibliographic record can
have one or more item
records attached to it (e.g.,
you may have more...
Do you know some basic
Cataloging functions?
Test yourself: What are common qualities of a
cataloging component?
It should...
What is Acquisitions?
"...those tasks that support the procurement
of library materials that are published on a
nonrecurri...
Polaris (iii) Acquisitions:
Acquisitions involves
ordering, receiving, and
invoicing materials.
Do you know some basic
Acquisitions features?
Test yourself: What are the obvious advantages of
automated acquisitions ove...
What is Serials?
The procurement of "publications that are
issued in successive parts on a recurring
basis, usually, but n...
Polaris (iii) Serials:
The Serials component
tracks subscription
length, publication
pattern, expected
arrival, etc. of re...
Do you know some basic
Serials problems?
Test yourself: What factors complicate the automation of
serials control?
Serials...
What is OPAC?
Online Public Access Catalog
A "machine-readable collection of
bibliographic records that represent a librar...
Do you know some basic
OPAC advantages?
Test yourself: What are the online catalog's
advantages over the traditional card ...
Do you know some basic
OPAC functions?
Test yourself: What should be some basic search functions
of an OPAC? You should be...
The OPAC is the only
component the patrons
see…
…and if patrons can’t find an item in the
OPAC, they assume it doesn’t exist.
The OPAC is an excellent inventory retrieval...
Are there other components?
An ILS can be made up of many more extra
integrated components…
• Media booking
• Report gener...
Try out a working ILS
Koha (PTFS) has a working online demo of
its popular open-source ILS:
ptfsdemo-staff.kohalibrary.com...
Where do I find out
about ILS vendors?
Library Technology Guides:
librarytechnology.org/
NOTE: Marshall Breeding
created L...
Where do I find out what is
going on in the ILS world?
See Marshall Breeding’s annual survey Perceptions at Library
Techno...
Also…
See Marshall Breeding’s annual article on the automated systems
marketplace; you can get access to these articles, w...
How do I find out
who has what?
Look at Breeding’s market share reports:
www.librarytechnology.org/us-marketshare-reports....
So convince me again why I
should know about ILSs…
If you don’t know anything about your ILS
components or your ILS vendor...
"True Confessions" time
Names not given to protect the innocent.
I came to the Crawfordsville District Public
Library in l...
The system "worked," but the ILS ran on a
text-based OpenVMS operating system --
which is still around, by the way…and has...
And the staff client was based more on past
Windows 3.1 technology than the existing
Windows 95 and 98 technology.
What's ...
Library staff did not know that other ILS
products took advantage of better
multitasking possibilities, improved display,
...
So the library -- and its patrons -- worked several years
with a product that was behind others in functionality and
desig...
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1 - ILS components

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1 -- ILS components

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1 - ILS components

  1. 1. Are You Experienced? Exploring User Experience in Public Libraries Integrated Library Systems ILS Components
  2. 2. Why should you know about your library system software? Unless you depend on a card catalog, the library system software serves both library patrons and staff. Library staff, however, often see only a small part of it…and library users even less.
  3. 3. If you don’t know the basics of library system software, you will be unaware of its possibilities…for you and your patrons. Dynix OPAC menu circa…a long time ago!
  4. 4. What is a library system? Am. English: Integrated Library System (ILS) Br. English: Library Management System (LMS) A library system is the automation software a library uses to conduct its business, from checking out books to creating an online catalog. The pieces of this software, often called components, work together (thus “integrated”) but can be discussed separately.
  5. 5. And the definition of a typical ILS? "...a computer-based information system that uses a single bibliographic database and a set of interrelated application programs to automate multiple library applications" (209) Saffady, William. (1999). Introduction to automation for librarians. Chicago: American Library Association. Note: Although Saffaday’s book is very old, the basic parts of an ILS have remained the same for many years. I will use his classic definitions where I can…just because I respect definitions that last!
  6. 6. So what does that mean? In brief, an Integrated Library System is a set of components that work together in order to automate library functions. An ILS often employs a staff client that is installed on a staff member's computer, or else a web-based staff client.
  7. 7. What are the main components of an ILS? A modern integrated library system is made up of many parts but its base is designed around these components: • Circulation • Cataloging • Acquisitions • Serials • OPAC
  8. 8. What is Circulation? A system designed "to maintain records about the withdrawal of specific books or other library materials" (Saffady, 233). i.e., The way a library keeps track of its patrons and which library items the patrons have checked out, have overdue, have requested, etc.
  9. 9. Do you know some basic Circulation functions? Test yourself: What must a Circulation component track? It must know certain information about registered library users and how they “interact” with library items: • name of patron • address • phone number • expiration date • date of last circulation activity • borrowing category (adult, child, etc.) • items in possession • Items requested • reading history • Etc…
  10. 10. Polaris (iii) patron registration screen and status screen
  11. 11. Do you know some basic Circulation functions? Test yourself: When should Circulation block a check-out transaction? When… • 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 • Etc…
  12. 12. Do you know some basic Circulation functions? Test yourself: During check-in of an item, what must the Circulation component automatically detect? • if a hold has been placed on the item • if the item is overdue • if the item was returned to the wrong location • Etc...
  13. 13. What Is Cataloging? A system designed to describe all records in a library and to mark them for search and retrieval. A cataloguer uses the Cataloging component to create a bibliographic record and (usually) an item record (or records) for a library item. How else would users know what the library has in its holdings?
  14. 14. Polaris (iii) Cataloging: A bibliographic record can have one or more item records attached to it (e.g., you may have more than one copy of that item).
  15. 15. Do you know some basic Cataloging functions? Test yourself: What are common qualities of a cataloging component? It should. . . • have its work reflected "real time" in the OPAC • have import/export features • allow editing of imported records • permit access to an authority file • allow creation of item templates • Etc…
  16. 16. What is Acquisitions? "...those tasks that support the procurement of library materials that are published on a nonrecurring basis, including books, technical reports, government publications, musical scores, sound recordings, and visual material" (Saffady, 234). Note: Materials published on a nonrecurring basis (recurring items -- magazines -- are tracked in Serials).
  17. 17. Polaris (iii) Acquisitions: Acquisitions involves ordering, receiving, and invoicing materials.
  18. 18. Do you know some basic Acquisitions features? Test yourself: What are the obvious advantages of automated acquisitions over manual acquisitions? • 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. • In an automated system, the OPAC can reflect acquisition activity (e.g., if an item is “on order”).
  19. 19. What is Serials? The procurement of "publications that are issued in successive parts on a recurring basis, usually, but not necessarily, at regularly scheduled intervals" (Saffady, 241). Magazines (aka periodicals) are considered recurring even though the patterns may vary.
  20. 20. Polaris (iii) Serials: The Serials component tracks subscription length, publication pattern, expected arrival, etc. of recurring items.
  21. 21. Do you know some basic Serials problems? Test yourself: What factors complicate the automation of serials control? Serials processing tasks have many unpredictable events: Bibliographic information is unstable. Changes occur in titles, publishers, frequency of publication, numbering sequence, size of magazine, etc.
  22. 22. What is OPAC? Online Public Access Catalog A "machine-readable collection of bibliographic records that represent a library's holdings" (Saffady, 218). i.e., The digital “card catalog”!
  23. 23. Do you know some basic OPAC advantages? Test yourself: What are the online catalog's advantages over the traditional card catalog? •more types of retrieval operations possible (Card catalogs had author, title, & subject cards.) •an OPAC can be accessed by multiple users (Can a crowd look at the same catalog card in a drawer?) •file maintenance is not as labor intensive (Have you ever had to type and file those cards?)
  24. 24. Do you know some basic OPAC functions? Test yourself: What should be some basic search functions of an OPAC? You should be able to search by… • author • title • subject • keywords • publisher • publication date • language • media type • LCCN • ISBN • Etc…
  25. 25. The OPAC is the only component the patrons see…
  26. 26. …and if patrons can’t find an item in the OPAC, they assume it doesn’t exist. The OPAC is an excellent inventory retrieval tool…but only for those who know how to use it and know what they are looking for! And the OPAC is evolving much faster than any other ILS component due to patron expectations.
  27. 27. Are there other components? An ILS can be made up of many more extra integrated components… • Media booking • Report generation • Community information • Electronic Resource Management (ERM) • MetaSearching • Social networking • Etc…
  28. 28. Try out a working ILS Koha (PTFS) has a working online demo of its popular open-source ILS: ptfsdemo-staff.kohalibrary.com/cgi- bin/koha/mainpage.pl Log on as liblime (username) and liblime (password). You can do any staff function – even cataloguing! I won’t guarantee that someone else had not messed something up, however, before you get there.
  29. 29. Where do I find out about ILS vendors? Library Technology Guides: librarytechnology.org/ NOTE: Marshall Breeding created Library Technology Guides and serves as Editor and Publisher of the site.
  30. 30. Where do I find out what is going on in the ILS world? See Marshall Breeding’s annual survey Perceptions at Library Technology Guides (librarytechnology.org/), which appears early in the year.
  31. 31. Also… See Marshall Breeding’s annual article on the automated systems marketplace; you can get access to these articles, which appear in April every year, through Library Technology Guides (librarytechnology.org/).
  32. 32. How do I find out who has what? Look at Breeding’s market share reports: www.librarytechnology.org/us-marketshare-reports.pl
  33. 33. So convince me again why I should know about ILSs… If you don’t know anything about your ILS components or your ILS vendor, how can you make educated choices for you…and for your patrons? Know your current ILS and be ready to know your next ILS (because they don’t last forever).
  34. 34. "True Confessions" time Names not given to protect the innocent. I came to the Crawfordsville District Public Library in late 1998. The staff there had just chosen their very first ILS -- without knowing what was what.
  35. 35. The system "worked," but the ILS ran on a text-based OpenVMS operating system -- which is still around, by the way…and has been since 1977. But at that time libraries were moving toward platforms that they could manage easier.
  36. 36. And the staff client was based more on past Windows 3.1 technology than the existing Windows 95 and 98 technology. What's the difference, you ask?
  37. 37. Library staff did not know that other ILS products took advantage of better multitasking possibilities, improved display, etc. OPAC aesthetics (and user expectations) had also advanced. The one recurring reason I heard for the choice of ILS vendors? "We liked the salesperson. She was nice"
  38. 38. So the library -- and its patrons -- worked several years with a product that was behind others in functionality and design. At least the librarian on the OPAC was always smiling…

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