INTEGRATED LIBRARY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS• An Integrated Library Management System (ILMS) is an automated package of library services that contains several functions. These functional usually include circulation, acquisitions and cataloguing etc. An Integrated Library Management System is also called an Integrated Library System (ILS).• An ILMS usually comprises a relational database, software to interact with that database, and two graphical user interfaces (one for patrons, one for staff). Most ILMSs separate software functions into separate modules, each of them integrated with a unified interface.
EXAMPLES OF MODULES• Acquisitions (ordering, receiving, and invoicing materials)• Cataloguing (classifying and indexing materials)• Circulation (lending materials to patrons and receiving them back)• Serials (tracking magazine and newspaper holdings)• OPAC (public interface for users)• Larger libraries use an ILMS to order and acquire, receive and invoice, catalogue, circulate, track and shelve materials. Most libraries use an ILMS. There are ILMS for larger libraries, such as SirsiDynix and ILMS for smaller libraries, such as Oliver by Softlink.
Components of an Integrated LibraryManagement System
CATALOGUE• The catalogue module is used for the storage and management of the bibliographic records for each title owned by the library. The following functions are required -• Ability to handle MARC and non MARC bibliographic records• Ability to download and upload to bibliographic utilities, such as Libraries Australia• Allow for local cataloguing• Allow for modification of records
AUTHORITY CONTROL• A special module used with the catalogue module. The authority module is used for creating, storing and managing the authorised headings, such as authors names and subject headings used in the bibliographic records.
ONLINE PUBLIC ACCESS CATALOGUE (OPAC)• The OPAC provides access for searching the collection by the public. The basic functions of an OPAC include -• Ability to search using different indexes, e.g. author, title, keyword and subject etc.• Be easy to search by patrons• Allow for basic and advanced searches• Allow for searching by type of material, year of publication, by branch location etc.• Allow for modification of the display of the bibliographic record, e.g. only display required fields, not all the record• Ability for patrons to place holds• Ability to include pictures, such as book jackets
CIRCULATION SYSTEM• The circulation system tracks borrowing and returning of materials, generates notices such as holds and overdue loans and calculates any fines or fees owing. Patron records are stored in the circulation system. The basic functions of a circulation system are to be able to • Tell what material is available and what is on loan • Tell which material is on loan, to whom and when it is due back • Advanced features of a circulation system include the ability to - • Recognise and trap reserved items when returned • Prepare (and send) overdue and recall notices • Keep records of items on loan to individual patrons and notify over borrowing • Allow for renewals • Facilitate the calculation and collection of fines or demerits as required • Collect statistics
CIRCULATION SYSTEM• Be very reliable!• Allow for multi site activities• Define different loan periods• Define location of patrons - where do they live!• Print receipts for issues or returns etc• Enable parameters for different types of library items and patrons• Enable payment of fines and other financial transactions such as replacement of lost or damaged items• Enable a backup system when required so that any circulation activity offline can be reflected when the system is back online• Be able to deal with different types of numbers, e.g. accession numbers, barcodes and ISBNs• Be able to deal with data capture devices such as light pens or other light scanning devices
ACQUISITIONS• The acquisitions module is used for purchasing and tracking receipt of library materials including serials. Usually an acquisitions module will have the following functions -• Vendor file, including vendor codes, name and address• Records of firm orders, approval orders, standing orders and subscriptions• Ability to deal with multiple copy orders or orders for specific item types, e.g. paperback• Records of items pending but not yet on order• Ability to print orders or send orders electronically• Check when items on order are overdue and then claim overdue orders• Process the arrival of items and prepare for payment• Maintenance of financial records including items on order, items paid for and available funds• Full financial reports are necessary, including a full audit trail• Produce reports such as details of received orders, on order orders, claims and vendor reports such as length of time from order to supply and any variation in price from order to supply
SERIALS• The serials module is used for purchasing and checking in serial issues. Usually the module will have the following functions -• Ordering (placing and renewing subscriptions)• Receipting of individual issues• Binding• Claiming issues not received• Routing list generation• Enquiries (related to serials)• Fund accounting
COURSE RESERVES• The course reserves module is mostly used in academic libraries to handle circulation of short-term loans.• Materials booking• This module is mostly used in public libraries, but also academic libraries, to manage and reserve special resources, such as audiovisual equipment.• Binding• The binding module is used to identify materials that are ready for binding, such as serials. It also defines binding specifications and tracks shipments of materials to and from the bindery.
INTERLIBRARY LOANS• The interlibrary loans module is designed to track borrowing and loaning of material to and from other libraries. Usually the module will have the following functions - • Data entry • Issues • Returns • Fines • Patron file maintenance • Enquiries
REPORTS AND STATISTICS• The reports module is used to produce a variety of reports from the system, e.g. number of loans in a given people, average cost of an item, number of overdue loans, i.e. all kinds of reports to support library activities
ADMINISTRATION MODULE• The administration module is used for configuring the system for their own needs, such as creating IDs and passwords for staff; establishing patron classes, e.g. adult , children; establishing loan periods and specifying indexing parameters such as what fields and in what order are displayed in the OPAC.
ELECTRONIC RESOURCE MANAGEMENT• The main trend in library systems is the need to manage and provide access to a growing range of electronic resources, mainly electronic journals and books. Vendors are now focussing on developing systems with enhanced search and delivery of electronic resource management systems.
VERTICAL SEARCH• Unlike normal search applications, such as the ones run by Google and Yahoo, vertical search engines contain information in their indexes about a specific topic. Consequently, they are aimed only at people interested in a particular area, and deliver results to a narrow and very focused audience. Google Scholar is an example of a vertical search application
WIRELESS OPACS• Wireless OPACs are used for searching the catalogue with PDAs and mobile phones.
METASEARCHING• Allows patrons to search resources in other libraries collections, so that a user may enter a single search strategy and the search will be executed against all the resources available to that library. Bonus+ searching through the UB Library catalogue is an example of metasearching
FLEXIBILITY/COMPATIBILITY• The system should be able to - • Support system expansion/upgrading • Support user customization • Be compatible with other IT equipment, e.g. printers • Support networking
RUNNING ENVIRONMENT• The system should be - • Easy to learn • Easy to maintain • Easy to modify • Easy to fix
COSTS• The pricing statement may include the following pricing components - • Basic modules of the library management system • License statement • Additional modules (optional) • Data migration • Installation and maintenance charge • Other hardware/software, if requested , e.g. web server, workstations, barcode scanners, etc.
MAINTENANCE AND POST-SALE CUSTOMER SERVICE• The maintenance package should include - • Labour charges for installation, on-site visit. • Cost of parts replacement • Cost of system upgrade • Cost of phone/email services • Cost of ongoing maintenance • Free operation manual(s)
PERFORMANCE• The system should - • Be time saving • Save on staffing • Have good response times • Offer online services, i.e. online renewal, online checking of circulation records
INTEROPERABILITY• The system should seamlessly integrate with other systems - • Student systems • Staff systems • Finance systems • Library material suppliers • Libraries Australia and other bibliographic utilities • Other libraries
OTHERS• Other features are optional depending on the demand of the library - • New book display function • Feature to support reading activities • Local or community activities • Printing functions e.g. spine labels, overdue/hold notices • Ability to send notices via email or mobile phone
Purchasing a new Integrated LibraryManagement System
OVERVIEW• Implementing a new ILMS is probably one of the biggest and most expensive projects undertaken in a library. Purchasing a new system is a complex process, involving people inside and outside of the library. As it affects the daily work of most library staff, and the library patrons, good planning is vital to ensure a smooth transition from the old system to the new system.• For most libraries the process of migrating from one system to another is not a familiar process, library staff often do not have the in-depth knowledge needed to complete the project efficiently. Sometimes a library will hire a consultant to support the library staff involved in the project.
DOCUMENTING THE LIBRARYS NEEDS• The first part of this preparation is developing a list or Request for Proposal (RFP). A well-developed RFP is vital for the success of the project. It is a statement that lists the librarys needs and expectations of the new system. It enables the project team to compare systems in detail. Even though the vendors of ILMS will conduct demonstrations and provide literature about their ILMS, it is the RFP that will enable the project team to analyse each system in detail. RFPs also help the vendors to be more specific on what their system does and the costs involved - what is the base price and what costs extra. system. They may also be given valuable advice on the migration process itself.
DOCUMENTING THE LIBRARYS NEEDS• An RFP usually includes an overview of the library and the project, the functional specifications and the technical specifications required of the new system. The functional specifications describe the capabilities required of the system and the technical specifications describe the standards required to guarantee minimum system performance.• The RFP will also include requirements for managing and implementing the system, vendor details and references; and a section for vendors to include other information not requested elsewhere. There are also guidelines for legal agreements such as licenses and purchase contracts.• Preparation of the RFP aids the library to think systematically about its needs and any changes that need to be made to current workflows, i.e. how to identify areas where efficient workflows can be developed rather than continuing with inefficient practices because we have always done it this way! Having input into the RFP is a way of forging consensus amongst the staff and encouraging them to think of ways of improving their workflows rather than having a negative attitude to the new system and the changes it will bring to their work .
DOCUMENTING THE LIBRARYS NEEDS• It is very beneficial to visit similar libraries and identify the system installed in each library. In this way the project team will get to know the pros and cons of each system installed in each library. In this way the project team will get to know the pros and cons of each system. They may also be given valuable advice on the migration process itself.• .
DOCUMENTING THE LIBRARYS NEEDS• Some of the most important factors to be considered when choosing an ILMS include - • How easy is the system to use - especially for library patrons? • What modules are available? • How developed are the modules - basic features or advanced features? • What is the cost of the system? • What is the cost of the hardware? • Will the library need IT staff? • What is the reputation of the vendor? • Is support available, and what level of ongoing support will be available? • Is training provided, including initial training and ongoing training? • Is support documentation available and when will it be updated? • What developments are planned? • The project team will also need to develop criteria by which the proposal will be analysed and compared.
EVALUATING THE ALTERNATIVES• This phase is much like conducting a job interview. The project team will need to analyse each proposal received and evaluate them against the criteria they devised earlier. References are checked and interview questions drafted, then each vendor short-listed is interviewed.• A detailed cost analysis of each system is developed comparing each alternative with the other. Initial costs and ongoing maintenance are included. Usually costs are determined for a five-year period.• The vendors usually give a presentation and demonstrate their system onsite. The selection committee will normally make site visits to other libraries that have implemented systems from their chosen vendors. During these visits the committee will talk to people about their experience working with the system and the vendor.• Finally the selection committee analyses the results of the presentations and visits and selects their vendor.
PREPARING THE AGREEMENTS• Once the committee have selected the vendor the negotiation of the contract begins. Issues such as pricing and payment schedules are dealt with. Usually a purchase agreement and a maintenance agreement are negotiated between the library and the vendor. The agreements detail the expectations of the system with regard to reliability, response times, scalability and software functionality. The agreements should provide information if the system malfunctions, or conflicts, misunderstandings or disagreements occur.
PREPARING THE AGREEMENTS• The agreements usually address the following - • What is to be delivered to the library - hardware, software and training etc? • How much the system will cost including purchase price and ongoing maintenance? • The number of payments and when the payments are scheduled • Delivery schedules and installation • Staff training and documentation • Acceptance testing including functionality, reliability and response times • The warranty period should be specified clearly. • Terms and conditions for the termination of the contract should be specified
IMPLEMENTING THE SYSTEM• Once the negotiations are finalised and the contracts signed the implementation of the system begins according to the implementation plan. The system parameters are developed for each module by the project team. The parameters will include a substantial list of codes used by the system, what fields• During the first phase of the implementation the vendor will conduct a test load of sample data from the old system. Provided this test load confirms that the system is fully operational all the data is loaded.• Site preparation is begun with the installation of the hardware and software. All additional requirements such as peripheral equipment, scanners, printers, etc are installed.• Staff training is undertaken and workflows developed and if required workspaces are redefined .
IMPLEMENTING THE SYSTEM• Once all the data and all the modules are loaded and the testing completed successfully the system is activated and again tested and evaluated.• Finally the system goes live!!!