MassCat’s move to open source software: Why?


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MassCat’s move to open source software: Why?

  1. 1. MassCat’s move to open source software: Why? (NELINET, October 28, 2008)
  2. 2. What is MassCat? <ul><li>A resource sharing network of libraries that are not part of the other library networks in the state. </li></ul><ul><li>Unusual, unique and unexpected! </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable -- the cost of operating MassCat is offset somewhat by funding from 5 of the Massachusetts Regional Library Systems </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who belongs to MassCat? <ul><li>93 libraries from all around Massachusetts currently belong. </li></ul><ul><li>School, special, academic, medical, and some public libraries belong to MassCat. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Member Library Details <ul><li>49 Schools </li></ul><ul><li>20 Medical/hospital </li></ul><ul><li>14 Special </li></ul><ul><li>7 Public </li></ul><ul><li>3 Academic </li></ul><ul><li>13 from Central Region </li></ul><ul><li>27 from Metrowest </li></ul><ul><li>20 from Northeast </li></ul><ul><li>22 from Southeastern </li></ul><ul><li>11 from Western </li></ul>
  5. 5. Database Details <ul><li>Over 625,000 bibliographic records </li></ul><ul><li>Over 1,200,000 holdings </li></ul><ul><li>New records added daily </li></ul><ul><li>Over 1,100 loan requests negotiated among members last year </li></ul>
  6. 6. Previous System Details <ul><li>System completely Web-based and hosted by vendor. </li></ul><ul><li>No software (other than Web browser) needed by libraries. </li></ul><ul><li>Small piece of software (for cataloging full records) needed by administrator. </li></ul><ul><li>No shelf status available, just call number data (similar to OCLC) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Features Previously Offered to Members <ul><li>Web-based OPAC that library users can search from anywhere. </li></ul><ul><li>Rich source of MARC records and simple cataloging interface. </li></ul><ul><li>Electronic method of placing borrowing requests and responding to requests for loan. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why Change Systems? <ul><li>MassCat wasn’t offering services that libraries needed and members were leaving. </li></ul><ul><li>ILL system was clunky and cumbersome and deterred resource sharing. </li></ul><ul><li>OPAC was outdated. </li></ul><ul><li>Adding additional services to system was expensive. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Process for Determining Need <ul><li>Survey! Surveyed members regarding opinion of current system. </li></ul><ul><li>Asked members what services they wanted MassCat to offer. </li></ul><ul><li>Held focus groups with members and gathered more in-depth opinions. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Process for Changing Systems <ul><li>Issued an RFP. </li></ul><ul><li>Reviewed proposals. </li></ul><ul><li>Held vendor demonstrations (invited members to attend demos) </li></ul><ul><li>Chose vendor and product. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Next Generation of MassCat <ul><li>More robust OPAC. </li></ul><ul><li>More user-based capabilities such as review writing and ability to place and track their requests. </li></ul><ul><li>Circulation! </li></ul><ul><li>Serials Management! </li></ul><ul><li>Acquisitions! </li></ul>
  12. 12. Why Open Source? <ul><li>Flexibility. </li></ul><ul><li>More direct influence on the direction of software development. </li></ul><ul><li>Direct benefit from any investment made by any other library or library system using the software. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Where is MassCat now? <ul><li>Finished loading bibliographic and patron data to Koha. </li></ul><ul><li>Trained all 29 full circulating libraries. </li></ul><ul><li>Ordered some development work for cataloging module of system. </li></ul><ul><li>Remaining 64 “associate” (non-circulating) members will be trained once development is finished and tested. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Links and More Information <ul><li>Demo Site Hosted by LibLime: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(usernames and passwords are presented directly on the Webpage) </li></ul>
  15. 15. More Information <ul><li>Contact me with questions anytime: </li></ul><ul><li>Nora Blake </li></ul><ul><li>MassCat Manager </li></ul><ul><li>413-665-5511 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>