Library management systems
filtering rather than finding information. synonym knowledge that librarians
expect to find
In addition, older lecturers might not fully have. Having fuzzy logic means that you
understand what it means for the journals don’t need to know how to spell a Czech
everything to be online. Navigation needs to work surname. We give users what they ask for
both in and outside the library. and what we think they meant as well.
Keeping both print and electronic versions This puts some of the librarian’s magic in
is not such an option anymore, especially and allows information to be shown to end
with the impact of the current economic user without the end user having to know
president for innovation at
situation on serials budgets. However, users it. If 80 per cent of the users are virtual this
expect to find everything together. is essential.
There is a move towards federated The LMS will become more standards-
searching. This gives a Google-type search based in the future. More of them will be
Traditionally, the library management of all the library’s resources. ILSs also have XML-compliant, which will help them
system or integrated library system (ILS) to be API compliant. This gives people the to be interoperable. They will also use
was responsible for running libraries option to connect things up in the context Unicode to support different languages,
efficiently and effectively. Over the last of the library. For example, they might want support Registry files and have author
few years, the role of the ILS has been to connect material with a course pack or disambiguation.
expanding from meeting library needs to specially-chosen websites. Library budgets are going to be very
delivering user experience. damaged over the next few years. Libraries
Change has been focused on innovation aren’t going to get more staff, so they have
in user experience. That is a challenge
‘Libraries aren’t going to
to find new ways to free up those they have.
because libraries vary and their online
get more staff, so they have
We also have to find creative solutions to
users and physical users are different. For retain our businesses.
example, in a public library the physical to find new ways to free Most libraries are locked into a 1950s
users tend to be transaction-focused or
those with less IT access or experience. In
up those they have’
style of organisation. This is not flexible
enough to deal with the world as it
contrast, the online users of public libraries changes. Libraries need to move to more
tend to be more highly educated and We have to ask ourselves how to reduce sophisticated management structures
computer literate. In academic libraries, the complexity of finding information and instead of silos and hierarchical structures.
the online access comes from places such improve the quality of the questioning. They should become real consortia not
as student housing while those who come Our Enterprise tool enables faceted search just buying groups. This means working
into the physical library tend to have more and fuzzy logic searching. This is important as a team, sharing standards and sharing
complex problems and need help with because most people do not have the strategies.
OPAC can be modified to reflect the in- towards single ‘discovery’ or search tools.
house graphic identity and integrate with Checking how many databases will
the website or intranet. The layout of the be available through the LMS is key.
of Softlink screen can be altered according to the site’s In Liberty for example, there is federated
requirements, directly from the interface and search support for over 4,000 external
without any need for technical knowledge information sources.
or IT assistance. Web 2.0 systems that facilitate and
Ease of use and intuitiveness are big drivers. encourage user publishing will continue.
need to enable personalisation
Ease of installation and maintenance, as well There will be particular focus on information
as supplier-hosted services are also sought officer-driven initiatives such as increased
for libraries and to keep an eye after. Organisations are also increasingly online collaboration between information
on Web 2.0 developments
seeking fully web-based systems to avoid any centres, shared catalogues and increased
software being installed on each ‘client’ PC. user input.
Identifying customer needs is crucial – most This offers speedier implementation and less Web 2.0 is also enabling social networking
of our customers have very different needs involvement from IT departments. Leading between users of the information
and requirements. Information managers are library and knowledge management systems centre. Initiatives from library and
increasingly seeking systems where they can are now entirely web-based from the OPAC knowledge management systems suppliers
carry out their own personalisation, to suit to the library management functions. to support this include integrated
their way of working and user needs. Our Federated search is starting to have a blogs, reviews/ratings sharing, book
knowledge management system, Liberty, massive impact on information centre suggestions, and tools to locate readers with
can be entirely configured, for example the users and is an important step in the move similar tastes.
Research Information December 2008/January 2009 21
RIdec08 pp20-25 LMS.indd 21 17/11/08 17:03:51
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