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Library management systems
The LMS can Link
I think that being able to align the research
help make resolvers
community to the wider community is a
good goal. It will enable us to support tools
users more have and standards that can provide more value
aware of the become core
moving into the future. It will also make it
much more feasible to integrate with other
library’s role, components
systems and resources.
says Colin of LMSs,
We’re seeing libraries want to work more
Carter, sales account manager believes Oren Beit-Arie, chief
with other tools outside libraries. This is
partly to minimise costs but also trying to
for the UK and Northern Europe strategy officer of Ex Libris
get out of the traditional circles of users
for Innovative Interfaces
and expose the informational professional’s
Many libraries are at a crossroads, re- role to a wider community. For example,
The library’s resources and services are evaluating their businesses, missions and there is an opportunity for research libraries
managed more and more by systems. For operations. The digital world will dominate to provide services to the outside research
example, libraries are investing in RFID more and more in the future, because of both community to, for example, manage data.
self-check devices. Such developments mass digitisation and born-digital content. Most of the effort in libraries is focused on
mean that library staff can concentrate Global economics also have an impact. research output but we need to manage the
on face-to-face interaction with users. Libraries want to do more with less where it whole process. This is a very interesting place
Many institutions now spend well over matters. At the same time, the LMS is not for libraries to be.
50 per cent of their budgets on electronic just about the future and digital content but Ex Libris works in 70 countries and the
resources. This changes what the library also about other types of content including variations are profound. It is difficult to create
deals with and means that the user can physical. The move to digital doesn’t mean specific tools that will work everywhere and
have access without touching the library. that libraries won’t have any physical every day there is a new tool in web space.
This is quite a threat to the libraries resources to manage. They need to work with The solution we have just embarked on is
themselves. People don’t appreciate the tools that support a hybrid environment. an open platform. We’re creating tools and
library’s role in brokering access. Good linking is very important. Our Primo components that can be easily integrated
Another challenge is the different with a range of solutions and plug-ins.
types of media that people want to access.
‘Libraries want to do more
It is very hard to say that we are only going
This might include streaming audio and to integrate with a particular learning tool
streaming video, as well as the capability with less where it matters’ or social networking tools. Instead we have
to rate and tag things. generic integration tools so that we take any
The LMS still has the traditional tool was the first link resolver for the research component and embed it in any tool.
functions such as acquisition, cataloguing community. Link resolvers enable users to The same thing has to be done in
and access to resources. Now, however, click on a link and get to the article. It doesn’t backend solutions too. We are launching
there are also federated searching and sound complicated but it is, because of the a project called URM (Unified Resource
discovery platforms. The customer as well range of access methods available over the Management). This is remodelling the
as the library needs to have freedom of web. The article can be available in several back office management systems for both
choice in their systems but these systems places. Which is best for the users depends on print and digital collections that can be
need to work together. We see customers what subscriptions have been negotiated by either held locally or accessed remotely. We
picking best of breed in these functions. their institution. It is a complicated web of need to do things a lot more efficiently and
When we developed Encore, our discovery many-to-many connections. make it easier for libraries to integrate these
platform, we found development partners In order to solve that problem it was not just resources.
that used LMSs other than Millennium enough to talk about it. We had to develop a There is also a lot of need for digital
(Innovative Interface’s LMS) to ensure new standard, OpenURL, for interoperability. preservation to ensure that digital material
that it worked with those too. We worked with the community on this and can be accessed over time. This is critical but
And the integration required is not developed it with NISO. The result was the isn’t given as much focus as it should have.
just with modules within the system Z39.88 NISO standard for OpenURL linking. We’re undergoing an extremely interesting
but also with other systems that the I think that all scholarly link resolvers use this project in this area with the National Library
institution uses. These include Microsoft standard. It’s already clear that link resolvers of New Zealand.
Excel and finance systems. Standards are have become core components of LMSs. Everything we do has to bring value
absolutely key. They make development The applicability of this standard goes to end users, creating services and products
much simpler. For example, if a resource beyond the standard realm of a library. It has for them. This is an advantage that
complies with a particular standard, such been adopted by Google, especially in Google libraries have over the likes of Google.
as being OAI-PMH-compliant, then we Scholar. It was also used by Microsoft’s scholarly Libraries know their users and the needs
can harvest it. offering before that project was stopped. of these users.
24 Research Information December 2008/January 2009 www.researchinformation.info
RIdec08 pp20-25 LMS.indd 24 17/11/08 17:03:57
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