A current project occupying much of Joint University Librarians Advisory Committee (JULAC) members’ time and energy is the introduction of a shared integrated library system (ILS), the technology that underpins almost all aspects of library work including our library catalogue. The Libraries existing ILS, Millennium, is no longer under active development and will become increasingly outdated. Millennium is currently in place in all but one of the eight JULAC libraries. As a result of this lack of further development, the 8 JULAC libraries have been working on deploying a new shared ILS, ExLibris Alma® library management platform and ExLibris Primo® discovery and delivery solution. At present all eight institutions manage their own systems independently. Efficiencies to be gained through a single, centrally managed cloud based system across the 8 institutions will be significant. A shared system deployment has the potential to enable an even deeper collaborative relationship among the JULAC member libraries which we hope to see as a reality on 17 July 2017. The underestimated complexity of the project has required additional testing to ensure a successful implementation.
Improvements through the New System
Alma is a next-generation library management solution which enables JULAC libraries to manage both their print, electronic and digital collections through a single interface. It supports library collaboration and helps libraries to optimize their patron experience and collection with rich analytics.
Facing the Future
Alma is deployed by many of the major university libraries globally. Its architecture is geared towards evolving information standards and information management needs. Its open standards ensure smooth integration with third party solutions. This allows JULAC libraries to extend its services along with the growth of patron’s needs.
Optimize Patron Experience and Collection
With the rich analytics provided by Alma, JULAC libraries can harvest the big data generated by the platform to gain better insight of their resources usage so as to tailor their services and collection development to support patron’s needs.
Single Point of Access for JULAC Collections
It improves the visibility of, and the ability to, search across JULAC libraries collections without leaving the home library website.
Alma supports management of electronic, print and digital resources from a single integrated interface. This breaks down the silos in collections and delivers efficiency gains through automated workflows.
Collaboration and Community
Alma enables further collaborations among the JULAC libraries. The eight JULAC libraries will share their bibliographic records once the system goes live. JULAC is continuously exploring how the system can further support execution of the strategy of deep collaboration in the areas of consortium purchasing and technical services.
The eight Joint University Librarians Advisory Committee (JULAC) libraries: