Building the 21st century library: new report published
SCONUL and JISC look to establish ‘strategic engagement’ with LMS vendors
Libraries should look for increased value from their principal library-wide computer systems, ensure that those ‘library management systems’ are integrated with other institutional systems and look to break down barriers between library users and resources.
These are some of the recommendations of a report published today which takes a far-reaching look at the library management systems (LMS) market and attempts to help influence the future development of a crucial element of the academic library environment.
The report, commissioned by JISC and SCONUL, is based on findings from 100 UK higher education libraries and attempts to analyse the LMS market and its place in a user environment increasingly dominated by high expectations around ease of delivery, unhindered access to resources and their integration with user-generated content.
The report confirms that UK Higher Education is dominated by four LMS vendors with what can be seen as relatively little product differentiation, typical of a mature systems market. Movement in product replacement is slow, says the report, and customer loyalty to their LMS vendor is high. It also recommends that JISC and SCONUL work jointly with the library community and the systems developers to enhance understanding of ‘Library 2.0’ developments and establish a strategic engagement with LMS vendors.
Anne Bell, Chair of SCONUL, welcomed the report and said: ‘The study raises a number of challenges for the UK academic library community. It proposes developments which could be furthered at a national, consortial or local level to enhance the user experience. SCONUL looks forward to working with its members, JISC and the systems vendors to meet the challenges and opportunities presented.’
Alison Allden, Deputy Registrar & Director of Information Services, University of Bristol and Chair of JISC's Integrated Information Environment committee (JIIE), said: ‘Libraries are looking for more flexible, integrated and user-focused systems to meet new challenges and embrace new opportunities. This excellent report is therefore timely and will, we hope, help academic libraries make decisions which represent value for money, the interests of their users and the strategic development of their services.’
Lead author David Kay said: ‘The level of engagement with this research was significant, involving exactly 100 HE libraries and all four of the major LMS vendors. This is a strong indicator of the importance of the systems agenda as libraries consider new ways of working and learning in a global and increasingly collaborative information environment.’
The report was written by Veronica Adamson, Paul Bacsich, Ken Chad, David Kay, Jane Plenderleith and is available at: LMS report
A briefing paper has been produced by SCONUL and JISC outlining the main recommendations for libraries. The briefing paper is available at: LMS briefing paper