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ILS Discussion

Page history last edited by Chris Jowaisas 16 years, 7 months ago

ILS Discussion




  • A discussion around initiating, expanding, or creating shared ILS for public libraires in Texas.


Questions for Consideration

  1. What steps need to be taken to create a shared ILS?
  2. What barriers exist to establish a shared ILS?
  3. What risks are invovled for libraries?
  4. What existing infrastructure (organizational & technology) exists and could be used for expansion?
  5. What new infrastructure would have to be created to meet needs of libraries?
  6. How many libraries are looking at the upgrade of their ILS in the next 12 months? 24 months?
  7. What are existing cost models for this type of service?
  8. How could these systems be used as the basis for additional resource sharing i.e. shift from inter library loan to lateral lending)?
  9. What funding is available from the state to jumpstart this or encourage such initiatives?


Responses  for Consideration

  1. Response from Jerry McCulley at NETLS highlighting the political challenges of a shared ILS project:

From:Jerry McCulley [mailto:jmcculley@netls.org]

Sent: Monday, October 15, 2007 3:47 PM

To: Adam Wright

Subject: FW: Integrated Library Systems (ILS) - A Shared Vision

Hey Adam,

I’ve considered the possibilities of consortium ILS’s since I was the Director in Henderson, before I came to NETLS. It seems like a great idea.

However, my experience in talking with librarians and city officials is that it is nearly impossible to get city/county officials on board. Of course, that depends on who is in office at the time, and remember that newly elected officials get "new" ideas and can destroy alliances pretty quickly in favor of their own ideas.

So, I think the biggest barrier, per se, is getting all the city/county officials to play together and agree, on paper, in order to keep agreements in place. All it takes is one official to convince other local officials and then the consortium takes a "hit" when that community goes off to do their own thing.

I live in Rockwall County, and it is amazing how the commissioners seem to be on track one week, and the next week they come up with something new and suddenly are going in a different direction. Multiply this by the number of cities and counties and you’ll lose your sanity. So, at a minimum, a multi-year contract would be critical, and maybe an on-going educational program for newly elected officials to bring them into the fold.

Another problem, involves proving that the consortium costs would be lower to a small library than using something like Athena or Book Systems Concourse/Atriuum. Stakeholders would really have to focus on those benefits. You and I can see the benefits of belonging to a consortium, but those city/county officials look at the bottom line. Why belong to a consortium when if they just purchased a different product, it would be cheaper for the library? That’s the non-librarians’ argument.

Also, a risk for libraries is a conflict of interest between the stakeholders. One librarian decides they know what’s best for everybody. I’ve seen it happen.

By the way, this is marginally related, but I just noticed an email that details an analysis of the open source market. Evergreen markets consortium type libraries. Here’s the article: http://features.lisnews.org/features/07/10/15/118229.shtml




Existing ILS Consortiums / Groups in Texas

  • Harrington Library Consortium
    • The mission of the Harrington Library Consortium is to strengthen and promote excellent library services among our member libraries. The Consortium provides library automation products and services, training and continuing education, exploration of innovative technologies and products, and library business intelligence for informed decision-making.

      The Consortium helps realize the potential of its member libraries through resource sharing, cost savings, and member collaboration. The consortium supports our members as information and technology literacy providers for the citizens of the Texas Panhandle.
    • The Harrington Library Consortium computer center and offices are located at Amarillo Public Library Central Branch. Consortium staff currently consists of Donna Littlejohn, Director, Troyce Wilson, IT Assistant, John Titus, Senior IT Analyst, Kay Crandall, Cataloger, and Mark Nuss, IT Support.
  • Abilene Library Consortium - 
    • Abilene Library Consortium consists of Abilene Christian University Library, Abilene Public Library, Hardin-Simmons University Library, McMurry University Library, and Howard Payne University Library. The Consortium also provides a framework for co-operation between these participating libraries, allowing for the sharing of materials, resources, and expertise.
    • The ALC Bibliographic Database contains over 1.1 million items. Through co-operative borrowing agreements, patrons from any ALC library may check out materials from any other ALC library with much the same privileges as that library's own borrowers.

  • MetrOPAC
    • Public libraries in Fort Worth, Benbrook, Burleson, Haltom City, Keller, Richland Hills, and Watauga belong to the MetrOPAC consortium.  This consortium was formed by Inter-local Agreements among the cities that let their residents use the libraries in the other cities. You can find books, DVDs, and other materials held by any of these libraries by searching the catalog.
  •  Houston Area Library Automated Network (HALAN)  



Existing ILS Consortiums / Groups elsewhere

  • Illinois -
    • North Suburban Library Sytem - North Suburban Library System (NSLS) Reciprocal Borrowing Program: Goals and Policies (11/28/05)
    • The North Suburban Library System (NSLS) Reciprocal Borrowing Program permits public library cardholders in the NSLS service area to visit other NSLS public libraries and check out materials with their home library cards. As the cornerstone for resource sharing among libraries, reciprocal borrowing benefits library users by expanding the range and depth of the collections that are readily available to them. In recognition of this, participation in the Reciprocal Borrowing Program has long been a requirement of System membership for public libraries.
    • Illinois Intersystem Reciprocal Borrowing Covenant 


  • Florida?
  • Central Kansas Library System - just recently decided to go with an open-source software ILS (Koha ZOOM) over BookSystems Atriuum that will automate 22 of their libraries and bring on 12 that are currently automated over a two-year grant funded project.  More information here - Grant Application  (Word doc)  - Budget for project (Excel doc)
  • BC (British Columbia) Pines - http://pines.bclibrary.ca/ - Evergreen Talking Points explains their process - http://pines.bclibrary.ca/resources/talking-points
  • Georgia - PINES (Public Information Network for Electronic Services) - http://www.georgialibraries.org/lib/pines/ - (CJ opinion) political agreements are as impressive as the technology achievements of Evergreen - 
  • Michigan - 13 regional systems that provide shared ILS services to member libraries - also have III resource sharing solution and courier services statewide


Existing Cost Models 

  • KOHA/LibLime: In April, I spoke with Randy, a rep at LibLime,  and here's the email and pricing for Koha Classic, which is not as fancy as Koha Zoom, but thought I'd go ahead and include this info. - Kam
  • Wisconsin Regional Library Systems - reimburse adjacent counties for circulation - http://www.ifls.lib.wi.us/about/budget.asp - from this page click on teh link to "Act 150 Calculation" - Act 150 is reimbursement for public libraries serving home county and system county rural residents and Act 420 is reimbursement for adjacent counties and both are incorporated in Chapter 43.12 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Use your latest annual report for operating expenditures, circulation and non-resident circulation figures.


Related Technology Areas

  • TEX-AN - telecommuications discounts for state and local government agencies
  • Evergreen Hardware Configuration - http://open-ils.org/blog/?p=6 - current pricing for just the database server (1 of 5 servers used) - is approx. $12,791.  Application server is probably around $6,683.  The load balancer comes in around $2,167.  These are without warranty or support options.  Total cost = $30,491.  Keep in mind that this is a much bigger system as far as as number of records and libraries invovled than discussed in the meeting (11 libraries, 485,00 items, 150,000 patrons)
  • Liblime demos - http://liblime.com/demos
  • Demo of staff client for Evergreen can be downloaded here and pointed to demo servers - http://www.open-ils.org/downloads.php




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