If you’ve searched for a book from the Library’s website lately, you’ll notice we’re in the process of moving to a new catalog, called WorldCat. It’s sassy, giving you the results you are looking for. It’s sexy, showing you actual book covers. It is easy to use and looks a whole lot like Amazon.com does, allowing you to limit by author, format, year and more down the left hand side.
Aside from our catalog, which library users do see, what you do not see is the back-end system the Library depends on to run things, usually called an Integrated Library System (ILS). In keeping with the UTC spirit of innovation, we are excited to report that we at Lupton Library are helping to beta test an entirely new sort of library management system, a web-based one that lives “in the cloud”, called Webscale Management Service (WMS).
Checking in and out items, billing, programming which library users get what privileges, ordering materials, cataloging materials so that you can find them when searching, entering user records, and processing course reserves are just a few things that this system allows the Library to do. As you might imagine, this makes up a large part of the Library’s work, in addition to staffing our service desks, serving as liaisons to academic departments, teaching classes, developing the Library’s collections, and more.
What does this big change in library staff-side workflows mean for you? A more intuitive course reserves system (look for it in Spring 2011!). Less downtime when we need to upgrade our systems. A better user-side experience when you log into your library account. A university library on the cutting edge of using new technology. And a happier, more efficient library staff, who can spend more time providing you the services that help you succeed! – Colleen Harris, Head of Access Services