The next generation library system – The planning phase
Tommi Jauhiainen, Information Systems Manager
(julk. The National Library of Finland Bulletin, 2012)
The design of a new library system is underway in academic, public and special libraries. The first projects for implementing the system will not be launched until 2014.
Finnish libraries are currently using different integrated library systems. Higher education libraries funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture use the same ILS in three different installations on the same hardware. Special and public libraries are using several different systems. Many of these library systems are reaching the end of their life cycle. During the spring and summer of 2011, all the Finnish library sectors together with the National Library of Finland formed a joint committee in order to assess the feasibility of a single library system entity, possibly an open-source solution that would suit the needs of all the different types of libraries.
New Finnish legislation, passed in 2011, advocates moving towards interoperable information systems that are funded by the government. To be in line with the legislation, the committee decided to use enterprise architecture as the method of describing the functionalities of the new library system.
Several working groups have been formed from all types of libraries to perform the actual work. The first planning phase runs until the end of 2012.
The project plan will specify the following:
- The necessary joint guidelines and culture (e.g., principles for lending and cataloguing)
- Products and functions based on library systems
- The opportunities and needs of joint databases (bibliographic, collections, customer and similar databases)
- The ratio of joint contributions to needs-based contributions
- Standards and interfaces
- A risk analysis
- A financing solution and a cost-benefit analysis
- An administrative model and legal issues
- A timetable (for the first implementation projects for the new system in 2014)
The working methods include wiki-based collaboration, mailing lists, long-distance meetings and face-to-face meetings.