ALA ILS Panel Discussion

May 2015

The below are highlights of information shared during the May 2015 ALA panel discussion on ILSs.

Ideas For The Future

  • validate, on entry, email address is accurate and live - check on scheduled basis (weekly) validity of email address information. If no longer valid, update patron record and block patron prompting for updated address information self service stations
  • automatically issue approved library cards by real-time, automated validation of scanned driver’s license (use validation service), credit card, or some other method
  • automatically exclude reissued items in new collections
  • harvest community information via geotagging and other location based information (videos, wikipedia, ...from most popular social platforms)
  • enable login to the catalog with Facebook, Openid, Yahoo, Google, etc to simplify the user experience
  • open our data for other services to link to (tagwhat, ...) - everything in our catalog has links to references
  • provide data that reflects full patron utilization of library resources (integrated with other third party systems such as pc reservation, database vendors, ebook usage) which can be manipulated by patron demographic
  • enable self service , calendar-based circ for any identified items (patrons request item on specific dates, not just first come first serve queue priority)..current not fully functional
  • provide custom (not precreated) auto holds service for authors, subjects, and series
  • offer full text indexing or ability to integrate with vendor that provides full text indexing within OPAC interface
  • integrate with Google advertising to immediately highlight/publish identified resources
  • let patrons choose how many holds can come in at once
  • let patrons have ability to choose whether or not they wish to save all checkout history in one location including ebook and other electronic resources
  • provide quicklook/listen or preview available for all items
  • natively support alternate front end search solutions like a Google Enterprise appliance and seamlessly integrates results (make content open via web)
  • present realtime view of patron historical activity
  • integrate with popular platforms (facebook, google groups, ...) to scan and present content/information related to posted questions or subjects of discussion
  • partner with non library industry services of value (salesforce, integrated ticketing systems, idashboards,....)

Selection Considerations

  • bottom-line, you need to be able to demonstrate a positive return on investment for the decision you make
  • vendor support ratings/feedback
  • vendor reputation/feedback
  • demonstrated ability to deliver new and beneficial changes to the product
  • what is the financial health of the vendor
  • tangible features and functionality
  • what is the long term viability of the company
  • does the company have enough employees in the right areas to support ongoing operations and new development
  • costs
  • open approach, ability to own/have full access to data
  • pain to change (enough value - ROI)
  • product shows demonstrated alignment with technology industry best practices (security, coding, standard, ISO certifications ...)
  • non proprietary database
  • supports crystal report and use by standard SQL reporting
  • vendor is agile (can build for pay)
  • vendor supports a number of libraries of comparable size and complexity using the solution

Can you quantify a win?

Our usability score went from 43 pre migration to 78 after!