Monday, 21 May 2012

ILL Transition

I mentioned in my post about Alexandrina going live that we're conscious of the impact of the LMS consortium on access to ILL's through P2.  

The 1st 8 libraries which will join the LMS consortium have approximately 1.2M items between them.  While not all of these items were registered on P2,  removing the holdings of the first 8 libraries from P2 is bound to have an impact on what is available for ILL.  And as we plan to add the SWAP libraries (Prospect, Walkerville, Campbelltown and Norwood Payneham & St Peters) in September and Adelaide in November the P2 ILL pool will continue to shrink.

We're keen to restore access to these collections for all other libraries.  Therefore we are working with SirsiDynix to create the most efficient way that we can do this.

At this stage (and subject to some testing etc) we are looking to provide all library services in the State with access to the LMS.  We plan to do this by creating each library service as a branch on the system and providing each library service with a borrowing card which will be used to reserve ILL items for the local (non-participating libraries') customers.  

Because each library service is on the system this will mean that routing slips will be produced at the point at which the owning library starts the process of sending the items to the destination library. (The routing slip will include information about the destination library, the title of the item and its barcode. This will allow the libraries to treat these loans exactly like all other ILLs done on Symphony as well as providing TOLL with the slip which will direct them in how to sort the items.) 

We are also examining providing each non-participating library with access to a StaffWeb module on Symphony.  This will mean that when items arrive at the destination library they can be "wanded in" which means that the system can track that they have arrived at their destination.  The library will then use their local LMS to lend these items to their local customers.  And the return process will be the same in reverse - i.e. the item will be returned on the local system and then wanded in on StaffWeb, which will record that it has been returned and that it is on its way back to its owning library.  If we're really fortunate we may be able to get StaffWeb to print a routing slip for these items as well!

And as I intimated in an email the other day, this same system will be able to be used to track items which are returned to non-owning libraries.

As you can imagine there is considerable work to be done to proof this up and make sure that the system can work as we want it to.  Therefore we don't think we will have anything in place for a few months.  However, as you can see from this post, we're working on this & are serious about getting a solution in place as soon as we can.

While we are keen to put this in place soon, it should be noted that for non-participating libraries P2 will continue to be the 1st port of call for ILLs.  This is because ILL access is a reciprocal arrangement whereby libraries can both borrow from their neighbours as well as being prepared to lend their own collections.  It would be unreasonable if the rest of the State targeted the 1st 8 LMS libraries as their 1st place for ILL requests.  As part of the strategy for ensuring that requests are placed on P2 as well as on Symphony  the number of ILL requests that non-participating libraries can place on LMS libraries will be restricted.  We are currently working to identify the right level of this restriction.

I will keep all in the network informed as we progress towards a workable solution for the ILL transition.  And of course I am happy to take comments and questions about any aspect of this proposed solution.

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