When people tell you what’s on their mind without you asking first, you know it’s important to them. In our recent survey of libraries, we did not ask any questions specifically related to acquisitions, but it is clearly a top-of-mind concern, judging from all of the unprompted comments. Whether due to a module that is difficult to use or that doesn’t integrate with other systems, clearly there are problems with acquisitions in the traditional ILS – ones that Serials Solutions Intota corrects.
Here’s some of what our survey uncovered. Declared one respondent at an academic library in the Southeast, the “acquisitions modules are always the worst in every ILS I have ever worked with.” Another said that the “acquisitions module is very confusing to learn – therefore we are not using it for monographic purchases.”
Beyond ease-of-use, what are these libraries looking for? The ability to interoperate better internally and externally is highly sought after. One library specifically mentioned the “lack of integration between acquisitions and cataloging.” Another said that the “acquisitions module does not tie into the college's purchasing system … we have to keep two stores of information.” Still another told us that “I would like to see it work with our book jobber's system, so that we could enter an order in the catalog and send it to vendors.”
Serials Solutions Intota tackles these shortcomings in several ways. It has its own robust acquisitions system that supports both print and e-resources in a single application. It offers availability information within Intota itself, including price and availability from a variety of suppliers, allowing librarians to save time by only having one place to look for this information. The intelligent workflows allow librarians to profile repetitive activities for Intota to automatically execute. Moreover, published APIs integrate Intota acquisitions with other systems, such as institutional financial systems to give libraries the data-sharing they’re looking for. And assessment and reporting are built into the acquisitions workflows, so that needed data is at the staff member’s fingertips when needed.
We’re listening to what libraries are telling us – and building it into Intota.