What are libraries looking for in an ILS? In our recent survey, respondents were given ten considerations and asked to rate their relative importance on a numerical scale. Ease of use and its resulting impact on productivity was rated far and away the most important. Underlying this statistical finding were comments that begin to get at the specific issues. What are these libraries struggling with?
Libraries reported that complicated processes and inflexible workflows drain staff productivity and drive up expense. Ease of use, in fact, was rated as a more important factor than the cost of the system. Clearly, there is recognition that the hard cost of a system is less significant than the costs that come with using it.
Here is a sampling of the frustrations expressed:
• “Overly complicated procedures”
• “Too much clicking”
• “Non-intuitive staff functions”
And what are libraries looking for?
• “Increase staff efficiency”
• “Streamline workflows and improve productivity”
• “Easier system for staff to learn”
• “Workflow simplification and staff savings”
Serials Solutions Intota solves the problem at the fundamental level. Intota is being built from the ground up to address this issue. First, Intota offers unified, intelligent workflows. All types of library resources may be maintained in the same application, using the same functions. These unified workflows are driven by a decision engine that performs certain tasks automatically, based on the profile of the work unit. This means that the same staff member can process a print book and a database in a single dialog. This approach reduces duplicate entry and unnecessary steps, automating some steps that are currently done manually.
Secondly, Intota is built on a rich, authoritative knowledge base, offering staff fully integrated bibliographic and authority records, as well as provider and package data. Records can be accessed within Intota immediately, eliminating much of the batch delays prevalent I the older systems. . Thirdly, Intota has built-in interoperability. By architecting in connections to the Discovery Service, to library suppliers and to campus systems, information flows freely between people and systems. Intota frees libraries to refocus their talented staff. They can devote their attention to what matters the most – serving the needs of patrons.