Our comments on our recent survey of libraries continues this week, as we delve more into libraries’ attitudes toward their current ILS and what they desire in a new collection management system. One issue came through loud and clear – integrated management of all collections, whether print or electronic. A respondent at a large public university in the Northwest cut right to the heart of the matter, saying that their greatest single source of frustration is that their ILS is “designed for management of a print collection”. Half of all collections are now in electronic form. Isn’t it time to stop trying to play iTunes files with a cassette player?
More than half of all libraries surveyed – 57 percent – stated that they have issues with having to use multiple, separate management systems for their print and electronic resources. Among the expressions of dissatisfaction:
• “Lack of integration between our catalog and databases”
• “Lack of integration of an e-resource management system”
• “Too tightly coupled with non-digital formats and not sufficiently flexible with the range of digital info we acquire and manage”
The libraries tied this lack of integration to productivity issues, from the broad-based frustration of managing electronic journals separately; to specific issues such as the need to perform separate steps to import e-resource MARC records into the ILS.
How will Serials Solutions Intota solve these problems? Our unified intelligent workflows handle the differences between print and electronic resources, so all resources can be managed as a single collection. One application manages all types of formats, providing staff productivity and efficiency. Intota is integrated with a brand-new knowledgebase containing records for all types of resources, print and electronic, including bibliographic, authority, provider and packages.
If libraries continue to rely on an ILS designed for print, it will only exacerbate their frustrations. U.S. Department of Education figures tell us that 60 percent of library materials budgets are devoted to e-resources, and are on a trajectory to reach 80 percent by 2020. We know the pain that libraries are facing, and the time is right to put a stop to it. That’s why we are building Intota.