Ex Libris Announces the URM Small Library Advisory Group
Libraries from around the world will help shape the development
of the Ex Libris next-generation library framework
Ex Libris® Group is pleased to announce the formation of an advisory group to provide input on the requirements of small libraries in the development of the Unified Resource Management (URM™) framework. The advisory group will play a significant role in the Ex Libris initiative to redesign library services and build the future management system for administrative library operations—selection, acquisition, cataloging, management, and fulfillment—for the full spectrum of library materials, regardless of format or location.
The first institutions to join the Small Library Advisory Group are:
- College of the Mainland (United States)
- Colorado School of Mines (United States)
- Fachhochschule Burgenland (Austria)
- Forschungszentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V. (Germany)
- Medizinische Universitaet Graz (Austria)
- Messiah College (United States)
- Seneca College (Canada)
- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (United States)
- Springfield College (United States)
- University College Falmouth (United Kingdom)
The Small Library Advisory Group is part of an extensive program of collaboration that Ex Libris is pursuing during the development of URM. In addition to this new advisory board, the company has been engaged in extensive design collaboration with four URM development partners: Purdue University Library, Boston College, Princeton University Library, and the Catholic University of Leuven. Teams from the partner institutions have already held numerous solution and design review meetings, which took place in the United States and Belgium.
In parallel, Ex Libris is reviewing URM requirements and workflows with a series of focus groups and regional discussion groups consisting of over 80 customers representing institutions worldwide. The focus groups have explored metadata management, consortium support, selection and acquisition, and fulfillment/patron management. Ex Libris is currently preparing additional forums for collaborating with the libraries of other customer institutions.
The Small Library Advisory Group will focus on the needs of smaller libraries worldwide. While these libraries often require functionality comparable to libraries serving research institutions, libraries of major universities, and national libraries, the smaller staff size and fewer technical resources often necessitate simplified workflows and solutions. And since URM will be available as a cloud service, in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment, smaller institutions with limited IT resources stand to benefit.
Springfield College’s five staff members in technical services, including the manager, support all back-office technical processing as well as interlibrary loans and the technology environment. As Andrea Taupier, library director, indicated, “Having a hosted solution helps us to do more. We can more easily and cost-effectively manage different resources, getting information from various formats to our students, faculty, staff, and other library users at our 11 campuses and other locations.”
Serving three regional campuses, University College Falmouth, in Cornwall, England, specializes in art, design, media, and performance, and offers a library service to a partner institution on a shared campus with growing student numbers. Doreen Pinfold, head of library and information services, explained that the university is “looking for increased interoperability so that we can link more seamlessly to other systems with our partner institution. We see collaboration as key and are pleased to be able to learn from others’ experiences as well as to work with Ex Libris to achieve our goals.”
Susan Stearns, vice president of strategic partnerships at Ex Libris, commented: “We are delighted to be embarking on this project with these dynamic institutions to help shape the future development of the URM framework and ensure its suitability to the demanding needs of smaller libraries. We have already begun work to review requirements, mock-ups, and prototypes of user interfaces and to evaluate user scenarios and workflows for selection, acquisition, cataloging, fulfillment, patron management, and related components of URM.”