New library services platform
The Library has been undertaking a major project to change the software system it uses to manage library materials and between 16-23 January transitioned to a new library services platform.
The move to our new platform necessitated changes to some of the Library's internal workflow processes and also involves a certain amount of change for users of the Library, particularly in relation to your Library Account and Library Search.
Please note: a set of frequently asked questions will help you to use the library as we begin to operate the new system.
Frequently asked questions
Locating library materials
Library Search says there should be two copies of a book on the shelf, but I can't find them. What should I do?
While we are switching to the new system Library Search will not accurately display the availability of books and other items. A Library staff member can help you check the shelves, but it is quite possible that these books are now currently out on loan. The new system will be available from January 23 and during that day Library Search will be updated and once again reflect the availability of items. You will also be able to place reservations on items that are out on loan from January 23.
There's only one search option, so how do I limit or expand the scope of my search?
The new Library Search works differently in terms of offering broad and narrower search options. There is now a single search option that allows a search across both the printed and electronic resources (including ebooks and journal articles) that are held by or accessible to members of the University.
Having done a search you can filter the results by Format, e.g, to just books, or journal articles, using the 'Search Tools' to the left of the screen.
Please note: under the Search Tools there is also a new, broader search option for 'Libraries Worldwide', alongside the narrower (default) option for University of Bristol Library. Libraries Worldwide will widen the scope of your search to include the collections of other libraries, though this is not equivalent to the old "Everything" search option. We suggest you use the University of Bristol Library search option if you are looking for local access to books, journals and online resources.
Has Library Search changed, it looks different?
Yes, along with the move to our new platform we also switched to a new Library Search service (WorldCat Discovery) on Wednesday 23 January.
We have branded and customised the new service so that it resembles as far as possible the look and feel of our previous service.
Help and and advice about how to use the new Library Search is available.
Is my resource list affected by this change?
Yes, as part of the switch to our new system the links in our Resource Lists service had to be changed so that they direct to the new Library Search. The process of changing the links is continuing and should be completed soon.
My Library Account
Will I still need to use my Library PIN?
No, in the new system you will not need a Library PIN
I am an external Library user and my card has expired, when will I be able to renew it?
From January 14-23 inclusive library staff will not have access to the system to renew membership or update details. Normal service will resume after this period.
There is a problem with my library account, will I be able to get it sorted out during the switchover period?
During the switchover period users account data is being migrated from one system to another. We are aiming to minimise disruption to services but there may be some issues that cannot be resolved until the new system is up and running. If you are having issues, please speak to a member of library staff.
I need a reference for a book I had on loan a couple of months ago. Can I retrieve my loan history?.
No, unfortunately it was not possible to move your Loan History (the list of items you borrowed in the past, including any inter-library loans) and any saved records or searches (Favourites) to our new system. Library users were advised of this at the end of last term when there was still the option to access this information.
Borrowing and returning items
Can I still borrow books between January 16-23?
Yes, you will be able to borrow items during specified periods via library information desks. There will be no self-issue facilities. Availability of information desk services will be advertised for each library site. It will not be possible to borrow books outside of these hours but where library staff are present, they can hold items on the courtesy shelf for you until the information desk re-opens.
The library I normally use is only staffed for part of the day, how will I be able to borrow books or get help?
To support the switchover to the new system the library is drafting in additional help to staff the supported self-service libraries for longer hours each day. Staff will be on hand to offer help and advice around access to books and account information. Outside of these times where libraries are open there will be options to contact staff at other sites who will be able to help you.
How will I know if a book that I have on loan has been requested by someone?
You will receive an email to let you know when a book you have on loan has been requested and will be told the date by which it must be returned.
Can I return books and other items that I no longer need between January 16-23?
Yes, books and other items will not be due for return during this period however we will accept returns via information desks. Self-service return will not be available.
Extended loans (Library Support)
I am registered with Library Support and have extended loans, will I still get these under the new system?
Yes, extended loans are still available for part-time students and those registered with Library Support.
Reservations and requested items
I reserved some books recently, will my reservations be carried over to the new system?
Unfortunately we are not able to migrate outstanding reservations to the new system, so you will need to place these again after the switchover, beginning January 24. However, any reservations that have already arrived into the library and are awaiting collection between the 16-23 of January can be issued to your account via library information desks.
Will I be able to place reservations between 16-23 January when the new system is being implemented?
No, it will not be possible to make reservations between January 16-23. You will be able to make reservations again from January 24.
What happens if I am unable to return a requested item?
If you are unable to return a requested item it is essential that you get in touch with the library to let us know. Staff will be able to advise you on what you need to do.
If I forget to bring a requested book back and drop it off when the desk is closed will my account be blocked?
Your account will be automatically unblocked provided other items you have out on loan are within the due date. You will need to check the due date of all items and you may need to speak to a member of staff at the information desk when it is next open.
I have returned a book that was requested but my other loans have also become overdue. Why is this and what should I do?
If you do not return a requested book by the date due, your account will be automatically blocked. This means that other items on loan to you will stop renewing and become overdue. Library staff can reset your account when this happens, but you will need to visit an information desk, or contact the Library via telephone or email.
What happens if I return or find a book after the library has invoiced me for it? Will I be able to get a refund?
You will be invoiced for a book if it is not returned when requested by another library user, two weeks after it becomes overdue. The library will contact you to ensure that you know that this is going to happen. You will also be invoiced if you lose or damage a book. Once an invoice is created the item is removed from your account. If a book is returned after this point you are still liable for the cost of the replacement copy and so may keep the original.
A book I have on loan has been requested but I'm unwell and have not been accessing my email. What will happen?
We understand that sometimes there are valid reasons for not being able to get in touch with the library or to return a requested item on time. We encourage our library users to contact us at the earliest possible opportunity when they may need additional support and will work with them to ensure that they are not unfairly penalised. If you have been unwell or have had some other personal difficulty contact the library and staff will be able to advise you of how we can help.
I think I have some outstanding fines, can I pay them now?
As part of the switchover to the new system we have introduced a fines amnesty. This means that any money you owe in the old system will not be transferred across and will not need to be paid.
From January 24 the library will no longer charge fines for the late return of requested items but will block your library account instead. Further details are available.
The library is no longer charging fines on books that are returned late. Why would an item be returned when requested?
We trust that people will use the library system responsibly and return items that are requested so others can use them. People are notified to let them know that someone is waiting to use the book they have out on loan. Once a requested item becomes overdue the library account is blocked so that no further borrowing or renewal can take place until the requested item is returned. Failure to return a book will result in further penalties.
Will I still be able to place inter-library loans requests during the switchover to the new system?
Yes, you will still be able to place requests on the system, though if you have used it before you may notice a few changes to the online form.
I've been notified that an inter-library loan I requested has arrived, can I pick it up during the switchover period?
Yes, where you have received notification that an inter-library loan item you requested has arrived in the library you will be able have this issued to you during staffed information desk hours.
Access to online library resources
Will I still be able to access electronic books and journals online during the switchover period?
Yes, library users will still be able to discover, access and download our ebooks and other electronic resources via Library Search during the switchover period.
Key dates and service disruption
Wednesday 23 January (new platform go-live) -
- Resource Lists - the process of changing links in our Resource Lists service to the new Library Search is taking longer than expected to complete. We apologise for the inconvenience
- My Account - we have moved information about your current loans to our new system, though some other data, including loan history, has not been migrated. From Thursday January 24, we advise that you check your account and contact the Library or speak to staff at the information desks if you believe something is not correct
- Reservations - reservations that were made up to January 16 have not been migrated to the new system and you will need to place these reservations again
- Locating library materials - our new Library Search service is now live. Help and and advice about how to use the new Library Search is available
- Library web pages - any that are affected by the change to our new platform are being updated
Wednesday 16 January (17.00) - Wednesday 23 January (Switchover to new platform):
- My Account - during the switchover period and as we move data from one system to another, My Account will be frozen and may not accurately refelect your loans and other library transactions. During the switchover, please contact the Library or speak to library staff at the information desks if you require help
- Loans - Self-service machines will be unavailable though library staff will be able to issue items for you at information desks during daytime hours. Timings will vary depending on staffing levels across the service so please check locally for further information. When a lending service is not available you will be able to use books in the library and may ask staff on duty to things aside on the courtesy shelf for you to collect during information desk opening hours
- Reservations - any reservations that have been made on the current system up to January 16 will not be migrated to the new system. You will need to place these reservations again once the new system becomes available on January 24, though any that have already arrived into the library and are awaiting collection between the 16-23 of January can be issued to your account via library information desks. You will not be able to make any reservations between 17 to 23 of January during the switchover to the new system
- Locating library materials - some data will be frozen and this will affect the availability information you may see in Library Search. If you can't find what you are looking for on the shelves, please ask at the information desks
- Inter-library loans - we will be switching to new request forms, information about the changes will be available on our web pages. There will also be delays in processing inter-library loans requests during the switchover period
- Research Reserve - there will be a delay in processing requests for material in the Research Reserve
- New materials - there will be a delay in processing new materials during the switchover period
My Library Account (Loan History and Favourites)
We will be moving data about your current loans to our new platform, unfortunately we will not be able to move your Loan History (the list of items you have borrowed in the past, including any inter-library loans) and any saved records or searches (Favourites).
If you want a record of your loan history our advice is to:
- Sign-in to your account
- Go to 'My Loans'
- Select 'Previous and historic loans' from the dropdown list
- It is not possible to export or email your list, so we suggest you copy and paste the contents in to a suitable application
Having signed-in to your account, go to your Favourites:
- Saved records (the list can be printed, emailed, or exported to reference management software)
- Saved searches (make a note of these)
*** Please note: your Loan History and Favourites (saved items) information will remain accurate until Wednesday 16 January and may no longer be accessible after that time. ***
WorldCat Discovery (the new Library Search)
Our new platform has a fully integrated search service, WorldCat Discovery, and along with the move to our new platform we will also be switching to WorldCat Discovery.
We will continue to refer to our discovery service as Library Search and have branded and customised WorldCat Discovery so that it resembles as far as possible the look and feel of our existing Library Search service.
We will be switching to our new Library Search service on the go-live date, Wednesday 23 January. Help and and advice about how to use the new Library Search will be available.
The Library has been using its current system to manage processes around the acquisition, cataloguing and circulation of library materials for over 15 years. The system was designed around the management of print materials and is now considered out-of-date. As the Library has moved to accommodate greater numbers of electronic resources, the system's limited capability has become an obstacle to reconfiguring workflows for the full spectrum of the Library collections, thereby inhibiting opportunities to enhance and optimise service delivery for users.
A new generation of library services platform (LSP) has been developed in recent years, designed to allow holistic collections management and make more effective use of automation tools. The new systems offer more flexibility and enable staff to work more efficiently irrespective of the format of the material being processed. The new generation of LSP are offered as Software as a Service (SaaS) and are designed to increase the pace of software and platform development and are therefore better able to respond in a continually changing landscape.
A formal project to procure and implement an LSP was initiated in August 2017, led by Stuart Hunt (Deputy Director of Library Services) and managed by colleagues from the University's Strategic Programmes and Projects with technical support from IT Services. A procurement exercise, including tender process, took place toward the end of 2017 and in January 2018 OCLC were awarded the contract to supply the Library with their WorldShare Management Services (WMS) platform.
Partnering with OCLC allows us to better serve users of the Library by streamlining the creation, delivery and access of content, thus enhancing our operations and taking advantage of fully integrated services, and our management of digital content. In addition to this, WMS provides us with a platform used by a global community, enabling collaborative collection management with thousands of other institutions and supporting the University’s strategy to be more open and cooperative.
In tandem with our move to a New Library, it is key the University embraces systems and software that can scale with us, promote efficiencies and foster educational and research innovations, all of which fit with the selection of WMS.
Help and support
This page will be updated as the project moves to its conclusion. If you have any comments or questions, please contact the Project Working Group: firstname.lastname@example.org