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

My Library Account

Borrowing and returning items

Extended loans (Library Support)

Reservations and requested items

Library fines

Inter-library loans

Access to online library resources

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. ***

Project background

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.

Why OCLC?

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: lib-wms@bristol.ac.uk

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