Directors’ View of Change

In March 2013, we polled a dozen library directors and senior managers involved in the Jisc LMS Change Collaboration Group and the SCONUL Shared Services Group with a single question:

What’s the biggest challenge you face regarding the effectiveness of library systems?

Predictably we got 2 or 3 answers from most so here we present the 31 responses …

Climate & Culture

Strategic Impact
1. Redressing relatively low strategic impact to the overall University strategy so difficult to prioritise resources for implementation

Attitudes to change
2. Addressing our own attitudes to the need for change and the amount of change needed to remain relevant
3. Achieving the changes in working practices and cultural change which these new platforms will require

Service Mix
4. Keeping a mix of traditional and modern service running in an environment in a constant state of flux
5. Allowing libraries to transition to the Open world – Open Access, OA publishing, MOOCs – whilst taking care of legacy business
6. Providing a set of core services that can meet local ‘boutique’ needs at a departmental or college level and a core set of services across a consortium

Value for Money

Demonstrating value
7. Delivering and demonstrating value for money in all that we do
8. Supporting the need for institutions (and consortia) to demonstrate ROI

Value challenges
9. Presenting the full resourcing costs and requirements for next generation in a way that gains funding (the traditional LMS ‘box in the corner’ has very low visible costs).
10. Exploiting collections and ensuring value for spending on e-resources, but reducing costs
11. Accommodating full exploitation of institutional (and consortia) investment in purchased/licensed information resources
12. Ensuring that we have made the right decision(s) now in a rapidly changing environment

Shared Services

13. Facilitating the sharing of information resources and metadata as far as licences will allow
14. The sharing of development and potentially other staff time
15. Minimising developer and systems resource within our own institution

16.Synchronising timings with potential partners (in Scotland) and with the availability of service offerings

User Experience

Library systems impact
17. Shifting the politics of the institution to view library service platforms as a serious contributor to student experience.

Resource Discovery
18. Maximising the discoverability and use of all our electronic resources
19. Delivering the best possible user experience eliminating comments such as ‘online search is hard to use’

Library Staff Experience

E-resource workflows
20. Making electronic resource management more streamlined for staff and seamless at the point of use
21. Enhancing academic staff experience through saving their time and embedding resources in their workflows

Realigning effort
22. Enhancing staff experience and removing frustration, to make them creative and productive so they can best serve the user community and deliver university strategic priorities successfully
23. Improving the efficiency of workflows to allow us to redirect staff to meet other challenges


Management Information
24. Deriving meaningful analytics and management information, preferably across systems

25. Managing our data in such a way as to provide better management information to improve services, and to provide a more personalised experience to our end users.


Horizontal and Vertical
26. Increasingly needing greater vertical integration with other institutional systems, and horizontal integration to foster collaboration & exchange data with other, external agencies
27. Flowing data seamlessly into and out of the platform, so the library is seen to be integrated into other systems (internal corporate and external domain)
28. Delivering easy integration with enterprise wide applications – e.g. ‘We still can’t integrate with the finance system and the budgeting round is here’

Local development
29. Acting as a solid platform for local development to meet the use cases that a supplier cannot

Systems Responsiveness

30. Lacking flexibility in the platforms to respond to required changes to business processes and deal with the disparate and divergent nature of the resources provided by a modern Library collection

31. Influencing the direction and pace of library service platform development to suit our changing service needs