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Migrating to a New ILS

November 27, 2019

I found out earlier this month that we will not be renewing our library’s contract with our current ILS, Sierra Innovative, when it expires in April 2022. As is the reasoning behind many a motivation for change, our decision to migrate to a new integrated library system boils down to the exuberant cost for the services. Having hired the library’s first systems librarian back in July, it seems like perfect timing for us to be considering other options. Our systems librarian has been diligently setting up promotional presentations with various vendors. Last week, we met with a representative from OCLC for WorldShare Management, and this week we sat in on a demonstration for The Library Corporation (TLC). Next month, we will be viewing what SirsiDynix has to offer. I am very open-minded with each vendor because I have used all three either currently (OCLC for interlibrary loans) or at past positions. (I used both TLC and SirsiDynix with two of the three public libraries where I was employed.) Each ILS has much to offer and terrific technical support systems.

But do I personally have a preface? It depends on how I wish to incorporate those integrated library systems’ features into my workflow. Considering I work in OCLC for my interlibrary loans in an academic setting, making the complete transition to this ILS seems the most logical approach. There are dependable technical support and numerous webinars which cover a variety of topics; not to mention the global appeal of OCLC is inviting. I also had the pleasure of working in OCLC Connexion when I was copy cataloging an assignment for the United States Military Academy at Backstage Library Works in 2016. A year later, I was also reacquainted with OCLC when I did my internship at my alma mater (DeSales University) during my final semester of graduate school. Interestingly, DeSales was in the process of making a migration from Millennium to OCLC WorldShare Management during my time there; even though the librarian who handled interlibrary loans was already working with OCLC. I enjoyed learning how to do interlibrary loans through OCLC while I was an intern there; no doubt it truly helped me make the transition to my current position, which includes processing interlibrary loans.

From a circulation viewpoint, however, I believe TLC and SirsiDynix are very user-friendly and offer a lot of bells and whistles which I believe our circulation staff will find useful. I worked with TLC at Southern Lehigh Public Library for fourteen months; I really became spoiled with its features and accessories. (Those of you who have used SPARK in public libraries might completely understand my statement!) SirsiDynix is also another user-friendly ILS for public libraries, so I am interested in seeing how these two systems work for academic libraries.

What feedback can you provide? Do you use one of these three integrated library systems? What are some advantages and disadvantages? Have you noticed a difference? While migrating to a new ILS is never an easy undertaking, it is an excellent opportunity to weed out your library’s collection and to start afresh.

Here is hoping you have a fabulous Thanksgiving! I am so thankful to be a librarian!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. smartin592 permalink
    December 2, 2019 12:51 am

    We are also going through the ILS selection & implementation process right now. We currently have Sirsi and have seen presentations by OCLC, Innovative, Folio, and Koha. We are interested in leaving Sirsi for a number of reasons like cost and frustration with customer service. We are set to sign a contract by the end of the year so that we can begin migrating our data and be ready to roll out our new ILS by July. The whole process is so daunting! I and others in the library would be happy to talk with you further if you had more questions. Feel free to e-mail, smartin@washjeff.edu.

    • December 2, 2019 1:00 am

      Wow, that’s really a crunch to get that done in six months! Our contract doesn’t expire until April 2022, and we’re hoping to not overlap services, which I don’t know if something like that can be avoided. Good luck on your migration!

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