Readers Final Criteria Document, 9-13-00


The new LMS should provide a seamless environment that enhances our readers' ability to find, use, and manage information of varying formats in a straightforward and rapid manner. Readers should be aware of, but not distracted by, system capabilities and activities. The online catalog and all other electronic resources purchased, created, or networked by the library and the university should be made accessible through the LMS gateway in a way that obviates the need for multiple searches and allows readers to construct searches according to their personal criteria. Such access through the gateway should not filter out existing capabilities of alternative interfaces. Options to proceed on to a more sophisticated (and possibly direct and different) interface should be available for the reader who wishes that advantage. The system should integrate well with the varied components of the learning environment at Yale, including electronic course reserve, course web sites, digital image databases, and other electronic tools. The system should support display, input, indexing, and searching in all languages and scripts.

Accuracy, speed, availability, and stability should be paramount characteristics of the new library management system. All interfaces should be customizable by the individual libraries within the university system in order to provide maximum flexibility and experimentation in the presentation of information. Routine library functions such as circulation, document delivery, and reference interactions should occur in the natural flow of a reader's activities. Patron record information should be dynamically integrated with campus-wide information systems, while preserving privacy and anonymity as appropriate.

The reader should be empowered to initiate and carry out as many library functions as possible - self-checkout, renewal, recall, interlibrary loan, requests for new acquisitions, payment of fines, etc. The system should provide automatic responses to all reader-initiated functions, and should facilitate rapid staff action where necessary. The reader should be as independent as possible in carrying out library functions, but there should always be some means of recourse for the reader who is stymied. Essential information should be supplied at point of need. The new LMS should facilitate efficient and prompt communication between the reader and the library system whether in resolution of complaints, financial transactions, or interactive reference service.

The new LMS should enjoy the active and unflagging support of its developer. The developer must be committed to research and development and able to implement technological innovations in a timely manner. Library patrons are also consumers who have experience with a wide variety of interactive Internet sites. The new LMS must provide the reader with the same degree of dynamic interactivity and personalized service that characterizes the best of commercial Internet sites.