Reports Environment 9-13-00


The Yale University Library is a large, complex organization with multiple and varied reporting needs. We use reports to track activity and provide performance measures in the various functional areas of the library (e.g., acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, etc.), to inform management decisions and collection development efforts, and to provide information about the library to the University administration and to external organizations such as the Association of Research Libraries. These reports may be as simple as a list of items on reserve at a single library unit during one semester, or as complex as a comparative analysis of our utilization of RLIN and OCLC for cataloging over a five-year period, by subject area. Even as we produce reports, we currently grapple with reporting issues involving uniformity in what statistics are tracked and how statistics are captured system-wide. The new LMS must facilitate resolution of these issues.

With the new LMS, we wish to move away from centralized report production. In this decentralized environment, we want increased reporting flexibility from the relational database, providing more information at a greater level of detail in reduced turnaround time. We want reporting enhancements which will enable staff to work more efficiently and independently than is possible with our existing NOTIS database. The LMS should give staff greater freedom to find, use, and manage data relevant to their work. Staff should be able to initiate report definition and production, independent of the Library Systems Office. Staff should be able to use any data element from any record in any file when defining the content and output of a desired report. In addition, the LMS should provide maximum flexibility in terms of output options as well as options for scheduling report production.

Authorized staff should be able to query the database at any time and produce reports, pre-packaged or locally customized, as and when needed. We envision a reporting environment in which the LMS will allow individual staff authorization based on job level and responsibility. While it is expected that supervisors, managers, and administrators will be the primary users of reports, we also expect report production to be delegated to other staff as appropriate.

Not only should the LMS provide reporting capabilities which meet all of these expectations, it should do so without any degradation in overall LMS operation and response time.