1 June 2000 (MMG, ver. 2.0)


Readers of the Yale University Library include faculty, students and staff on and off campus as well as researchers, alumni and other individuals from around the world. Today’s readers have high-expectations and are extremely web-savvy. They now compare services provided by the Library Management System to those available at e-commerce and e-resource information sites. They seek in a LMS, regardless of their proximity to the information resources, convenience, self-sufficiency, and ease-of-use to identify, access, retrieve and manipulate information in all formats.


The Readers Work Group is charged to:

  1. Describe in general terms a new LMS that will meet and surpass our readers’ needs and expectations for a library of the future. Our readers’ interests extend beyond Marc based online catalogs to local and remote databases in a variety of metadata formats, and into all traditional functional library units, e.g., technical services (acquisitions, cataloging, authority control, serials control, preservation, preparations, catalog management); research services, collection development, access services (circulation, reserves, interlibrary loan, document delivery); special collections. Describe in what ways we want the new LMS to act as a solution to interrelating information from a variety of resources in a way that can be tailored by staff so that readers can find the information they need. Consider all ways in which readers interact with the system. This description should enable vendors to show how their system will enhance our readers’ ability to find, use and manage information, as well as to what extend it will act as a gateway to the diverse body of digital content provided by Yale University Library.
  2. Develop a list of key features of such a LMS. Characteristics of the online catalog and gateway capabilities to other digital resources will necessarily make up a large percentage of this list of features, but the Work Group should consider reader-centric functions linked to circulation, acquisitions, collection development, printing, emailing, etc.

As time permits, the Work Group is encouraged to investigate, describe, and evaluate the strengths and limitations of the major approaches to content linking that are emerging as tools for organizing diverse bodies of e-resource content and metadata, and as mechanisms for facilitating linkages among e-resource databases and context-sensitive linking across licensed e-resources.


The Work Group might consider traditional service activities such as features of online catalogs, characteristics of search engines, links to electronic and digital resources, self-management of circulation transactions (e.g., loans, recalls, reserves, due dates, interlibrary loan), technology support of persons with disabilities, support for non-roman scripts, access to finding aids, etc.

Additionally, emerging services might be considered such as information literacy education, electronic reference assistance, electronic and interactive course support, exchange of scholarly discourse, desk-top document delivery, and gateway access to multiple databases consisting of diverse metadata formats and multi-media.


The Work Group need not address:


The Migration Management Group establishes the Business, Readers, Records, Reports and Systems Criteria Work Groups and charges them to develop:

  1. A general description of the environment in which we want to work,
  2. A checklist of specific system requirements that are weighted on a needs scale (essential, important, desirable)

Both elements in the charge are equally important, giving the library two distinctive but critically important perspectives for evaluating vendor systems.

The general description of the environment will be sent to the system vendors as a Request for Solution. This description should describe an ideal working environment within the focus of the charge (i.e., business relationship, reader interaction with the system, report generation, etc.). Invite the vendors to tell us how their systems will help us achieve this model environment.

The checklist of specific system requirements will also be sent to the vendors. It will be used to compare systems and evaluate the products relative to our needs. These lists will form the basis for the evaluation documents we will develop later in the fall for our intensive system demos. Do not attempt to include every command and action that might occur within an automation system. Concentrate on features that are beyond operations that can be verified quickly during a system demo and basic commands. Checklist requirements should be defined as positive, desirable attributes (rather than as attributes to be avoided). They may also be worded as questions to the vendor especially when the attribute is cutting-edge and may not exist in current LMS products.

The Criteria Work Groups should, wherever appropriate, consider issues as they have an impact across all traditional library functional units, e.g., access services, collection development, research services, special collections, technical services, etc.

Work Groups should take the Migration Management Group’s statement of Threshold Requirements ( as a common, minimal point of departure although they may wish to elaborate on the threshold requirements and define detailed characteristics that are important or desirable features of the new LMS.

The four educational demonstrations by LMS vendors are designed to give staff a general overview of next generation systems as well as to introduce the vendors’ development efforts. Work Group members should try to attend all four demos. Vendor, library and RFP websites may provide additional inspiration for the Criteria Work Groups, (see BACKGROUND at Work Groups should also evaluate suggestions submitted to them from the Yale community through the webforms.

First draft documents should be completed by 3 July 2000 and sent to the Migration Project Manager, Please submit the general description as a MSWord document. Submit the checklist of requirements as an Excel spreadsheet with three columns, 1) Requirement name, 2) Requirement Description, and 3) Rating (essential, important, desirable). These drafts will be used by Yale staff at ALA in their discussions with vendors and colleagues from other institutions.

Criteria Work Groups will remain active through 14 Aug 2000. They will revise draft documents throughout July. Work Group members attending ALA are encouraged to use the conference to research system criteria by visiting vendor exhibits and conferring with colleagues at other libraries about their experience with vendor products. Please submit final documents to Audrey Novak by 14 Aug 2000. Final documents will be sent to vendors for their reply.

Work Group meeting schedules and notes should be posted regularly to the Orbis2 website. (To post to the website, send MSWord or HTML documents to

Please address questions about your charge and work group to (2-2365).