1 June 2000 (MMG, ver. 2.0)


With sophisticated graphical clients and/or web-based staff interfaces, an adherence to records standards, and increased interoperability with systems in the library, on campus and external to Yale University, the new Library Management System holds the promise of a working environment characterized by increased productivity due to the easy movement of records of all kinds in and out of the system. Interfaces to external resources might include links with book vendors, with campus financial systems, Z39.50 clients to national bibliographic utilities, etc.

Staff productivity will be further enhanced by an increased ability to tailor graphical clients to the specific task at hand through customized workflows, macros and other means.


  1. Describe in general terms a working environment for library staff that will support creation, exchange, maintenance and management of records and files. Consider records of all formats used within all library functional 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); system administration; special collections. The Work Group should consult widely with staff throughout the library.

  2. Develop a checklist of specific key features of our record activity needs. This list should include features describing record creation, exchange, maintenance and management functionality as well as record content and format (Marc, EAD, VRA Core, XML, Unicode, EDIFACT, EDI, BISAC, etc.) Wherever appropriate, the list should cite national and international standards.


The Work Group should focus on staff needs and standards for record creation, maintenance and management. It should address: staff productivity and efficiency; ease of use; interoperability, record retention, data standards and data exchange (with other library systems, with university systems, with vendors, with library utilities, with other research institutions, with Internet resources, etc.). The Work Group should identify where all such data exchanges might take place and define the nature of the exchange.

Examples of new features might include, for example, the ability to process shelf-ready acquisitions, to utilize Z39.50 clients for cataloging, to send and receive EDI transactions with vendors, to retain check-out information permanently for special collections materials, and to directly transfer information to and from campus people and financial systems, etc.


The Work Group need not:



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).