SYSTEMS CRITERIA WORK GROUP CHARGE

1 June 2000 (MMG, ver. 2.0)

THE CONTEXT

The new Library Management System will have a client/server, multi-tiered design with a modern commercial database. It will provide a robust and flexible development environment. It will include graphical clients and/or web-based interfaces for staff and a web-based online catalog. The system will offer a Z39.50 compliant server and possibly also Z39.50 clients. Interfaces to other external resources might also be available, such as, links with book vendors, authentication services and campus financial systems.

THE CHARGE

The Systems Work Group is charged to:

  1. Describe in general terms the system architecture, development, security and operations environment we wish to have with our new Library Management System. The Work Group should consult widely with appropriate parties in the library, at ITS, at ITS-Med, at the Law school and at other institutions. Where possible, the Work Group should define features that could apply across library and university systems and that adhere to established industry standards and university guidelines and benchmarks. The Work Group should include within this description how the architecture might support the LMS serving as a gateway to the diverse digital content provided by Yale University Library.
  2. Develop a checklist of specific key features of this systems environment. Wherever appropriate, cite national and international standards. Consider features relating to system architecture, security, operations and the applications development environment.

As time permits, the Work Group might research the potential for Linux and the possibility of using our existing IBM S/390 within the new LMS environment.

EAMPLES TO INCLUDE

The Work Group should focus on technical requirements for the system and should consider such issues as: hardware; software design; database design; network requirements; workstation and network appliance requirements; linking technologies; interoperability, data exchange and exchange protocols (with other library systems, with university systems, with vendors, with library utilities, with other research institutions, with Internet resources, etc.); the development environment; security of central system hardware and software; disaster recovery; staff authentication and permissions; reader authentication and authorization; encryption of sensitive information; system performance; efficiency of operations; availability of source code and APIs; etc.

EXAMPLES TO EXCLUDE / AREA OF OVERLAP WITH OTHER WORK GROUPS

The Work Group need not consider:

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

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 (http://www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/public/activity/thresholdrequirements2.html) 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 www.library.yale.edu/orbis2/public/orbis2.htm). 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, audrey.novak@yale.edu. 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 Julia.Norcross@yale.edu.)