Integrated Library System for Designers
July 5, 2011 10:56 AM   Subscribe

Hi Librarians and other tech-savvy folk! My sister is a new librarian in a cooporate setting. She looking for a way to make Pintrest users love an integrated library system.

I am posting this for my sister, who has taken a position as the solo librarian in a corporate/design environment.

She is looking into solutions for developing and managing a very uncataloged and diverse collection of traditional library and less traditional materials, including fabrics and bags. All of these items, including the 3D objects, will circulate among the company's design staff- a few hundred people.

Her biggest challenge is finding an ILS with a search results screen that is visually appealing to the employees. They want search results that are in horizontal rows, with clear and colorful pictures, so that they can browse through the fabric samples and such. Think Google images, Pintrest, etc. This is hard to find in an ILS, according to her research. Digital image repositories are more what they are thinking of, but these don’t have circ modules. Destiny Quest has much of what they are looking for, but it looks to be K-12 library specific. Is it possible to modify an ILS, either open source or proprietary, to have a results page similar to Destiny Quest? She could set up two systems- an ILS and an image database- but she would prefer to have one source for everything. She imagines that there will be less than 5,000 items that will be cataloged and circulate.

Any suggestions? Also, can anyone suggest good librarian/archivist discussion forums for her to participate in, since she is a solo librarian and hasn't been out of library school for very long?
posted by afton to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure why an ILS is needed here. If the primary concern is formatting of search results, not search engine, acquisitions, managing thousands of items (5k isn't many), cataloging, etc., an ILS is overkill. Heck, I'd suggest any library with 5k items and a couple hundred items not bother with an ILS. They take a lot of money, care and feeding. The old fashioned paper card sign out system or even a spreadsheet will work fine to track circ.

She probably could modify the search results screen of the default OPAC of the ILS I administer, but it takes serious time and skills to do that kind of thing. Then an upgrade will break it. She would probably be upgrading at least annually.

In this day and age, she might want to confirm budget before even starting this process. ILSes are wicked expensive.
posted by QIbHom at 11:15 AM on July 5, 2011

Almost all ILS suck in this area. Your sister is probably better off investigating a discovery layer like Vufind or similar.
posted by the dief at 11:17 AM on July 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

She might want to look into the Lib2o package just announced by Discovery Garden. It's an integrated ILS/repository software package and might end up meeting her needs.
posted by MsMolly at 11:18 AM on July 5, 2011

A digital image repository (or digital asset management system) with some CMS functionality would be a better solution than an ILS. A DAM system would have check-out/check-in functionality so that users can see who has a certain item.
posted by metl_lord at 12:30 PM on July 5, 2011

Seconding the reco for a DAM system. I've used Extensis Portfolio in the past and was happy with it. If cost is an issue, I believe you can also use Drupal for image management, which is open source.
posted by chez shoes at 1:04 PM on July 5, 2011

Hi! This is the Mefite’s sister. It's very possible that an ILS may be overkill for the number of items we have now, but a simple spreadsheet would be underwhelming. The company is a large multi-billion dollar retail/merchandising corporation that has taken off in recent years and is growing exponentially. The design library and staff is set to grow in size in the coming years, which is why they hired me. The designers want to be able to search for materials from their desk, and possibly save items to an account, provide reviews, etc. Concerning cost, they did not seem perturbed when I mentioned the cost of an ILS. This isn’t a mom-and-pop. Also, there are a large number of periodical subscriptions that need to be managed and must be searchable, and an ILS seems to be the best method. Tell me if I’m wrong! It’s not just the samples I have to worry about, but all the books and periodicals as well. Not to mention lots and lots of posters, photo props, rolling inspiration boards, etc. Everything must circulate! There are no records or inventory whatsoever, and I would like to be able to do some copy cataloging to cut down on the data entry. Plus, what about running circulation reports as the library grows? Don’t I need an ILS for that?

Lib2O is exactly what I’m looking for! They’re expensive, but as I said, that’s not my biggest concern. Still, it is something of a concern! It might be cheapest to find another way to integrate the digital image search with the record.

I appreciate all the help! Being a solo librarian has its challenges. I'm glad my sister offered to post this for me!
posted by afton at 2:13 PM on July 5, 2011

I know a lot of TV and film production companies that just use Filemaker Pro--there's a special version developed by Kenn Rabin that incorporates images, clips etc.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:46 PM on July 5, 2011

Hey, Mefite's sister, have you taken a look at the BUSLIB-L archives for this? Or asked any other SLA-oriented list about it?

I know this question has come up on BUSLIB-L recently (and if you haven't joined it yet, you should! Lots of helpful tips on there for corporate librarians) so if you wander around the archives a bit you should find a few good answers to your question. I believe you may even find some cheaper alternatives to price out and compare with Lib2o.
posted by librarylis at 10:46 PM on July 5, 2011

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