Hosted Library Services: Clouds do have Silver Linings

Michelle Breen - ULCaleb Derven - UL

Software (SaaS) is becoming increasingly common as a delivery method for many software products. UL Library was the first University library in Ireland to move its library management system (LMS) from locally held servers to the cloud. The library management system, Capita (formerly Talis), is the primary business application for the Library and provides access to the library catalogue and contains acquisitions, cataloging and circulation functions.

The move to the cloud allows the library to use tested technology to implement some of the cost-saving measures required in higher education. The main benefit of moving to a cloud-based system is to reduce costs and staff time by outsourcing hardware and software maintenance and support. The myriad ways in which money is saved by moving to the cloud are big headline news but efficiency, stability and reliability of service are the lesser counted benefits.

Following this development, the introduction of a number of new library services was deployed; including real-time integration of the student record system and staff HR systems with the library management system to afford seamless access to a building access control system, a single Google-style search box that will search our print and electronic resources, and electronic access to some of the Library’s unique collections. In particular, this paper will address the integration of University Identity Management Systems with the LMS and how this service improvement was made afforded by staff efficiency's gained through the move to the cloud.