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Towards a model system specification for the procurement of library management systems: results of a feasibility study

Fisher, Shelagh and Delbridge, Rachel and Lambert, Sian (2001) Towards a model system specification for the procurement of library management systems: results of a feasibility study. Program: electronic library and information systems, 35 (4). pp. 339-354. ISSN 0033-0337

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Abstract

A library management system is a significant investment for libraries, but the procurement of a system is an infrequent activity with little opportunity for librarians to build on their experience. The procurement process is also difficult for potential system suppliers who must respond to specifications which are variable in content, format and quality. The HARMONISE project aimed to determine the feasibility of developing a model system specification which could be used to assist libraries in the procurement of library management systems. Specifications collected from libraries which had recently acquired a library management system were analysed. The results demonstrate that the functional requirements specified for each of the core modules had strong similarities both within and across library sectors. A survey of UK system suppliers was also undertaken to determine their views on the specification as a procurement tool. Suppliers expressed frustration with the tendency for specifications to be dominated by lists of functional requirements which were present in all library management systems on the market today. In conclusion, a model specification incorporating basic functions, which can be expected in all library management systems, should be developed.

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