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Magazines > Computers in Libraries > April 2018

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Vol. 38 No. 3 — April 2018
Switching, Merging, and Upgrading Systems (Part II)
by Dick Kaser

Given that many libraries have reported to our research division that they are currently switching library systems or plan to upgrade their platform this year, we decided to extend the coverage we began in last month’s issue.

The lead story, by Carol Collins and Eliza Fink (from the Joel A. Katz Library at the University of Tennessee College of Law), illustrates what a difficult task it can be to evaluate vendor solutions—and just how long  the process can take. They share the results of their initial analysis, comparing four vendors (Koha from ByWater Solutions, WorldShare Management Services from OCLC, SydneyEnterprise from Lucidea, and Alma/Prima from Ex Libris Group) on 18 critical features.

A big issue for academic libraries in recent years has been the need to manage both print and digital resources separately, while patrons often couldn’t care less what form the materials are in and simply want to search across all library resources when conducting research. Our intrepid columnist Marshall Breeding has often commented on this. In this issue, we present an extended version of his Systems Librarian column that traces the evolution of electronic resource management (ERM) systems. Marshall shows you your options for better managing all collections and providing patrons with a better user experience.

Not all solutions involve evaluating and buying third-party vendor library systems. Derek Stadler (CUNY) describes how he was able to  simplify electronic database access for researchers by using WordPress. And Melanie Hedgespeth (Salina Public Library) discusses how to use Google Forms to assess summer reading programs regardless of whether the materials are in print or digital form.

Our Jan./Feb. edition focused on augmented reality and virtual reality options for public and academic libraries. In this issue, Carolyn Foote, program chair of our Internet@Schools conference—being held this month in Arlington, Va., in conjunction with CIL ’18—picks up the discussion for K–12 libraries.

Hope to see you in Virginia.

Dick Kaser, Executive Editor

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