Integrated Library Systems (ILS) are the systems that support library functions like cataloging, circulation, the OPAC or catalog, and management of acquisitions. Find a description of what an ILS is at the Wikipedia entry for "Integrated Library System".
Tell us about your successes with your ILS, ILS migration, etc.
Tips for selecting an ILS
Tips for writing a Request For Proposal (RFP) for an ILS at the Southwest Michigan Library Cooperative (opens as a PDF)
Things to consider when selecting an ILS (culled from a list provided by Pat Williams at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries):
- What's included and what's extra? (Modules, extra options, etc.)
- Is there a start up fee? Migration costs? Training costs?
- What kinds of reports are generated? Can you create your own?
- What are the security considerations?
- Will new software work with existing computers, peripherals, etc.?
- What kind of training (in person, online,etc.) and support is offered?
The ILS market is made up of proprietary software from companies and open source products. Check out the Libsuccess page about open source software products.
Also, there are a vareity of resources available about OPACs.
Open source ILS products:
Vendors who offer support for open source products:
- Equinox Software (Supports open source product Evergreen)
- LibLime (Supports open source product Koha)
Companies that offer library system products in the U.S.:
View a history of library automation at the Library Technology Guides website. See which systems have been bought out or retired.
Blogs/Websites to watch
- Library Technology Guides: Key resources in the field of library automation Maintained by Marshall Breeding who, for the past six years, has written the annual Automated System Marketplace article for Library Journal.
- ALA Techsource Search website for ILS
- Higher Education Library Technology wiki. HELibTech. Lists all UK Higher Education Institutions with the various library related systems they employ. Inc ILS(LMS-Library Management Systes in UK paralance), ERM solutions. Also includes articles on specific issues
Specific Blogs Posts/Articles to Check Out
- Investing in The Future: Automation Marketplace 2009 in Library Journal (April 2009)
- Wikipedia entry titled "Integrated library system"
- ILS Migration in the 21st century by Frank Cervone from Computers in Libraries, July/Aug 2007.