by Betsy Learned, Dean of University Libraries
The RWU Library is going to be changing its library software system between now and December 31, 2016.
How does this affect you?
As of July 1st, the interface for searching the library holdings catalog from the Main Library homepage http://library.rwu.edu/ has changed. You will see and have access to the same holdings in the RWU and HELIN consortium libraries as before, but the search interface and the results lists will look different.
If you are off campus, you will also notice that the method of authentication for access to licensed databases and journal articles has also changed. With the new EZ Proxy authentication, you simply sign in with your default RWU Single Sign On username and password — which is your RWU email address and password.
You will likely be able to navigate much of this new interface on your own, but when you have a question, or if you run into something that doesn’t make sense, please contact one of the librarians. Your input will help identify any glitches in the system.
The transition to the new library system begins with the search function, however, until all library data is migrated the search function will not work optimally. The full transition of all library functions will occur before the start of the spring semester.
What are some potential benefits?
Here is a short list of some benefits that you can expect to see once the new system is fully functioning:
- The most complete library catalog searching possible (RWU, regional, national, and international libraries) from a single search.
- Improved access to digitized materials in the public domain from the various organizations that make these materials available (HathiTrust, Internet Archive, etc.). More and more materials in the public domain (in the U.S., essentially anything published prior to 1923) are being digitized and made available. If they are cataloged in OCLC, they will be accessible without having to do separate internet searches.
- A return to “true” title searching and subject searching. It will take some time to adjust to the new interface, but it will offer capabilities that had been lost over time in the previous library system.
- You will be able to see a list of all your interlibrary loan requests so you can more easily keep track of them.
- After Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, and Bryant University left the HELIN consortium, their library holdings were no longer visible and accessible through the library catalog. The new system will allow you to see and request their holdings, along with all other regional libraries that have their holdings in OCLC. This will include the RISD Library, for example, that is not part of the HELIN consortium.
No library system is perfect, but I think this is going to be a significant improvement for the RWU community. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or any of the librarians with questions or concerns you may have along the way.