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Behind the Scenes at the Library: Migrating to a new Library System

By John Fobert, Electronic Resources Librarian


As you are probably aware, the library is transitioning from the Innovative Library System to the OCLC WorldShare Management System (WMS).  In July, the user interface or what we call the “discovery” component was launched.  Instead of searching only HELIN holdings, we can now search libraries worldwide.  But there is so much more going on behind the scenes.

Our first step was to move all of our bibliographic (catalog) records to the new system.  This involved mapping fields and codes to the appropriate fields in the new system.  This can be thought of as translating the code from one system to another. WMS will allow our staff to order and catalog from the same system which will streamline workflows while increasing the accuracy of the online catalog.

Another significant part of the transition was our transfer of patron records into the new WMS system.  Every library patron has a patron record which enables the borrowing of tangible resources as well as access to electronic resources.  Our legacy library system required the user to enter their library barcode as a password to access electronic resources and their library record.  WMS presents us with the opportunity to authenticate users directly from the University database.  This means that users can now use their University ID and password to access electronic resources.  In January 2017, users will be able to sign into their library record the same way.  The barcode will only be used for the check-out of books and other items from the library.  This will be beneficial to our users as it will be one less password to remember.  The library would not have been able to accomplish this without out the help and collaboration of the RWU Information Technology Department.  Special thanks goes to Laura Masterson and Scott Lopes, and their teams.

The transition will be complete in January 2017.  The library seeks your cooperation by notifying us of any concerns or issues you find accessing the online catalog or electronic resources.  We have been notified by some faculty already of concerns regarding the relevancy of book searches.  We are presently in touch with the vendor, OCLC, to ask for modifications to the searching algorithm.  You may forward you comments to John Fobert, Electronic Resources Librarian, at jfobert@rwu.edu.  Also, we are always happy to hear what you like about the new system.  On behalf of the RWU Transition Team, we thank you for your patience and cooperation in this move to a better and stronger library system.