April 15, 2014

Serials Solutions’ Intota Library Management System in Development

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During the recent American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, ProQuest unit Serials Solutions released the name of its in-development library management system: Intota. The system, set to be completed next year, aims to provide a unified, web-based tool for libraries to manage selection, acquisition, cataloging, discovery, and fulfillment for both print and electronic content.

Stan Sorensen, vice president of management solutions at Serials Solutions, told LJ that the data management piece of Intota, which will include resource management and print and electronic acquisitions functionality, will roll out later this year; selection and fulfillment functionality will follow in 2013. Intota will be released iteratively as each piece is finished, instead of all at once. “A system of this magnitude…is typically more successfully deployed by a library if you don’t try to boil the ocean,” Sorensen told LJ.

Serials Solutions is also aiming to make Intota interoperable with other products, via exposed application programming interfaces (APIs) and adherence to standards when possible. For example, while Intota will work “very, very well” with Serials Solutions’ Summon discovery service, Sorensen said, it will also be able to integrate with other discovery services.

During the Top Technology Trends panel at ALA Midwinter, Marshall Breeding, director for innovative technologies and research at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, predicted “the impending demise of the ILS [integrated library system],” saying that ILSs aren’t currently as integrated or comprehensive, as “it takes maybe eight or nine or ten different applications…to do the things that academic libraries do.” He noted the rise of alternative, web-based library-management systems in various stages of development, including Intota, Ex Libris’s Alma, and OCLC’s recently renamed WorldShare Management Services (WMS). Breeding termed them “library services platforms,” and highlighted them as a key tech trend to watch.

Last month, OCLC announced that total of 171 libraries worldwide had committed to using WMS, according to the announcement, with 33 of them live. More than 60 early-adopter libraries have committed to using Alma, and Ex Libris announced on February 6 that RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, and the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, had signed on as early Alma adopters. Ex Libris also makes the widely used Aleph and Voyager ILSs.

Intota, in the works for about a year with a handful of development-partner libraries, appears to be targeting the ILS market. Sorensen said that, because Serials Solutions doesn’t have an ILS already on the market, there is no pressure to replicate existing ILS functions in Intota, thus giving the company a freer hand in developing new workflows. ILSs were “designed for a print-based world,” he said, with different workflows than those needed to accommodate electronic content.

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David Rapp About David Rapp

Associate editor David Rapp previously covered technology for Library Journal.

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