Higher Education Library Technology Briefing Papers

There are now three briefing paper available to all -- under a very open (CC0) license -so feel free to share

The new role of the library in teaching and learning outcomes (Published 20 June 2017)

Click here for a PDF version of the paper

  • What will be the impact of the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) on library provision?
  • Will academic libraries expand their remit to new kinds of learning resources?
  • What will be the impact on library technology?

The new role of the library in teaching and learning outcomes. By Ken Chad & Helen Anderson. Higher Education Library Technology (HELibTech) briefing paper (No. 3). June 2017.

Students in many countries, especially the US and UK are concerned that the growing cost of higher education is not delivering good value. Excellence in teaching and a focus on measurement and assessment of learning outcomes have become entrenched in higher education policy and the strategies of academic institutions. In the UK this trend has crystallised in a new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) introduced by government in 2017.
As a result library leaders around the world will need to become more strategic in articulating value propositions based around a more holistic view of library/learning resources.The value of data analytics will be a key driving force. Data from reading list systems and digital textbook platforms combined with information from other institutional systems will allow powerful insights to emerge. Such analytics will be invaluable to institutions, publishers and intermediaries as they look at new ways to deliver content.

All this suggests a trend for library technology and educational technology to merge. There looks to be the beginning of shift away from a narrow conception of *library* systems, the *library* supply chain and *library data*. Conventional integrated library systems (ILS) and even the new generation of library services platforms (LSPs) remain wedded to an outdated view of library learning resources and will have to change significantly or be integrated or subsumed into a new generation of learning services platforms.

Rethinking the Library Services Platform.

Ken Chad HELibTech Briefing Paper January 2016
Überdenken des Konzeptes “Library Services Platform“ (PDF Auf Deutsch - translated into German)
Have we got things wrong about LSPs? Can we learn lessons from what is happening with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems?

The second in the series of HELibTech briefing papers challenges the current definition of a library services platform (LSP) and suggests ways in which library systems might develop. While a new generation of library systems has emerged there remains a very significant lack of interoperability between the various components that make up the wider library technology ‘ecosystem’. So, although we talk of library services platforms, libraries and library system vendors have not yet fully realised a platform-based, interoperable library ecosystem. Cloud computing could help break this paradigm as it is doing with enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. Gartner, an information technology market research and advisory firm, suggests that the ERP suite is being deconstructed into what they characterise as a ‘postmodern ERP.’ Gartner suggests that the result will be a more loosely coupled environment with much of the functionality sourced as Cloud services or via business process outsourcers. Will we see the same trend in library technology?
A more open library technology ecosystem, possibly making better use of open source components, would eliminate the restrictions of a closed and monolithic suite of services from a single vendor. Solutions are moving to the Cloud but aren’t yet really platforms. It is possible that such a platform-based ecosystem model will be the “next generation” in library automation. The promise for libraries is a more flexible and cost effective solution and for users a much improved user experience.

Suzanne Enright, Registrar at the University of Westminster, London commented:
“It is always important to see library technology trends in a wider context, not least that of the wider corporate ecosystem and the HELibTech briefing papers are really helpful in navigating our complex landscape. This briefing paper provides interesting new insights into the challenging area of library related technology, where the demands of our users aren’t always matched by the market providers. The need for interoperability is in constant flux in the increasingly complex world of technology-enhanced learning and research”.

Library management system to library services platform.

Resource management for libraries: a new perspective, Ken Chad HELibTech Briefing Paper August 2015
This briefing paper contrasts the library resource management landscape now with the situation in 2008 when the Jisc/Sconul LMS study recommended that the time was not right for libraries to purchase a new library system. In the intervening period a new generation of 'library services platforms' (LSPs) has emerged and the pace of procurement has quickened. Ken analyses the current landscape and looks at the strategic issues around the changing nature of library collections, shared services, workflows and analytics. The paper is made available under a CC-0 license to enable easy re-use.