Tilburg University and WorldShare Management Services

OCLC's WorldShare Management Services recognise that 'Europe is different'.

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Implementing WMS in European libraries

The speakers from Tilburg University and IE both talked about the work involved in implementing WMS. Tilburg University kicked off its implementation project in summer 2011, and as we know, has just gone live. Jola Prinsen recalls:

Being an early adopter, a big part of the project involved analysing the system and identifying additional requirements. We helped OCLC to develop new features, work that will benefit future customers of WMS. For every gap in functionality, we evaluated the impact on quality of service and staff workload. From this, we identified a block of features that we definitely needed to go live. Gradually they were resolved in new releases.

WMS has a quarterly release cycle - with enhancements coming on stream every February, May, August and November.

The timescales for implementing WMS are already coming down. Henar Silvestre described the implementation project at IE as "really fast" at around six months (one third of the time it took Tilburg University), which encompassed conversion of non-standard data, workflow specifications, staff training and testing.

The session was impressive in its honesty; neither speaker shied away from the difficulties encountered along the way. Data load had taken longer than expected, for example, and some data anomalies had to be resolved manually.

Tilburg University wisely used the project as "an excellent opportunity to clean up data in the old library system", and Jola Prinsen advised: "It's very useful to analyse your workflow once in a while, even if you're not migrating to a new system. We discovered processing that surprised us all. Why are we doing it this way? That's stupid; let's improve it."

Tilburg University feels the benefits of WMS

Prinsen insisted that the benefits of WMS were already discernible at this early stage: "WorldShare's circulation interface is much more intuitive than what we were using before, and that's great because we have student assistants working at the library desk and they do not need any guidance to use it. We also foresee processing improvements if we can integrate with our finance system."

On the day after go-live at Tilburg University, Prinsen concluded her presentation by thanking OCLC staff in Europe and in the US for all their efforts. "It was great to work with them", she said, "and I hope that other libraries will follow in our experiences."

Sarah Bartlett is a freelance copywriter wroking mainly in the area of technologies.  Her career, which has spanned systems analysis, library management and marketing includes almost ten years with library system vendor and Linked Data pioneer Talis.  Sarah's website is www.bartletteditorial.com and she tweets @sarahbartlett1

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