LAKERS TOGETHER: Find out how we're moving forward.
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Library Services Platform Migration
University Libraries will be undergoing a major system migration that will cause some library systems to be offline from June 24th until June 29th. During this time, there will be no search for or request physical materials like books, DVDs, and CDs. All of the Libraries' e-journals as well as most e-books and streaming videos will be available. This change will replace an aging system, address algorithmic bias in resource discovery, and generate cost savings by moving to open-source software.
The University Libraries are migrating our main inventory, checkout, and materials ordering software. This software is the backbone of the library, where library faculty and staff manage all of our collections. However, this is also the software our users search for books, CDs, DVDs, and other physical items (known as the Library Catalog). This migration will move us to a more modern software that will result in cost savings, increase workflow efficiencies, reduce bias in search results, and allow us to move to an open source platform.
When is it Happening?
Phase one of the migration was completed in January of 2021 with the migration of the Library Search platform (a.k.a. the "Find articles, books, & more" or "Find It!" box). Phase two will begin on June 24th and may last until June 29th.
How Does This Affect Library Services?
During the migration period you will be unable to search for or request physical materials online. This includes physical books, physical journals, DVDs, CDs, and items in the Curriculum Materials Library. If you know what physical material you need and are able to retrieve it from the shelf, the Libraries will be able to check it out to you. Access to our online resources will still be available during the migration. After the migration, searching for books and other physical items, as well as your Library Account, will move to the main Library Search platform rather than in a stand-alone Library Catalog (a.k.a., the "Find Books" link or "Find Books & Media" search).
Why Did We Make This Decision?
There were multiple factors that played into this decision:
Aging system: The Libraries have been using the same library services platform since 2008. While there have been minor upgrades to the system during this time, it has become outdated and the company that provides the system hasn't kept up with the evolving needs of libraries as more and more resources move online.
Increase Efficiencies: The Libraries’ current software only supports the management of physical resources. This requires us to use additional, separate software to manage our online collections. The new software allows us to manage both print and online resources within one system. This will greatly simplify our work to make our online collections available to you.
Bias in Resource Discovery: Our previous Library Search software exhibited troubling issues in some search results. Research by our librarians uncovered patterns of bias in some results that amplified systemic racial, gender, sexual orientation, and religious biases. We attempted to work with ProQuest, the company that created the software, to address these issues but were not satisfied with their response. For more information on these issues, see Algorithmic Bias in Library Discovery, or Masked by Trust: Bias in Library Discovery by Matthew Reidsma, Web Services Librarian.
Cost: This migration allows us to cancel the software we use to manage our online collections. In addition, the new software is open source, with libraries around the world (including GVSU) contributing to creating, maintaining, and improving the software. Because the source of the software is open, there is no software licensing cost for us to pay. By moving to a comprehensive open source solution, we can redirect the significant cost savings into our collections and other services.
We want to hear from you if you have any questions or concerns. You can submit questions or report any problems to our support team using our Report A Problem form. You can also email Patrick Roth, Head of Systems and Discovery, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also contact your liaison librarian with questions about the System Migration: