Why are we moving from multiple stand-alone systems to a shared system?
The primary goal of this statewide systems upgrade is to enrich the research experience of students while assisting faculty and staff in their scholarly and professional pursuits. South Carolina’s academic libraries have a long tradition of collaboration that efficiently increased student and faculty access to information resources. Over the years, PASCAL has provided access to thousands of journals and ebooks, and through PASCAL Delivers, millions of print books in member libraries. The new shared system represents an important step in collaboration. It will improve our efficiencies through shared services and cloud-based opportunities; allow institutions to better manage print and digital collections; and increase our analytic capabilities. A shared platform provides the greatest opportunity and flexibility for sharing resources and services that will support students, faculty, and staff at all our member institutions.
How is this new system different?
This new system will operate in a cloud computing environment, with the various pieces needed to manage 21st century library operations developed interconnectedly. Because it is managed “in the cloud,” many libraries will no longer need to maintain servers and manage systems as they currently do. Services that libraries purchased separately, for example link resolvers, discovery layers, serials management, and authority control, are now all part of this new system. The architecture is designed to better incorporate, manage, discover and access electronic resources. Resource sharing among our institutions is critical, as is a “next generation” public interface that allows library users to discover and access the complex universe of available resources. Having one system will improve the research experience for our users and allow staff to create value added services.
What does this mean for students, faculty and staff at participating institutions?
How is the cost shared?
Funding for the shared system also represents an important collaborative step: Lottery funds supplied by the General Assembly have funded the startup and implementation of the system, while member library fees will provide for its upkeep. Overall, the system will increase statewide access to resources, while saving costs over individual implementations.
How will this shared system be managed?
PASCAL libraries have been engaged in planning and discussion of a collaborative model for management of the shared system since 2015. These efforts were led by the Collaborative Governance Task Force (CGTF). With input from members, the CGTF developed a Collaborative Management Framework that focuses on consensus building and enables all member libraries to participate fully and provide feedback. Multiple teams, made up of member library staff, have been involved in coordination, implementation, and management of the shared system. These teams have been looking at best practices and how to bring institutional policies, procedures, and workflows together when necessary. The teams are working on behalf of all member libraries to determine where it makes sense for libraries to do things the same way, and where it is important to customize at the local level. Policies have been, and will be, created for those areas where it’s determined that continuity amongst members would be best.
Need more information?
Contact your liaison librarian if you need more information - or if you are just curious.