ERMS implementation woes

Ever since vendors started selling electronic resource management systems (ERMS), there has been a session or a round table at NASIG that discussed various libraries’ implementations of their ERMS. A few more hands were raised this year when the room was asked to indicate if they feel like they’ve finished implementing their ERMS, but it’s still a very small minority of librarians. When I did my conference report for NASIG 2009 yesterday (we have a bit of a backlog on monthly conference report meetings since there are so many conferences held in the spring and early summer), I created this using ProjectCartoon to illustrate some of the reasons why ERMS have been so difficult and time-consuming to implement:

ERMS woes

4 thoughts on “ERMS implementation woes”

  1. Librarians stated indicating what they needed for an ERM in 2001 prior to the DLF ERMI guidelines/standards. These standards did not readily fly into the marketplace but were crafted over a two year timeframe. Vendors listened to many, many librarians and also agreed to incorporate the DLF ERMI guidelines which accounted for every single possibility that could arise at that time and started rolling out possible platforms in 2003. These solutions answered some of the early ER concerns we identified in 2001 & 2002 but were already starting to be surpassed by new, more complex ER concerns arising in 2004-2005.

    The problem thus became–vendors focused just on library needs as explicated by librarians & not market trends in many ways because we asked them to do so.

    Librarians bear more responsibility for the tools not being open enough to accept changes to market practices.

    Your cartoon needs to show how librarians entirely changed the blueprint right after the DLF ERMI guidelines because standards in order for this to be really amusing.

    1. You’re right, Jill, but I had run out of space on the slide. I think it’s still true that for most products developed for libraries, what we describe to vendors and what they produce is far different from what we actually need, regardless of other contributing factors.

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